Sunday, September 16, 2007

Off to the Tower

In Robert Bolt's "A Man for All Seasons", the Earl of Norfolk, Earl Marshal of England was sent to collect the Chancellor's chain of office from Cardinal Wolsey, who was dying in Leicester Abbey. Norfolk said "Thank God you're dying here. The King would have sent you to the Tower!"

The Tower is where Lords, other members of the nobility, knights, princes and princesses and even Kings were jailed. This leads us to an ancient tradition where these people are held in comfy detention. In some cases they have their whole household with them.

In 1995, I went on a special tour of the Tower of London. I got to see where the nobles were detained, their heads chopped off, where funeral services were held and where their remains lay. Of course the main tourist drawers then as now were the two ravens (legend says that they guarantee that the monarchy survives) and the beefeaters (who until 2007 were all ex-servicemen of reputation. Now London has a servicewoman beefeater). BTW beefeater souvenir dolls are a popular sell in the tower shops. I saw one Japanese tourist buy the biggest beefeater teddy bear of all.

Only when the King's wrath is so great will these privileges be removed such as in the case of Thomas More, where his precious books were taken from him and he was sent down to a damp cell from rather decent apartments .

In the Philippines we have this talk of whether convicted ex-President Joseph "Erap" Estrada should be remanded to National Penitentiary (where the common criminals are) or to a house arrest.

There is talk that he should be given consideration as an ex-president of the Republic and be confined to his house. This seems to be in line with the ancient tradition that jailed kings be given comfy quarters.

Too bad we don't have a Tower of Manila. Why? Because it is only now that one of the ruling class of this country has been jailed.

Of course this isn't the 15oos anymore. We don't send people to the block anymore. Even on the block, the nobles get some consideration. They are usually just decapitated and not quartered like traitor commoners.

Should Mr Estrada be given comfy quarters and even a pardon?

Well all of these really depends on the wrath of the reigning Queen, who is our sovereign Lady and like Henry VIII's daughter has the right to be called Gloriana, Queen of the State of the Nation Address. Her Majesty has crushed all her enemies!

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