A principle of our inherited Westminster system of government is that Ministers of the Crown receive impartial, fearless advice.
CSIRO provides Scientific evidence to guide our policies for making our Commonwealth of Australia a better place, but in recent times the Government has shown a distinct lack of respect for the institution.
- There is a career public service which impartially serves the government of the day.
On this day in 1647, in the midst of the English Civil War, between the Monarch and Parliament the so-called “Putney Debates” began in the church of St Mary The Virgin Church, Putney. The debates, Chaired by Cromwell and attended by officers.
Source: The Putney Debates (1647) It was the dawning of the Age of Enlightenment.
Ideas, creativity, invention was flowering. Communications technology such as accessible printing presses had a double-edged sword for those who wanted to promote new ideas and information to those who didn’t want them to be disseminated. Knowledge was Power, and it empowered the New Model Army.
Colonel Thomas Rainsborough and his brother William of Wapping were well loved in their seafarer and merchant community.
LIke their father who was honoured by the Crown for his prowess with the King’s ships, the sons inherit the wise, learned non-conformist gallantry which resonated with the populace.
Today we would call them “Champagne Socialists”.
When I hear our current Members of Parliament (in the Commonwealth of Australia) “verballing” the most vulnerable who depend on the safety net of welfare, targeting cuts to income and services – taxing the poorest and subsidising the richest, I think of the power of those words recorded at the Putney Debates 400 years ago, which is as relevant today:
“ … [T]he poorest hee that is in England hath a life to live, as the greatest hee … ”. I’m going to borrow that for personally political purposes! BOOK REVIEW
Parish church of John and Thomasine Clark(returned souldiers), whose Battle Cry chorused with their Lord Protector and General Oliver Cromwell in Ireland, Scotland and England, 1649-1655.
Parliamentary Medal presented to New Model Army soldiers at the Battle of Dunbar.
Great Grandmother x 11 Thomasine Clark, with her husband Great Grandfather John Clark of London were worthy of a ballad in 1655.
thanks to the English Ballad Archive http://www.ebba.com
from the Roxburgh Collection at the British Library
Inspired by research of the 17th century my ancestral rooting about down the blood-line of my mother’s mother has brought me to a novel obsession;
Working Title – Love In an English Republic
The realisation it is I who is the working-class black-sheep of the family – being the only one who has never been able to get or keep an ordinary job, and must do what she does best and write!
If I am to be useful it’s about time the proletariat were plucked from obscurity to share the his&herstory of the common folk.
Those landed ladies and gentlemen, Lords and , Earls, Kings and Queens can play the extras on the periphery for a change!
Here I am working from Terre Australie, an imagined continent of my Early modern Great Grand-parents sea-faring community of the Tower Hamlets on the River Thames.
I never imagined I was related to the authentic EastEnders!
When London poet and pamphleteer John Milton visited the Italian scientist Galileo who was under house arrest for turning the world upside down with his knowledge that threatened the Roman Catholic Laws of Nature, the English were heading towards civil and religious war.
In 2012 New planets are constantly being mapped in the universe, but my gaze is back to the potent democratic debates including the less recognised input of the women who also marched and petitioned in their thousands.
Today in the Commonwealth of Australia we are still governed under the Westminster Parliamentary system with Britain’s Monarch staunchly holding on as our Constitutional Head of State…Every time a Royal gets a free trip they mention they won’t be offended if we cut the ties, but we cling to what we know. We don’t have to fight over it!
John Clark and Thomasine grew up in a time of passionate politics and religious rhetoric. In 1647 the ideas and plans for social democratic ideals were laid before the Generals of the Parliamentary regiments.
Oliver Cromwell listened…
Thanks to the world wide web of blogs ‘ and scholarship, the sharing of knowledge is compost to this seeker of stories.
The descendents not yet mapped.
As I write, the modern day Puritans were elected to the Queensland Parliament democratically. There are petitions and protests by various community groups including apprentices…They might not have banned Christmas but their by-word is austerity – leave the giving to volunteers and charity.
352 years later we share the same Hereditary Monarch who comes to visit and reinforce the established order of things.
My Republican DNA will have to express itself creatively while the Tories dismantle the rights and policies of the last twenty years, which raised the standards of those most disadvantaged in a capitalist society.
the first national army – New Model Army of the English Commonwealth
My husband and I went to Westminster in 2010 before I knew about my family history and the fascinating history of the warring sides of the English Civil War. In all my 11+ years of Birmingham schooling the historical record of learning was stuck on the Tudors. Shame.
Democracy Village, Westminster 2010
subdued compared to 1642!
To follow the commoner Clarks hereditary line go to INHERITANCE, A WORKING CLASS PEDIGREE: