Deuteronomy 306/84: Give me Liberty or give me Death! Tomorrow will be a Good Day!
We do anniversaries so couldn't miss this! It's 365 days since Boris Johnston put us into Lockdown 1 and these Blogs began with serious intent. We were told stay shielded for 84 days and here we are a year on and still in Lockdown 3. Yes, we're wiser and we can see the light … we're in a state of aestivation are we not, ready to burst into full bloom and to reprise the Roaring Twenties of a century ago - which my mother and father enjoyed as twenty-somethings; no kids till 1934 …. But still caution is counselled … Lockdown 3 says Boris must be the Last Lockdown ever so unravel but slowly. Today he further reminded us that the 3rd Wave sweeping across Europe will eventually wash up on our shores; and we need a determined approach. From here on out we will be expecting to manage the Covid19 virus as one more risk in our daily lives which is minimised if we are wise and get vaccinated. Remember the message from Capt. Sir Tom Moore during his year of celebrity 99/100: Tomorrow will be a Good Day!
Numbers to Deuteronomy - it had to be! We vowed to spend 40 Days [it's years in the bible of course] in Numbers as we left Leviticus. Now, fresh in our blogging minds with Archbishop Cranmer's martyrdom in 1556 [304/84] it's appropriate to move on in the bible he introduced to all Anglican parish churches. The next book matches our present purpose and it's Deuteronomy. It reiterates the law and enjoins us to ensure it is applied in our lives as we are just about to enter the Promised Land! That's absolutely the UK Government's intention in seeking to extend its powers under the Coronavirus Act 2020 until October 2021 this week. The hope is not to need it after mid-June but just in case the draconian powers will be retained.
Pandemic Messages from Deuteronomy! Obey the 10 Commandments because there are serious consequences - blessings and curses. If the people would obey God’s voice and keep His laws a rich blessing will descend upon them; the land will be full of fruit and the people will live in peace; the Lord will command the blessing on you in your barns and in all that you undertake. [28:8]. But, if not [and the EU might be mindful in particular of 2/10 Commandments - Thou shalt not bear false witness; Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's house] … if they disobey these our God’s Commandments …. then the most terrible plagues will strike them. Disease, hunger, … and disaster will engulf them … Not much more to be said is there?
More cheerfully, today is Melba Toast Day. It's named after Dame Nellie Melba, the stage name of Australian opera singer, dating from 1897 when she was very ill and it became a staple of her diet. The toast was created for her by chef and fan Auguste Escoffier who for an encore also created the Peach Melba dessert for her. Her hotel's proprietor César Ritz supposedly named it in a conversation with Escoffier. Only last week on tv Avril and I watched Jamie Oliver make such toast stressing it was a good use for stale bread! It requires lightly toasting slices and then slicing them laterally. The thin slices are then returned to the grill with the untoasted sides towards the heat source, resulting in toast half the normal thickness. In France it is referred to as croûtes en dentelle. Not for Avril stale toast; we had stale Hot Cross Buns to hand so McGonagall style she prepared a Dessert Only lunch today with oodles of custard …. all good. Dame Nellie would have been impressed I wager.
Revolutionary Tourism. The Mayor of Bristol is centre stage again after last weekend's violent riots there that exceeded the toppling of slave trader/ local philanthropist Edward Colston's statue and its dumping in the harbour last year in the name of Black Lives Matter. Revolutionary tourism is the tag he's using to describe the eternal trouble seekers and makers who latch on to otherwise worthy causes of protest and take them as their latest opportunity for causing mayhem. Excusing such folk because they've gone stir crazy in lockdown is specious; stir crazy probably more suitably attaches to the valid protesters.
Sturgeon 2 - Salmond 1. So two reports in two days; one from an Irish QC who agreed with Nicola "that recollections can vary" and the other from her Parliamentary colleagues declaring 5-4 with Salmond that she underinformed them and messed up along the way. And in the face of the draw she drew on her Parliamentary Coalition majority with the Greens to beat a Holyrood Vote of No Confidence tabled by the Conservatives with the LibDems and Labour ostentatiously abstaining. So now all eyes must be on how she fares in the May elections.
On even date 1775 Patrick Henry addressed the Viriginian Convention Colonial Delegates in Richmond. The Royal Proclamation of Hue and Cry* and urged none to heed or support his words but they did! They tell us, Sir, that we are weak; unable to cope with so formidable an adversary. But when shall we be stronger? Will it be the next week, or the next year? Will it be when we are totally disarmed, and when a British guard shall be stationed in every house? Shall we gather strength by irresolution and inaction? Shall we acquire the means of effectual resistance by lying supinely on our backs and hugging the delusive phantom of hope, until our enemies shall have bound us hand and foot? Sir, we are not weak if we make a proper use of those means which the God of nature hath placed in our power. The American Revolution was coming and Henry would go on to be the founding post-colonial Governor of Virginia. He struggled, as the EU and Scotland do today, with where powers should reside, in States or in a federation for ever remembered for his rallying call that day in 1775: 'Give me liberty or give me death!' No Precautionary Principle there.
* In 1285 King Edward I signed the Statute of Winchester into law stating that if citizens saw a crime they had to not only report it but take up a cry to alert the police. [The word hue is thought to come from the Old French for exclamation.]
Published Date: March 23rd 2021