Palace of Westminster burnt to the ground today!

The 1834 fire gutted the Palace of Westminster from which the present building was reborn

The 1834 fire gutted the Palace of Westminster from which the present building was reborn

Well it did 175 years ago today. This must be what many British voters wish would happen again this year based on the present situation and standing of the political class. Guido Fawkes may think the main Parliamentary event was in 1605, but actually it was in 1834.

One of the key lessons that politicians must learn from the present crisis of confidence, that surrounds politics, is that things, institutions and reputations can be rebuilt through hard work, integrity and transparency.

Parliament was rebuilt over the 25 years, or so, after the 1834 fire into the marvellous edifice we see today. 

But, Parliament is only as good as the people we have in it and we must strive, particularly as Liberal Democrats, to elect the highest calibre of MP that we can.

One other event that perhaps acts as a salutary reminder to everyone in the full glare of the media at the moment is that also on this day in 1793, at the height of the French Revolution, Queen Marie Antoinette was guillotined.

At least in Westminster only the debates are guillotined

Marie Antoinette was guillotined in Paris on October 16th 1793 - at least in Westminster only the debates are guillotined - not the politicians!

In Westminster, at least, that only happens to debates, not the politicians!

More can be found about events that happened on this day in history, including the executions of the main figures convicted at Nuremburg in 1946 and the start of the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962, here:

Leave a comment


  1. JBK

     /  October 16, 2009

    Oh. I don’t know. We have a possible Marie Antoinette in our local parliamentary conservative hopefu. Amber Rudd – who I have renamed and restyles IVAamber “Watercooler” Tramp. after Ivana Trump. A complete airhead. works in recruitment and PR – say no more. Her local newspaper contribution this week is of her shopping trip among the local natives. Marie has visited the peasants and is pleased to know that they are allowed to eat cake. Mwuah. Mwuah. Kiss Kiss. Can’t wait to be on the terraces overlooking the Thames. Beheading is too good for them. No debate. Just Twitterings

  1. ‘Lives, damned lives and statistics’ on my blog in November – it all went a bit silly really… « Alter Ego…

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