Sunday, November 1, 2009

Cato Street Conspirators: Thoroughly Impressive Idiocy

In the 1820s, the British government was still knee-jerk reactionary towards any sign of political radicalism. Napoleon had been defeated yes, but Ireland was still engulfed in various stages of repression and revolt, the Luddites were smashing machines, the vetrans of the Napoleonic wars were getting restless, the Peterloo Massacre had happened, rotten boroughs were beginning to smell and George III went off the deep end and told everyone he was related to a tree.

Thus, it does not come as a surprise to learn that a group of Spencean Philanthropists, so called because they followed the philosophy of the British radical Thomas Spence, tried to foment revolution and that the British government sentenced them all to death or deportation. However, this seems like something of an overreaction, given that, even in a time period full of constant revolt, riot and revolution that often did not operate along normal lines of logic, these Spenesan Philanthropists displayed the collective common sense of a box of hair and did not actually manage to be a threat to anything but themselves.

Their brilliant plan to overthrow the government was:
1. Kill Lord Liverpool and all his ministers at a dinner party.

That was it.

Technically, they had vague plans to form some sort of committee of public safety to oversee the radical revolution sure to follow, and who's to say it wouldn't've worked had there actually been a dinner party of all cabinet ministers to attack?

As the marichino cherry on top of thie sundae of fail!planing, the entire plot was created by none other than a police informant.

Good show gentlemen, good show.

No comments:

Post a Comment