In the name of God, go!

Oliver Cromwell dismisses the Rump Parliament

I don’t often do two posts in one day, but the shenanigans in the British House of Commons have impelled to take to my pen once again.

Over the past few weeks, the House of Commons has twice rejected the withdrawal agreement signed by the British government and the European Union (EU) to regulate the United Kingdom’s exit from the EU. The House has also rejected the idea of leaving the EU without a deal. So today it voted on eight different options, each laying out an alternative route for the UK to follow. And lo and behold, it voted against all of those too!

That means that the next logical step would be to vote a third time on the withdrawal agreement. But the Speaker of the House has said that the rules don’t allow that. And even if they did, since the ruling Conservative Party lacks a majority, the agreement could only get passed if the government got the support of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP). But the DUP is adamant that it will oppose the withdrawal agreement come what may. Which leaves the UK facing a no-deal exit from the EU. But that’s also been rejected! If you can make sense of all that, then, as Kipling said, ‘You’re a better man than I am, Gunga Din!’

What this all makes clear is that the British parliament, as currently constituted, is incapable of making a decision. It’s time for it go. At this point, what the UK really needs is a modern version of Oliver Cromwell to come in and sweep them all away, as the Lord Protector did in 1653 when he dissolved the Rump Parliament. I was never much of Cromwell fan, but now I understand what he was about.

So let’s hear his famous words from 20 April 1653. They could well be said today.

It is high time for me to put an end to your sitting in this place, which you have dishonored by your contempt of all virtue, and defiled by your practice of every vice.

Ye are a factious crew, and enemies to all good government.

Ye are a pack of mercenary wretches, and would like Esau sell your country for a mess of pottage, and like Judas betray your God for a few pieces of money.

Is there a single virtue now remaining amongst you? Is there one vice you do not possess?

Ye have no more religion than my horse. Gold is your God. Which of you have not bartered your conscience for bribes? Is there a man amongst you that has the least care for the good of the Commonwealth?

Ye sordid prostitutes have you not defiled this sacred place, and turned the Lord’s temple into a den of thieves, by your immoral principles and wicked practices?

Ye are grown intolerably odious to the whole nation. You were deputed here by the people to get grievances redressed, are yourselves become the greatest grievance.

Your country therefore calls upon me to cleanse this Augean stable, by putting a final period to your iniquitous proceedings in this House; and which by God’s help, and the strength he has given me, I am now come to do.

I command ye therefore, upon the peril of your lives, to depart immediately out of this place.

Go, get you out! Make haste! Ye venal slaves be gone! So! Take away that shining bauble there, and lock up the doors.

In the name of God, go!


13 thoughts on “In the name of God, go!”

  1. Amazing the lengths they are going to to avoid calling another election, which they know Corbyn would probably win. Good too that whatever happens, this mess can’t be blamed on him as I really believe he is the UK’s last hope of not going completely down the toilet–as is Sanders here. Of course, just the fact that two old men whose health could betray them at any time are the only hopes the two major Anglo-Saxon powers have of avoiding a full on collapse demonstrates very clearly that such a collapse is likely in the cards come what (ahem) may.


    1. Whatever the problem, Karl, voting for an IRA-supporter will never be the answer; and it is to the eternal shame of the Labour Party—the party that once boasted the best NI Secretary in Ulster’s history in the form of Roy Mason (1976–79)—that they should now not only harbour so many open supporters of the murderers of working class British men, women and children, but allow one to be leader.

      Corbyn—along with ever larger portions of the Labour Party—is one of the most anti-British people ever to be found outside of a Boston NORAID convention.

      Years of startling statements from IRA apologist John McDonnell who once called for the UK to ‘honour’ terrorists.” 15 Sep 2015, Belfast Telegraph.
      Revealed: Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell’s close IRA links.” 10 Oct 2015, Daily Telegraph.
      Diane Abbott refuses to say she ‘regrets’ calling for IRA to defeat British state.” 28 May 2017, Independent.

      Labour is no longer the party of the working man but of the SJWs and Muslims. They might win an election—but only by default, with their former supporters staying at home.


  2. I am in the UK and the inability of the parliament to agree after two years what Brexit will look like – shows that they ( the Members of Parliament)! don’t want to leave the EU.

    There is no deal they can agree on – no desire to compromise it’s all just a ploy to delay and delay until they can ignore the whole thing all together.

    17 million people voted to leave – over the past two years no one really assessed why.

    What we got was a campaign to demonise those people as racist and uneducated for not wanting to be part of the EU.

    They ignore the reality that for large parts of the country outside London – being in the EU had meant the, high unemployment and low wage employment.

    The EU was sold to the public as being about trade – but people don’t like the reality that it is a political project, which is reality Germany ruling over the rest.

    When Russia goes to the EU – they talk to Merkel- look at Nord Stream 2! What Germany wants it gets.

    The EU has 27 countries – only 5 of them contribute to the budget – the rest are subsidised. The UK contributed- and this is an issue that is part of the reason for Brexit, the country needs the money – poverty is increasing – go to any city you will see homeless sleeping on the streets. The EU is blames indirectly for austerity policies that have cut spending


  3. Why don’t they just exit – as in ‘no deal’ – and then start making deals, if they want to?

    I don’t understand the panic and fear of the ‘no deal’ option: the UK is a net importer in the EU market. Therefore, as I see it, if it leaves, on the balance the UK economy wins and EU loses.


      1. Sure, I understand that it’s very complex – if we get close enough to individual social groups, economic interests, and geographic regions.

        But on the national level?


  4. First of all, I’d like to thank the author of this excellent blog. I started to follow it relatively recently, but at some point I decided that I have to seriously go through all the archives and it was definitely worth the time 🙂

    That said, I must admit that believing as somebody who tries to be very careful in the assessments about the veracity of diverse claims and sources, Prof. Robinson probably should mention that Cromwell’s words presented in the post are merely apocryphal.

    Here is what Thomas Carlyle calls a “moderately conceivable account” of what happened then (based on some eyewitnesses’ accounts which, however, were taken down quite a bit later than 1653):

    “I will put an end to your prating,” and steps forth into the floor of the House, and’ clapping on his hat,’ and occasionally stamping the floor with his feet,’ begins a discourse which no man can report! He says Heavens! he is heard saying: “‘It is not fit that you should sit here any longer!’ You have sat too long here for any good you have been doing lately.’ You shall now give place to better men! Call them in!'” adds he briefly, to Harrison, in word of command: and ‘some twenty or thirty’ grim musketeers enter, with bullets in their snaphances; grimly prompt for orders; and stand in some attitude of Carry-arms there. Veteran men: men of might and men of war, their faces are as the faces of lions, and their feet are swift as the roes upon the mountains; —not beautiful to honourable gentlemen at this moment!

    “You call yourselves a Parliament,” continues my Lord General in clear blaze of conflagration: “‘You are no Parliament; I say you are no Parliament! Some of you are drunkards,’ ” and his eye flashes on poor Mr. Chaloner, an official man of some value, addicted to the bottle; “‘some of you’ are —’ ” and he glares into Harry Marten, and the poor Sir Peter who rose to order, lewd livers both; ” living in open contempt of God’s Commandments. Following your own greedy appetites, and the Devil’s Commandments.’Corrupt unjust’ persons,”‘ and here I think he glanced’ at Sir Bulstrode Whitlocke, one of the Commissioners of the Great Seal, giving him’ and others very sharp language, though he named them not:’ I’ Corrupt unjust persons; scandalous to the profession of the’ Gospel:’ how can you be a Parliament for God’s People? Depart, I say; and let us have done with you. In the name of God, — go!”


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