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A message from Oliver Cromwell directed at the sleazy politicians of today

Picture 4 We recently sought your suggestions of the best parliamentary oratory of the last 100 years, so the following entry would be disqualified on the grounds that it happened a full 356 years ago.

However, Oliver Cromwell's famous speech to the House of Commons on April 20th 1653, when he dismissed the Rump Parliament, has more than a little contemporary resonance.

Read his words below; it's almost as if they are based on what he's been reading in recent editions of the Sunday tabloids.

"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 barter'd 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 defil'd this sacred place, and turn'd 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 redress'd, are yourselves gone! So! Take away that shining bauble there, and lock up the doors. In the name of God, go!"

If only there were a YouTube clip of the speech...

Jonathan Isaby


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