It’s November the 5th, and so it’s time, of course, to celebrate the failure of the Gunpowder Plot, the cunning plan to murder the King, the government and the parliament, 400 years ago today. I’ve always thought the November timing to be a bit convenient for an event involving warm fires and pretty explosions. What would we do if the Opening of Parliament was in, say, June? You can’t have a nice big effigy-burning in June – that would be silly, and everyone would overheat. You’d have to stay up damn late to see the fireworks, too.*
Just remember, though, if you’re at a bonfire or if you’re watching the fireworks, to make sure you don’t make any jokes along the lines of “we could do with fewer politicians anyway,” or “shame they didn’t finish the job properly.” That would be glorifying terrorism – you can probably get away with saying it now, but this time next year comments like that will be strictly illegal and liable to land you with a lengthy prison sentence. Instead, the Symbolic Forest management would like to suggest the following alternative, appropriate Government-approved phrases for use at fireworks displays:
“God save the politicians!”
“Hurrah for torture-extracted confessions!”
“Look at that nasty terrorist burrrrrn!”
The legality of using the phrase “Wooo!” when a rocket explodes is, at present, unclear.
* Yes, I know that both the French and Americans manage to have firework celebrations in July. It gets darker earlier in France and America, though. So there.