The Canning Precedent

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The Canning Precedent

Postby toucana on September 3rd, 2019, 6:21 pm 

On 8 August 1827, George Canning the British prime minister collapsed and died while in office. He had been prime minister for just 119 days at the time of his demise, making his tenure as PM the shortest on record.

This is a record that the current British PM Boris Johnson is now set to beat by a comfortable margin following the defeat of his government tonight in the House of Commons by 328 - 301 votes on what amounted to a vote of confidence over the handling of the UK’s Brexit negotiations with the European Union. A snap general election is now likely on 14 October 2019.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-49573555

For those who feel that the current levels of rancour and discourtesy within our parliamentary debating system may have reached an all time low, a backward glance at George Canning’s career may prove enlightening.

Canning originally came to prominence as a relatively moderate Tory who became the Foreign Secretary in 1807. But his tenure of that office was overshadowed by an epic row with his lifelong political enemy Lord Castlereagh who was the Secretary of State for War and the Colonies.

The two cabinet ministers quarrelled so badly that they wound up fighting a duel at Putney in 1809. Canning who had never fired a pistol in his life missed his mark by a wide margin, while Castlereagh who was reckoned to be one of the best shots in Britain hit and wounded his opponent in the thigh.

Both men faced political disgrace over the scandal of two cabinet ministers fighting a duel. They were both passed over by King George III shortly afterwards when the Duke of Portland resigned as PM and another man called Spencer Perceval was selected as the next prime minster instead. He in turn achieved the dubious distinction of being the only British prime minister ever to be assassinated while in office. Spencer Perceval was shot dead within the precincts of the palace of Westminster by a disaffected office seeker on 11th May 1812.

George Canning finally achieved his political apotheosis on 9th April 1827 when Lord Liverpool was forced to stand down as PM after suffering a severe stroke. His mortal enemy Lord Castlereagh had already commited suicide five years earlier. He cut his own throat in 1822 while in a state of delusional paranoia that was probably induced by tertiary syphilis.
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Re: The Canning Precedent

Postby TheVat on September 4th, 2019, 12:13 am 

Bojo seems eerily Trump-like. He appears to believe that dragging Britain out onto a ledge is some sort of clever negotiating tactic with the EU.

My sympathies.
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Re: The Canning Precedent

Postby doogles on September 4th, 2019, 3:11 am 

Apart from Boris's recent activities, I found that post by Toucana hilarious.

The events of the early 1800s British parliament, as 'they' say, was more amusing than fiction. Onya Toucana!
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Re: The Canning Precedent

Postby toucana on September 9th, 2019, 3:44 am 

There is something quite inimitable about the political rhetoric of that period. My special favourite involved John Montagu (1718 - 1792), the 4th Earl of Sandwich.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Montagu,_4th_Earl_of_Sandwich

This grandee of British politics achieved immortality as the inventor of the eponymous ‘Sandwich’. He was a compulsive gambler who was often reluctant to leave the gaming table. One evening he instructed his butler to cut open a loaf of bread, to insert some slices of roast beef, and to then serve it to him at the Faro table so that he could carry on gambling whilst he ate his supper.

The Earl of Sandwich was also an outspoken and atavistic Tory politician who was fond of trolling liberal and reformist minded opponents at political hustings meetings. He met his match on one occasion however when he tangled with a younger man (opinion is divided as to whether it was John Wilkes or Samuel Foote):

“Sir I have often wondered what catastrophe would bring you to your end; but I think, you must die either of a pox or on the gallows” thundered the Earl of Sandwich.

“That my Lord would depend on two contingencies” replied his adversary, “On whether I embrace your Lordship’s mistress, or your Lordship’s principles”.

The Earl of Sandwich’s first wife went insane, and during her long decline, he had a lengthy affair with a famous opera singer of the day called Martha Ray who bore him five children. But she in turn was sensationally murdered by another jealous lover in the public foyer of the Royal Opera House at Covent Garden in April 1779. Her tragic death was memorialised in a popular novel called ‘Love And Madness’ (1780) by Herbert Croft.
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Re: The Canning Precedent

Postby doogles on September 10th, 2019, 3:53 am 

Once again Toucana, I find these historical records hilarious. Where do you access them?
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Re: The Canning Precedent

Postby TheVat on December 12th, 2019, 1:56 pm 

Good luck to Toucana, Lomax, Jocular, Curiosity, Event Horizon, Badger, and our other UK members today!
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Re: The Canning Precedent

Postby Serpent on December 12th, 2019, 6:28 pm 

And may Something have mercy on their souls!
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Re: The Canning Precedent

Postby toucana on December 13th, 2019, 3:38 am 

The last time UK had a general election in December, just before Christmas, was in 1923. It took place because Bonar Law the sitting PM became seriously ill and had to resign after only 209 days in office. (He was in fact the shortest serving PM of the 20th century) The resulting election led to a hung parliament and eventually a minority Labour government led by Ramsay MacDonald with the tacit support of the Liberals under Asquith.

The current mood over here in Blighty this dismal morning of Friday 13th is probably best summed up in this nod to the past.

Image
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Re: The Canning Precedent

Postby TheVat on December 13th, 2019, 10:41 am 

And there will be no free intra-ship phone system. I do hope the captain can reduce the crowding in the infirmary. It's not right when Ms. Astor can get in so easily when she just ate too many oysters, while steerage passengers have to wait in a long line.
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Re: The Canning Precedent

Postby Serpent on December 13th, 2019, 9:24 pm 

Don't count on this captain to care about steerage.
https://lfpress.com/opinion/columnists/dyer-english-turkeys-vote-for-christmas-with-brexit-election

The United Kingdom will continue to be called that for several years, but this election has sounded its death knell. It was the votes of English nationalists who gave Johnson his victory, and they don’t really care if the U.K. survives. Just as well, because it won’t.
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Re: The Canning Precedent

Postby TheVat on December 13th, 2019, 9:50 pm 

As for Wales, it will unenthusiastically stick with England. After 600 years of being governed from London, it has got used to it.


Many Americans tend to think (when they are encumbered by a thought process) of Wales as just a sort of region, not fully cognizant that it's a nation of the UK. With funny lettering. I only know it's Cymru thanks to Dr Who credits.

It does seem possible that if Scotland leaves, NI will follow and risk joining with Eire.

My spouse said, what about Cornwall? I think she was kidding.
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Re: The Canning Precedent

Postby Serpent on December 13th, 2019, 11:02 pm 

I can picture Wales following Scotland and Ireland out, once they'd accomplished it, and if they supportive - it's not a strong enough economy to stand alone.* I seem to have detected a rise in Welsh nationalism - at least cultural nationalism, something like Quebec - in the last decade or two. Seceding would be much harder for Wales because of the geography and economic dependency, not for lack of governing structure.
Don't think Cornwall could do it, even if it wanted to - and it's mostly blue. https://inews.co.uk/news/politics/general-election-results-map-2019-live-uk-constituency-result-who-won-latest-updates-1340046

* though after the second wave of climate change disasters, it might just be one of the more survivable places

I've no idea what the legalities are. Civil war? Armed repression?
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Re: The Canning Precedent

Postby toucana on December 15th, 2019, 7:40 am 

My spouse said, what about Cornwall? I think she was kidding.

According to the antiquarian Daines Barrington who set out to research this subject in person, the last known fluent native speaker of the Cornish language was a fish-seller called Dolly Pentreath who was living in Mousehole and died in 1777. Some years earlier in 1742, Barrington’s brother Captain Samuel Barrington had sailed a ship to Brittany with a Cornish sailor from Mounts Bay onboard, and was astonished to discover that the man could readily make himself understood to the local Breton speakers.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Last_speaker_of_the_Cornish_language

Cornwall itself which separated from Wales in 575 AD ceased to exist as a separate Kingdom in 875 AD when Dungarth the last recorded king of Cornwall is said to have drowned in the river Fowey during the course of a battle with the Saxons of Wessex.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Donyarth

You would have to go rather a long way back in history to recreate an independent Cornwall (or Kernow to use its Brythonic name) - which hasn’t stopped people from trying of course.
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Re: The Canning Precedent

Postby Serpent on December 15th, 2019, 10:52 am 

It's just the Arthur effect. Romanticism.
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Re: The Canning Precedent

Postby TheVat on December 15th, 2019, 11:33 am 

I'm going to be happy all morning just knowing there is a Cornish town called Mousehole.
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Re: The Canning Precedent

Postby toucana on December 15th, 2019, 2:10 pm 

Image

Kernow also hosts the following:

Brown Willy (Bronn-Wennill - ‘The Hill of Swallows’ in Cornish)
Cocks
Booby’s Bay
Fowey (pronounced Foy)
Minions
Ventongimps (Fenton Gompes - ‘The Place of Springs’ ?)
Indian Queens (Myghternes Eyndek in Cornish)

https://www.visitcornwall.com/about-cor ... s-cornwall

Mousehole (pronounced Mow-zel) also known as Porth Enys or the ‘The Island Port’ in Cornish dates from 1283.

Some say the name originally came from the Cornish Moes Heyl meaning ‘The Maiden’s Brook’.
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Re: The Canning Precedent

Postby Serpent on December 15th, 2019, 2:28 pm 

I've always longed to see Cardiff (the Doctor Who effect). I would have made a small detour to Tintagel anyway; now adding Fenton Gompes to the virtual itinerary. When you can't go anywhere anymore, Professional Google Earth can become your best friend.
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Re: The Canning Precedent

Postby toucana on December 16th, 2019, 1:20 pm 

No trip to Kernow, real or virtual, would be complete without delving into the history of the Cornish Tin mines which date back to 2150 BCE and were described by the ancient Greek historian Diodorus Siculus some 90 years before the Christian era.

Cornish Tin mines are replete with names like Boscawen, Geevor, and Wheal Jane. But the hands-down winner has to be the Ding Dong Mine in the parish of Madron in Penwith Cornwall which was said to have been visited by Joseph of Arimathea, who according to local legend made an appearance there as a Tin merchant, accompanied by a young Jesus.

The local church had a bell known as the ‘Ding Dong Bell’ that was rung at the end of each mining shift.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ding_Dong_mines
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Re: The Canning Precedent

Postby Serpent on December 16th, 2019, 9:07 pm 

My satellite tv service provider has lost Knowledge network, but I still have PBS and TVO. The thing about public television is: they bring a lot of BBC programming. And it seems a very large percentage of BBC programming is travelogues and historical documentaries about various aspects of the UK. They seem particularly keen on the shoreline. If you've been a watcher of public television for a few years, you cannot help but know all about the mines, trains, wharf theaters, fisheries, lighthouses, conflicts, hotels, ship builders, foundries, defense structures, pirates and smugglers.
Joseph of Arimathea, who according to local legend made an appearance there as a Tin merchant,

... ended his days in an abandoned mine and his last word, written on the stone wall was A R R R R G G G H
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