Category Archives: History

This covers the history of many countries over centuries. My main interests are the British Isles, Russia and America.

Why did Germany almost have a communist revolution in 1919?


In 1919 the First World War had just ended. The Weimar Republic had been founded in Germany in 1918. The republic was detested both by conservatives and communists. The country was polarised and therefore ripe for revolution.

There were several reasons why Germany almost had a communist revolution at this time. These were – suffering caused by the war, the lack of respect for the government, the example of Russia and the anti-democratic character of the German elite.

Germany had lost the First World War. The horrific suffering engendered by war made people furious. Many of them had lost faith in their government. The Allies kept up the blockade of Germany until the Treaty of Versailles was signed in June 1919. The blockade meant that many Germans were almost starving. Because they were malnourished and irate they were susceptible to communist propaganda. They sought a radical solution to their problems.

The old system of Imperial Germany seemed to have failed the working class. The Kaiser and his acolytes had started an unnecessary war in 1914. They had caused the deaths of millions of Germans and still lost. In October 1918 soldiers and sailors in Germany had mutinied. They had hoisted the red flag of communism.

Russia had had a communist revolution in October 1918. This inspired many Germans. They believed that in Russia a new state was being built that would advantage the working class. Germans who had been Prisoners of War in Russia during the war came home in 1918. They had been exposed to communist ideas. Many of them wanted to launch a communist revolution in Germany.

In January 1919 the Spartakists (communists) had attempted a communist revolution in Berlin. They had tried to overthrow the social democrat government headed by Friedrich Ebert. Ebert had asked the head of the army General Groener to defeat the Spartakists. Groener had done so. Groener used the Free Corps to help him. The Free Corps were right wing ex-soldiers.

The social democrats wanted some of the same things as the communists. They wanted to redistribute wealth. They wanted good public services paid for by high taxes. However, the social democrats believed they could accomplish their goals through peaceful and democratic means. Communists said that parliamentary methods were a sham. They rejected bourgeois legality because they said that reactionary elements in the army, the police, the courts and the civil service would thwart them. Communists said that armed revolution was the only way to bring about radical social change.

In conclusion, Germany came close to a communist revolution because of its social, economic and political conditions. A wave of revolution was sweeping Europe at the time. Communist revolution was only averted because the conservative elite joined forces with the social democrats to crush the communists.








Romania is a European country. It is in Eastern Europe. The neighbours of this nation are Bulgaria, Serbia, Hungary, Moldova and the Ukraine.

Romania was inhabited by the Trac people in ancient times. Then the Dac people lived there. The Romans called this country Dacia. They conquered Dacia. The Roman poet Ovid was exiled to Tomis on the Black Sea. This city is in Romania.

The Roman Empire broke up. Romania became independent. The country split into several warring kingdoms. The Romanian language grew out of Latin. Hungary conquered Transylvania in the Middle Ages. Romanians followed Orthodox Christianity whereas the Hungarians were Catholics.

Tatars traded with the Romanians. The Tatars had enslaved Gypsies. Gypsy slaves were sold to Romanians. The aristocrats and monasteries owned people.

The Ottomans conquered Wallachia in the 15th century. Vlad Tepes fought them and drove them out. Wallachia, Dacia and Moldova were united in 1499. However, under renewed Ottoman assault this union fell apart. The whole of Romania was conquered by the Ottomans again. Some Romanians were taken as slaves.

The Ottomans brought some Turkish words into the Romanian language – chiftele, pantofi, ceai, ciorba and so on. The Ottomans did not attempt to convert the Romanians to the Mohammedan faith. The Ottomans demanded tax and recruits for the army.

In the 18th century the Hungarians defeated the Ottomans and drove them out of Transylvania. The Hungarians came to rule that province. The Russians beat the Ottomans in Moldova and pushed them out. The Ottomans still ruled Wallachia. An agreement was reached that a Christian prince must rule Wallachia on behalf of the Ottomans.

In 1848 there were revolutions across Europe. By that time Hungary was part of the Austrian Empire. Hungarian nationalists in Transylvania rebelled. Romanians helped the Austrians to put down the Hungarian uprising. The Romanians were a majority in that province.

In 1859 a major rebellion in Wallachia succeeded. Wallachia broke away from the Ottomans in all but a purely nominal sense. Romania acquired a ‘domnitor’ named Alexandru Ioan Cuza. Cuza was the ruler. Cuza abolished slavery. He was too liberal for some aristocrats. He was overthrown after a few years.

Wallachia searched for a new prince. They found one from a minor German princely family – Hohenzollern-Sigmarinen. Carol I came over from Germany to be Prince of Wallachia. It was felt that a proper country needed a monarchy.

Romanian copied much of the French legal code. France was the cultural leader in Europe. Many French words were borrowed by the Romanian language. The Romanian Flag – blue, yellow and red vertical bars – is based on the Tricolore. The country changed to the Latin alphabet

In 1878 Wallachia took advantage of the defeat of the Ottomans by Russia to proclaim her formal sovereignty. Prince Carol I became King Carol I. Wallachia renamed herself Romania. The country was a parliamentary democracy.

In 1914 the First World War broke out. Romania at first remained neutral under King Ferdinand. In 1916 Romania entered the war on the Allied side. She was soon whipped by the Germans, Austro-Hungarians, Bulgarians and Ottomans. Bucharest was captured by the Central Powers only four months after Romania had declared war.

In May 1918 the Treaty of Bucharest was signed. Romania had to pay crippling reparations. She was out of the war. In November 1918 the Central Powers were defeated by the Allies. The Treaty of Bucharest was declared null and void by the Central Powers and the Allies.

On 1 December 1918 the unification of Romania was proclaimed. This included what is now called the Republic of Moldova, some land in Bulgaria and Hungary.  This is the largest that Romania ever grew.

Ferdinand died. He was succeeded by Carol II. Carol II was a playboy. He abdicated in favour of his baby son Mihai. However, Carol II soon returned and resumed the throne.

Ultra nationalism grew. The League of the Archangel Michael wanted to persecute non Romanians and those who were not Orthodox Christians. The Crusade of Romanianism was another ultra nationalist party.

Romania was neutral at the outset of the Second World War. The Soviet Union threatened Romania into returning Bessarabia to them. Hungary was backed by Germany and demanded Transylvania back. Bulgaria got land back too. German troops demanded the right to be stationed in Romania. It was granted. They built Bucharest Airport. Romanian Jews were killed as part of the Holocaust.

In 1941 Germany invaded the Soviet Union. Romania joined on the German side. Romania regained land. However, in 1943 Romanian and German troops suffered a major reverse at Stalingrad. In 1944 the Red Army entered Romania. King Mihai ousted the dictator Ion Antonescu. The Romanian Army turned against Germany.

In 1945 the communist party became the dominant party. In 1947 the communists told Mihai to abdicate the crown or hundreds of hostages would be shot. He complied and left the country.

In 1948 the Communists became the sole legal party. Gheorghiu Dej ruled the nation. It was the Socialist Republic of Romania. The president died in 1965. He was succeeded by Ceausescu. This man had himself declared the Genius of the Carpathians. In 1989 his policies caused such malnutrition that he was overthrown and executed.

In the 1990s Romania adjusted to capitalism. Many people went abroad to work. The king returned but the monarchy was not restored.

Romania has the Danube flowing on its southern border. The Carpathians are the main mountain range. Moldoveanu Pic is the tallest mountain. The country has cold winters and hot summers. There are bears in the forests.

20 000 000 people live in Romania. The population is falling. There is a very low birth rate and half the young leave the nation.

Bucharest is the capital city. It contains the second largest building on earth – the House of the People.

Romanian is the official language. There are ethnic minorities such as Hungarians, Germans, Gypsies and Turks. Chinese and Nigerians have moved in too.




  1. What is the population of the country?
  2. Name an ethnic group here besides Romanians.
  3. Name the five neighbours of Romania. Five marks.
  4. Which country used to be part of Romania?
  5. What are the colours of the flag? Three marks.
  6. Which country did Romania copy in the late 19th century?
  7. Which empire ruled Romania from the 15th to the 19th century?
  8. Which country used to rule Hungary?
  9. What big river flows along Romania’s frontier?
  10. What is the main mountain range in Romania?
  11. What is the tallest mountain in the country?
  12. Who was the last king?
  13. Where did the royal family come from?
  14. What alphabet used to be used for the Romanian language?
  15. Is this country landlocked?
  16. Who was Alexandru Ioan Cuza?
  17. What is the southern part of Romania called?
  18. In what year was Romania first united?
  19. What did the Romans used to call this country?
  20. Who were the first people to live in Romania?
  21. Who was the last communist ruler of this country?
  22. Would you like to visit this land? Five marks.
  23. What is the population?

assessment of Ian Smith ====================


He died ten years ago.

who was he?

what did he do?

UDI. racial discrimination

bush war. nayzonga raid

power sharing

Lancaster house.

elections. 80 per cent for former guerrillas.

helped govt

critic of Mugabe. #

debit and credit.

unrepentant. unafraid.

wanted white rule. brighter, whiter. euros rule. only backed by SA

some v racist supporters.

did not see times had changed. slaying civilians. wanted qualification for franchise

better educ and economy.

some racial integration at the end. at least he tried.





Irish nationalism is wrong. =================


unhistorical not evil. #

Ireland in 1170s

nationalism ivented 1790s

halcyom age is gaelic era

gaelic revivial. hark back to middle ages like rest of Europe. king Arthur.

noorwegian blood

separatists attempted to unite us with spain, france and germany

#foreign help for IRA. USA and Libya unholy alliance


euro nationalism


Irish nationalism is not immoral. It is merely unhistorical.

Most of what you have read about Ireland’s past is false. Look into the annals. You will discover that when English soldiers first came to Ireland we were not fully independent, united, Irish speaking or Catholic. Nor is Ireland our original language.

Irish nationalism emerged in an identifiable form in the 1790s. It was then led by upper middle class Protestant intellectuals who wanted to copy the French Revolution. The anarchy, internecine fighting and mass executions of the French Revolution might have given them payse for thought. Nonetheless the wish to found an Irish Republic with religious equality was not a totally bad idea. The legal discrimination against the Catholic majority at the time made the Kingdom of Ireland a place badly in need of reform.

In the late 19th century Irish nationalism became Gaelic nationalism. Arlene Foster correctly identified it as such in 2005. Gaelic nationalism is about trying to have our culture preserved in aspic from the 8th century AD. A few centuries when the Gaels dominated are supposed to be the golden age. Like most tales of a gilded age it is largely false. We were deeply divided and almost incessantly at war against each other.  We had no royal dynasty.  Different dynasties tussled for the high kingship every few years. This at least meant a capable ruler came out on top which did not always happen under primogeniture.

Ancient Britons fled to Ireland in the 4th century AD so we are more British than the people of Great Britain. Britannia was a polity at the time. This cannot be compared to British people being German due to Angles and Saxons coming from modern Germany at that time. There was no concept of Germany back then.

All nations are created at some point as Anderson wrote in Imagined Communities. In Ireland there has been an erasure of our Welsh, Scots and English stock.

Gaelic nationalism’s twin engines were the Gaelic League and the Gaelic Athletic. These atavistic organisations harked back to the 12th century. That was before English and Welsh soldiers arrived in Ireland at the invitation of the King of Leinster.

Gaelic nationalism considered Gaelige to be the language of Ireland. Irish is not the original language of Ireland. There was a prior Celtic language before Irish. That Celtic language has been lost and was never written. So much for lingucide. Gaelic nationalists often accused the English of killing the Irish tongue. In fact the Gaels killed the previous Celtic tongue. Does that make Gaels bad?

Gaelic nationalists pretended that everyone in Ireland was  a Gael. There were several waves of immigration and invasion into Ireland before the 12 the century. Ancient Britons fled to Ireland in the 4th century AD. In that sense the people of Ireland are the true owners of Great Britain. The Britons who came to Ireland at the time were running away from the Angles, Saxons and Jutes who attacked Britannia.

The Gaels dominated Ireland for only six centuries but it gives them eternal mastery. 850 years of more recent connection to Wales and England is held to confer no legitimacy at all. Such is the illogic and vindictiveness of the closed minded nationalist.

Therefore many changes had occurred prior to the arrival of Strongbow and King Henry II of England in 1169.  All these changes before the 12 th century were accepted. Everything since 1169 was an abomination according to Gaelic separatists.

Gaelic nationalists stressed Irish unity. They overlooked the historical truth. In 1169 Ireland was divided into several kingdoms that were often at war against each other. There was a high king at Tara. But he had little authority. There was no regal dynasty. The country lapsed into fratricidal war every so often when a king died. These kingly elections were fractious affairs and often bloody ones.

There were Danes in Ireland in 1169 and that had been in Ireland for 300 years. They controlled Dublin. Brian Boru had bested the Danes at the Battle of Clontarf in 1014. Separatists ignored that this was a very temporary victory. The Danes soon returned.

Irish kings often enlisted Danish aid against each other.

It is the entitlement of any person to believe himself to belong to a distinct nation whether or not this opinion is borne out by historical evidence. Everyone has the right to seek independence for anything they consider to be a nation. That is not to say that every group that calls itself is a nation is one or indeed should be granted independence even if all the members of the same wish for independence.

After 1169 we had many English and Welsh immigrants coming. We also had Scots coming. The Scots were an Irish tribe originally. There was a kingdom that spanned the North Channel.

The Anglo-Normans and the Cambro-Normans who came to Ireland in the 12th century were soon gaelicised. The later Statues of Kilkenny were to forbid this but were soon ineffectual. Even that piece of legislation recognised that in most of Ireland – the Irishry – we were permitted our tongue culture. This law noted that the English and Welsh in Ireland had been absorbed into the native Irish. Therefore those of us who think we are native Irish are not entirely by any means. We are of Welsh, English and Norman stock.

Many Irishmen had gone to dwell in Great Britain. All sorts of people came to Ireland after 1160 such as Frenchmen, Germans, Dutch and so on.

How Gaelic are the Irish really? If we could isolate the Gaelic genes we would srely find that we are only a small fraction Gaelic. The Gales dominated Ireland for only a few centuries until the 9th century. There have been countless cultural memes that we adopted from all the other migrants who arrived in Eire.

In 1600 Sir John Davies wrote that if the people of Ireland were numbered by poll it would be found that few of us were autochthonous Irish.

Gaelic nationalism seeks to suppress all the non Gaelic heritage of Ireland.

The GAA banned people in it from playing garrison sports i.e. anything except for hurling or Gaelic football. At their social functions they had only Irish dancing and music. This is xenophobia.

There is nothing bad about playing Gaelic games. Learning a new language is laudable. Demonising another language – the language of the majority is contemptible.

Separatists in Ireland often accuse the English of invading us in the 12th century. They never accuse the Welsh who were involved too. That is historically illiterate. Moreover, the upper class in England and Wales are largely French at the time. Strongbow was invited in by an Irish king – Dermot MacMurrough. There was a high king Rory O’Connor whom MacMurrough clashed with. Was it wrong for a sub sovereign entity to enlist foreign military aid? Separatists should not think so.

Separatists wanted Ireland to be annexed by other countries. They have engineered several invasions of Ireland. They brought Spanish troops to Ireland in the 1590s.  King Philip II of Spain styled himself King of Ireland due to his marriage to our late queen Mary Tudor. They brought French soldiers to Ireland in the 1790s. They wanted French troops to invade in the late 19th century but it never happened. Some ex soldiers from the US came to Ireland to cause a conflict in 1860s. Admittedly not at the behest of Washington. They wanted German soldiers to attack us in 1916 and in 1940. The Kaiser spoke of ”taking the little place” and mused that he would make his youngest son the King of Ireland. In the 1920s some American ex soldiers were there again causing conflict. Some would have bee happy for the Soviets to invade. A few American ex soldiers joined the Irish republican cause in the 70s.  Separatists have engineered invasions and attempted to engineer invasions several times as adumbrated hereinbefore.

The Spanish troops were not wanted in Ireland in the 1580s. They were massacred at Smerwick. That is on the west coast – the most Catholic and Hibernophone region. There were Pontifical troops too. The Pope send his army and navy in 1588 and they were killed by us.

Had France conquered us we would have been a satellite of France. It might have been ana advance. Bear in mid  France was in conflict with the Catholic Church. Napoleon in time would have placed a sibling on our throne. Independence was not on the cards.




A century since the October Revolution.


A hundred years have passed since the Red Guards stormed the Winter Palace. Lenin’s men encountered only a few cadets in the Winter Palace. These cadets would now be regarded as children. This bloodless seizure of the Winter Palace was to found one of the cruelest regimes of modern times.

Lenin used the Kaiser’s money to bring down the first democratic government that Russia ever had. Even the Bolshevik Military Revolutionary Committee voted not to attempt a revolution that that time. Stalin was among those who voted against it. Lenin was no respecter of democracy even within his own political sect.

The October Revolution lead to Russia making peace with Germany. Halting a war is generally a good thing. Russia had to give away huge swathes of territory and pay ruinous reparations to get Germany off her back. Much of this territory was peopled by non Russian people. They might not have liked being part of the Russian Empire. It is questionable whether being part of the German Empire represented an improvement.

Lenin shut down democracy because he lost the election. Soon he founded the Chekha. This secret police force was tasked with arresting dissidents. It went far beyond the intelligence role one would expect in a civil war. Torture was used as standard. Execuctions were carried out by the tens of thousands. There were flimsy trials. People were put to death for trifling offences such as leaving the country illegally. It should be one’s right to emigrate. The Reds committed countless massacres. It is true that the Whites did likewise. Lenin started the civil war so he bears most of the responsibility. He also caused his country to be beaten by Germany.

We now know that Germany collapsed in November 1918. Had Russia not capitulated then the two fronts would have kept up the pressure on the Second Reich. Germany would have been knocked out of the war a few months earlier if Russia had continued the right. It was not obvious that the Allies would win when Lenin signed an armistice with Germany in November 1918.

Lenin’s small band of extremists wreaked heavy violence on an already stricken country. Opposing the Bolsheviks were peasants called the Green Army. There were anarchists – the Black Guard. There were the Whites with factions ranging from reactionaries to socialists. There were nationalists of all non Russian nationalities. Lenin promised them independence if they wanted it. He very soon reneged on his vow as he was to do many times again.

Boleshevism may have started out well intentioned. Very soon it degenerated into gangsterism. These apostles of equality were residing I the palaces of the tsar. They granted themselves rest tours to the most exclusive German spas while most people had no health care. They dined well while millions starved. The Communists set up a very oppressive system. . Lenin personally authorised the deliberate killing of civilians.

The October Revolution is very much to be regretted. Not many people celebrate it in Russia. The Communists brought calamity on their country. They invaded and crushed several sovereign countries. Thee bludgeoned people were ones that had recognised states such as the Ukraine and Azerbaijan – they had diplomatic recognition by other nation states. There is no question of their legal status.

Communism failed almost as soon as it started. Lenin introduced the New Economic Policy, This was in fact the old economic policy- capitalism. Millions of people died in the Volga Famine of the early 1920s. This was partly due to drought but Lenin’s requisitioning of grain from the peasants aggravated matters. Some blame the refusal of capitalist countries t trade with Russia. No one is obliged to trade with anyone else. Besides, if the capitalist countries had trade with Russia then Communists would call to exploitation. So why would Communists wish to do commerce with bourgeois countries?

The Communists established a ruthless system of oppression. People had few if any rights. The country became appollinistic.

The Communist Government attained some admirable goals. Illiteracy was done away with. By the 1980s everyone had a decent standard of living. Healthcare was publicly funded and available to all. Education was free of charge up to PhD level. Admittedly much of it was Marxist indoctrination and academic freedom did not exist. Political prisoners were held until 1991.

Russia finally had multi party elections. People can say what they want to greater extent than before. They are allowed to travel freely. There is no mass state terror. The dream of the February Revolution has been more or less achieved.

Trump’s inauguration speech.


President Trump has delivered his inaugural address. There was eclat to the delivery. There were no new themes. The content was the usual drivel. It was a study in inarticulacy, cliches and a failure to use commas.

Donald J Trump demonstrated yet again his trademark illogicality. He wants to return power to the people and at the same time use his presidential powers to create jobs. If the president is doing that is he not arrogating to the White House prerogatives that are not his?

Mr Trump was decent enough to laud the Obamas for their dignity and patriotism in welcoming him to the White House after the election. They have sought to make the handover of the presidency as hitch-free as possible. When it came to his address Trump proceeded to slate Obama’s record. So much for his partisanship.

Trump said that the United States defended other countries borders. What was he alluding to? Perhaps this refers to NATO – a cornerstone of American defence since 1949. Trump has talked about leaving it. He then walked back this ambition. Was he referring to troops in Iraq? He said he wants to annihilate ISIS. If so he needs troops in ISIS. Trump then said that the United States was not defending its own border which is false. There are illegal immigrants coming in from Mexico. There has been illegal immigration since 1607. This is by no means the most severe problem that the USA is facing. Trump proposes to erect a wall along the border with Mexico. There already are walls there at points that are populated and where many people might cross illegally.

Trump seems to have broken with Republican orthodoxy which was that since 9/11 foreign wars have been necessary. This is why the GOP was very chary about him. Now Trump has changed his tune. There really is no telling with him. He is totally erratic.

In this oration Trump said ”For too long a small group in our nation’s capital enriched itself and the costs were borne by the people. The establishment protected itself”. This takes some nerve to say. Trump is one of the most egregious members of the establishment. He is in that clique. He said himself that he donated generously to politicians to have laws made that favoured the likes of himself. It was part of the disingenuous rhetoric that he pedalled all through the campaign. He constantly spat bile about the supposedly wicked establishment. He was born in New York to millionaire WASP parents. He is as much of an insider as it gets. Trump bilked his workers. He defrauded students at Trump University. He has made himself stinking rich by ripping off ordinary people. He is utterly shameless and has not the slightest regard for veracity.

”Their victories have not been your victories. Their trials have not been your trials. There has been little to celebrate for struggling families all across this land”. This was perhaps the only part of his oration where he told the truth.

Trump went for a soft target. Like many an inadequate politician he chose to castigate teachers. ”An education system flush with cash leaves our young and beautiful students deprived of all knowledge.” Students are not deprived of all knowledge. It was typical of his extremely irresponsible hyperbole. St It is true that there is much wrong with education in the United States. Many schools are not overfunded. In higher education costs are exorbitant. That is due to ostentation. It is about building sports facilities and the like for the sake of vanity. Many people leave third level education with ruinous debts. Excessive profiteering has led to dumbing down as colleges give out higher and higher grades just to keep customers happy. Who has been rooking students? That would be Donald J Trump with his bogus university. Fordham certainly left Trump with no knowledge.

”We are one nation. We share one heart and one home” – that was a sea change from his acridly divisive rhetoric in the campaign. He made

Trump proved he cannot pronounce ”industry.”

”We subsidised the armies of other countries while allowing the very sad depletion of our army.” Would that include Israel? I hope he cuts off all subsidies to the Israeli Defence Force. His Republican Party has pursued these policies of giving military aid to other lands. It suited the weapons industry in the United States. The US military has experienced tiny cuts. The US still spends more on defence than the next 20 countries combined most of whom are allies. The notion that the US defence capability is too feeble is a toxic myth. WHat he said will be music to the ears of the arms industry. They will be pleading for him to ask Congress to expand the military. This will mean more taxation or more likely a larger deficit.

Trump chanted ”America first”. This vacuous slogan signal nativism, exceptionalism and ultra nationalism. ”Buy American and hire American” as he said later. He accused foreigners of ”stealing our companies.” Stealing means buying. He owns companies abroad. Is that stealing?

”I will never, ever let you down.” When he does these words will come back to haunt him.

”It is the right of all nations to put their own interests first”. That applies to Palestinians too.

Trump said he would eradicate Islamic terrorism. He must be reminded that some of his allies arm, fund and provide intelligence to such people.

It was hilarious that he was false enough to cite the Bible.

Trump called for solidarity and unity. He had denounced swathes of Americans as haters. He has spewed hatred even at fellow Republicans.

”Think big and dream even bigger.” He does not think but he is certainly a dreamer.

”All talk and no action” is what he abominates. He may turn out like that as many of his goals are impractical. What he plans to do may well backfire. Even if he could cancel NAFTA it would probably harm the USA.

”We stand at the birth of a new millennium”. Er that began 17 years ago. He wants to heal disease. If that were so he would support more funding for medical research and he would want to give free healthcare to all citizens of the United States.

”You will never be ignored again”. He certainly wishes to ignore the poor and his political opponents. Most Americans disapprove of him. He is starting off already reviled.

Trump took a swipe at the wealthy for exporting jobs. It shows chutzpah for a billionaire to denounce the affluent. He is a Washington insider. He did not stand for elected office before but he was well connected to many politicians. He was a Democrat and a Clinton donor in 2009! Moreover, he is as Wall Street as anyone. He suffers selective amnesia. He can tell the most bare faced lies. Does his company not hire workers from abroad? He also has things manufactured abroad because it is cheaper and he has offshore bank accounts. He is grossly hypocritical. It is always do as I say not as I do. Furthermore, his wife worked illegally as a nude model. Yet more flagrant hypocrisy from him.

The new president mentioned the middle class. Of course he did not mention the working class. They do not exist. Or do they not count?

The 45th president stated that he would make the United States more respected in the world. The US recovered its image very considerably under Obama. What does Trump intend to do in order to improve America’s image? He seems to be against the George W Bush way of doing things. Trump said that he opposed the liberation of Iraq and Afghanistan – although that is a lie. Will he be more isolationist? Or will he be more interventionist? He accused Obama of not doing enough to wipe out ISIS. That would be getting the USA back into the Iraqi quagmire. It appears that Trump neither knows or care. He can perform policy U turns every day. It is no longer a business he is running. He is not on reality TV anymore. He is running the mightiest country in the world. This is beyond a joke.

The president heaped praise on the armed forces. This is one of the usual pieties. It is nauseating to see to what degree some people are adulated for doing what they are paid to do. Many of the military are stupid and bigoted. This self-congratulation and flag waving sticks in the craw. There will be yet more childish chauvinism in this presidential term. Trump seldom appears without an American Flag badge on his lapel.

It was sick making to hear Trump say that the country was under the protection of God. God plainly does not love the USA that much. Otherwise he would do a better job of protecting it. D J Trump did not claim to be religious until very lately. He reasoned that it would stand him a better chance of being elected. Some Christian wingnuts were naive to fall for this transparent charade.

Trump said that the slaughter of Americans stops no. Carnage was the word he used. The next time there is a high school shooting or a bomb goes off he will have been proven wrong. He has thrown out promises like confetti. These are pledges he cannot possibly keep. The deglutition of these insincere promises by the gullible is very disconcerting. President Trump is going to prevent this carnage. At the same time the Donald is opposed to any gun control. If he wished to save his people from being killed he should look at the 33 000 gun deaths per year.

Prepare for endless hubris from Trump. He is very thin skinned. It is worrying to have someone so touchy with his finger on the nuclear trigger. He is very easy to provoke. A country can easily launch a false flag operation: insult Trump and make it appear that this comes from another source.

Trump will tell endless barefaced lies. He will perform a policy volte face everyy week. His supporters will be bitterly disappointed if NAFTA is not cancelled. If tariffs are not imposed on the whole world. Even if that happened it would not bring back many jobs and might make the situation much worse. The Republican Congress is not as deranged and inconsistent as Trump is.

Trump changes his mind every few days. No one is totally consistent. Consistency can be over rated. However, Trump is completely inconsistent. Because he expresses so many contradictory opinions he occasionally makes sense.


Mr Trump ended with his vapid slogan ”Make America Great Again.” When was the USA greater? Was it when unemployment was higher? Was it when 20 000 000 people did not have health insurance but now do? Was it when the United States had tens of thousands of troops in Iraq? Was it when America’s popularity was at an all time low? Was it when crime was higher? Was it when people could be sent to prison in several states for possessing a speck of a plant?

Forecasting Trump’s policies is very foolish. It is so hard to predict. He was going to prevent all Muslims coming to the United States. Then that was scrapped. He would deport all illegals. Then it was only criminals. He wanted to abolish Affordable Healthcare. Now he wishes to retain parts of it. He is totally short termist.

His term of office could well be mired in law suits. His victims of sexual assault will take action against him. He could be blackmailed with sex tapes. If he upsets another government they can play a tape of him boasting that he commits sex crimes. This pervert is a disgrace.  Hopefully he will be impeached. Mike Pence or even Paul Ryan are little better. They at least believe what they say and are consistent.

Watch out – if the United States cuts off military aid to the Ukraine then the Ukrainian military could quickly collapse. Russia may yet annex half of the Ukraine. Where then? European NATO countries would be chary about facing down Russia without American backing. Admittedly this is partially the fault of European NATO countries almost all of whom spend less than 2% of their GDP on defence.




Lady Margaret Bryan


LADY Margaret Bryan – Governess to Queen Elizabeth I.

Lady Margaret Bryan was born in England. Her year of birth was approximately 1468. She came from an aristocratic family. Her brother was Lord Bourchier. She married Sir Thomas Bryan.
When Lord Bourchier died without sons his sister inherited his estates and moveables. This made her a woman of very considerable means.
Lady Bryan’s husband died when she was in her 40s. As a widow she was able to devoted more of her time to the king’s service.
Lady Margaret was the half-sister of Anne Boleyn’s mother.

Henry VIII had a son with his mistress Bessie Blount. This boy was name Henry FitzRoy. Fitz indicated his unwed birth. Roy is derived from ‘roi’ the French for king. Although no one contemplated Henry FitzRoy inheriting the Crown he was still a notable person. Lady Margaret was his governess when he was little.
From 1525 Lady Bryan was governess to Mary Tudor: the eldest daughter of Henry VIII. Lady Margaret was made a baroness as a reward. She did a superb job and the king was deeply satisfied with her. She was highly capable and managed to curry favour with the right people.
In 1533 Henry VIII declared that Mary Tudor was born outside of wedlock. His marriage to Catherine of Aragon was annulled. Mary Tudor was enraged. Her father told her to ”lay aside the name and dignity of princess.”
She refused to accept this and insisted that she was the king’s lawful daughter and heir. Lady Margaret had to manage the teenagers moods and fury. Mary Tudor felt rejected and humiliated. She bore herself with a dignity and defiance than inspired admiration even in her enemies.

At the age of 65 she became lady mistress to the baby Elizabeth. In those times the word ‘mistress’ denoted a woman with authority and not a paramour.
When Elizabeth was three months old she was taken away from her mother. Anne Boleyn had breastfed her baby for the first few weeks and was keen to continue. Henry VIII would not hear of this breach of protocol. The child was put into the care of a wet nurse. The woman really in charge was Lady Bryan. She was not the matronly battleaxe that some might fear. Elizabeth was taken to another royal residence in December 1533. Elizabeth spent most of her time at Hatfield House in Hertfordshire.
Anne Boleyn wrote to Lady Bryan very frequently with precise instructions for the child’s upbringing. Lady Bryan carried out her duties sedulously. Anne Boleyn sent her daughter the finest of clothes. The baby was dressed as a tiny adult. This was the way at the time. They made no allowances for children’s need to move more. About 40 pounds a month was spent on garments for Elizabeth. This approximates to 13 000 pounds today! Anne Boleyn seemed to be impelled to confirm her daughter’s legitimacy by making sure always appeared as regal as possible.

When Elizabeth was sent to live at Hatfield House this was also the residence of her half-sibling with Mary Tudor. The 17 year old Mary Tudor naturally resented her baby half-sister. Elizabeth had briefly replaced Mary Tudor in their father’s affections. Elizabeth’s mother Anne Boleyn had brought huge anguish to Mary Tudor and her mother Catherine of Aragon. Although Elizabeth spent most of the time at Hatfield House they sometimes moved to Greenwich Palace. Greenwich is now considered part of London. In those days it was a small port several miles from London.
Around this time Lady Bryan married for a second time. She wed David Soche. She was well past childbearing age so there was no chance that she was going to have a baby of her own to distract her from her job.
Anne Boleyn’s voluminous instructions also laid stess on the need to degrade Mary Tudor. Anne Boleyn emphasised that Mary Tudor was a bastard and had no right to inherit the Crown nor any right to style herself princess. Anne Boleyn’s volatile temperament was notorious. It would be foolish to provoke her. Lady Bryan had to walk a tightrope. She had to keep her mistress Anne Boleyn content because she was the queen. On the other hand it felt deeply wrong to insult Mary Tudor. It was plain that public sympathy was very much on Mary Tudor’s side. Too much aggravation in the family would make for a poisonous atmosphere.
Anne Boleyn’s spitefulness and pettiness did her no credit. She had enough enemies to begin with. She boasted how she would have Mary Tudor serving her as a maid. Her vindictiveness merely earned her more enmity. Anne Boleyn’s outbursts of furious shrieking made her deeply unpopular. Perhaps Lady Bryan was canny enough to see that Anne Boleyn’s haughtiness and mean spiritedness was setting her up for a dramatic fall. That was why it would have been unwise for Lady Bryan to carry out her order to humiliate Mary Tudor with too much zeal.
Lady Bryan’s son was Sir Francis Bryan. He spent much time at court. He knew a youngish woman from an aristocratic Wiltshire family named Jane Seymour. It was possibly due to Sir Francis that Jane Seymour came to the attention of Henry VIII. Henry VIII was infatuated with Jane Seymour. There is little doubt that Sir Francis Bryan kept his mother Lady Margaret Bryan informed of developments. The more the king fell for Jane Seymour’s feminine wiles the weaker Anne Boleyn’s situation became. That was why it would not do to be too closely associated with Anne Boleyn and her cruel treatment of Mary Tudor. Jane Seymour was canny enough to coquette with Henry VIII but she would not yield to her maidenhood. She parried his amorous advances with protestations of maidenly virtue.
Lady Bryan was also a regular correspondent of Lord Chancellor Thomas Cromwell. The lord chancellor was the king’s most important minister. Thomas Cromwell was no friend of the Boleyn family. Lady Bryan may well have been in the know about Anne Boleyn’s coming fall from grace.
Lady Bryan believed in expediency. She encouraged Mary Tudor to be kind to her half-sister. It was not the child’s fault. She tried to persuade Mary Tudor to accept her new diminished status. Mary Tudor was stubborn and held out for a long time. She eventually gave in and appeared to agree that she was downgraded. Her submissiveness caused her father to look more generously on her.
Lady Bryan had to supervise Elizabeth been weaned and put ont dry food. She of course received many very detailed orders from Anne Boleyn about how to do this. Lady Bryan had brought up her own children, grandchildren and royal children. She had vastly more experienced that Anne Boleyn.
When Elizabeth was two years and eight months old disaster struck. Her mother was accused of adultery and witchcraft. For a queen consort to commit adultery was high treason. It was also high treason for a man to have carnal knowledge of a woman of the royal family outside of marriage. The charges were very likely false. Nevertheless, three men were tortured into confessing to committing adultery with Anne Boleyn. The whole affair was probably cooked up by the scheming lord chancellor: Thomas Cromwell. He was a foe of the Boleyn family. Anne Boleyn and her supposed paramours were all put to death. At a stroke he removed Anne Boleyn, George Boleyn and Henry Norris who was Cromwell’s main political rival. There was also a musician called Mark Smeaton with whom Anne Boleyn had probably no more than flirted.
Elizabeth was suddenly downgraded to an illegitimate child. Her mother was declared to be an adultress and a sorceress. Her marriage to Henry VIII was annulled. Some of the Boleyn’s foes people suggested that Elizabeth bore a striking resemblance to her mother’s putative lover Mark Smeaton. In fact that is nonsense. Every unbiased observer noted that the similiarity between Elizabeth and Henry VIII was unmistakable.
This could all be a traumatising experience for a child. Fortunately, Elizabeth was so tiny that she can scarcely have been conscious of the gravity of the situation. She had seldom seen her mother anyway. It was very common for children to be orphaned then because life expectancy was so low. Many women died in childbirth. Therefore Elizabeth may not have been as severely psychologically damaged as we might imagine.
Anne Boleyn had gone to her death with fortitude and protesting her innocence with her very last breath. On the scaffold far from fulminate against her hypocritical, adulterous, vain and murderous husband she had praised him as the kindest king ever! No doubt Anne realised that she had better say something flattering about the man who had ordered her death. Otherwise her daughter Elizabeth would suffer.
As soon as her mother was killed Elizabeth was moved to smaller and less comfortable rooms. She was no longer a princess but a lady. Her clothing allowance was immediately stopped. Within a few weeks Lady Bryan was writing to Lord Chancellor Cromwell insisting that more clothes be sent for Lady Elizabeth. ”I beg you to be good to her and hers that she may have raiment.” The letter went on, ” for she has neither gown, nor kirtle nor petticoat. ”

In fact Lady Elizabeth had received a huge consignment of clothes just before her mother was accused of adultery. It is probable that Lady Bryan was overstating her ward’s lack of raiment to ensure that her complaint was taken seriously.

Shortly after Anne Boleyn’s execution. Lady Bryan approached the king with Elizabeth in her arms and asked if he wished to see his daughter. They king scoffed angrily and doubted that the child was his.
Lady Bryan took Elizabeth to Hatfield. She did her level best to shield the child from the horror that had unfolded. Some of those who had previously harboured a quiet loyalty for Mary Tudor were now only too glad to show their scorn for Elizabeth. As Anne Boleyn had been executed Mary Tudor was back in the king’s good graces. Mary Tudor’s mother had died of natural causes a few months earlier which only gained her even more sympathy.
Lady Bryan described Elizabeth as a ”succourless and redeless creature”. (Succour is help). Lady Bryan had been used to receiving very detailed instructions from Anne Boleyn. With Anne Boleyn dead Lady Bryan had a great deal more autonomy. She did not find this entirely to her liking.
Lady Bryan did not know Elizabeth’s exact status. She wrote indignantly to Thomas Cromwell asking for clarification, ” Now Lady Elizabeth is put from that degree she was in to what degree she is in now I know not but by hearsay ”
Sir John Shelton was in charge of Hatfield House. He insisted that Lady Elizabeth dine at the high table as though her status had not been lowered. Lady Bryan had received instructions that Elizabeth had to dine on a less exalted table. She complained that Shelton was disobeying these orders. ”Mr Shelton would have my Lady Elizabeth dine every evening at board of estate. It is not meet [appropriate] for a child of this age.” The real objection was not her age but her illegitimate status. Lady Bryan paid close attention to rank. The order of precedence was everything at court. It was only by being pedantic about such things that she gained favour at court.
Mr was such a high title that it was acceptable to call a knight ‘mister’. Ordinary men did not have the dignity of being called ‘mister.’ Lady Bryan found it very difficult to get along with Shelton. This appears to have been his fault and not hers.

Lady Bryan saw fit to bother the most important man in government with news of Elizabeth’s teeth. ”My lady has great pain in her teeth which come very slowly.” She showed her motherly concern with this sentence.
Lady Margaret Bryan commented on Elizabeth’s development saying she was ”as toward a child of gentle conditions as ever I knew in my life.” ‘Toward’ in those days meant advanced. She expressed a hope that Elizabeth be allowed to be seen on public occasions. The king was at that stage minded to hide Elizabeth as a reminder of the shameful Anne Boleyn.
Thomas Cromwell had much bigger fish to fry. However, Lady Bryan was so formidable that he felt compelled to answer her and take her complaints seriously.
One historian, Agnes Strickland, summarised it as:
”Much of the future greatness of Elizabeth may reasonably be attributed to the judicious training of her sensible and conscientious her governess.”
Eleven days after Anne Boleyn’s decapitation Henry VIII was feeling in the romantic mood! He wed Jane Seymour.
In 1537 Jane Seymour was delivered of a bonny baby boy: Edward VI. Almighty God chose to call the queen to his mercy. She died 12 days after giving birth.
Lady Bryan was made governess of the infant Edward VI. This was a step up because boys were considered much more valuable than girls. Furthermore, Edward VI was undoubtly legitimate whereas in 1536 Elizabeth was declared to have been born to an unwed mother.The infant Edward VI came to live with his sisters. Lady Bryan was in charge of all three of the king’s offspring. Although she clearly had a soft spot for the girls it was made very clear to her that her main responsibility was Edward. He was far more important to the king than both his daughters put together.

Lady Bryan took satisfaction in Edward VI’s luxurious lifestyle, ”His grace was full of pretty toys as ever I saw a child in my life”, wrote Lady Bryan to Thomas Cromwell. By ‘full’ she means he had plenty of them.
When Edward VI was two years old Lady Margaret wrote to Cromwell reporting on the prince’s every little achievement. There is no mistaking the grandmotherly delight in this missive,”The minstrels played and his grace danced and played so wantonly as he could not sit still.”
Lady Margaret still gave Elizabeth presents many of them made by her own hand.

In 1537 the Sheltons were removed from Hatfield. It was relief for Lady Margaret Bryan who has always found Sir John Shelton hard to get on with. It was also a vindication of her. She was superb at her job and he was not. It was a rare victory for a woman over a man.
Lady Bryan taught Mary Tudor and Elizabeth to be good to their brother. They could so easily have resented him for replacing them in their fathers affections. However, they doted on the child.
After a few years Edward VI was moved away to a grander household. Lady Bryan moved with him. He was her sole charge. Elizabeth and Mary Tudor then lived apart. Mary Tudor was well into her 20s and did not need a governess any longer.
Lady Bryan began education with these children. They learnt the rudiments from her. Later on their education was provided by erudite men. It was their general development that was her field.

It appears that she retired in 1452. Her pension was 20 pounds per annum which was handsome indeed.
Lady Bryan served Edward VI so long as her health allowed. She died in about 1552.
Lady Bryan brought up three monarchs. By all accounts she was brilliant at her job. She was a disciplinarian who was also warm and reasonable. Her responsibilities were very serious indeed. She also had to navigate Tudor politics. Her wards were highly educated, worldly and courtly.
The three monarchs all turned out to be fairly successful in their way. Mary Tudor succeeded in restoring Catholicism though at the cost of her popularity. For Mary Tudor is was Catholicism that mattered so this was a price worth paying.