Mandate to Rule; a series of “election specials”
Theresa May has called a snap election in search of a mandate for… well, whatever it is she wants a mandate for (she may yet let us know among the Lynton Crosby-inspired parroted soundbites), so we at Footprints of London towers thought we would call our own “snap theme week” with a series of walks with a political bent in the week leading up to the big day.
Our lords and masters seeking our opinion on which of them and precisely how they should rule is, of course, a relative newcomer in historical terms; it is, after all, less than 100 years since the first election with a genuinely representative franchise.
So while we will cover some significant names and events from this more recent period, we will also look back to the years prior to that to explore how political power has been grabbed, stolen, fought over, violently attacked, entrenched and generally abused in the years before “fair” elections.
To join us on any of the walks click any of the links below, or look out for the Mandate to Rule logo on our June walks list.
A little taster of what you can expect:
Amber kicks us off with two walks on Friday June 2nd. First up in the morning is Winston Churchill – The British Bulldog, a personal portrait of arguably our greatest ever Prime Minister which explores his successes, struggles, family life and, of course, his enduring legacy.
Amber returns later the same day with Gunpowder Treason and Plot which not only recounts the detail of the infamous attempt to blow up Parliament, but is also a fun and informative walk through other memorable political events of the 17th and 18th centuries.
Jack picks up the baton on the morning of Saturday 3rd June with Strong and Stable Leadership? Westminster and the Civil War which explores the 1642 estrangement of King and Parliament that led inexorably to war, a republic, a restoration and a different style of monarchy.
Mark is next up on the afternoon of Saturday 3rd June with Tracing the Tudors: The King’s Brexit which tracks down the London locations that tell the stories of Henry VIII’s own version of Brexit and the consequences for the characters who found themselves on the wrong side of his whims as we split from the Roman church.
Jack is back on the afternoon of Sun 4th June with The Battle That Won the War: Churchill versus the Cabinet, another look at the great man’s enduring legacy but this time from the very specific perspective of the crucial internal battle he fought with his own cabinet to stamp his much-needed authority on our war strategy.
On Monday 5th June, Jen enters the fray with The Stuarts: from Divine Right to Constitutional Monarchy which recounts the story of the Stuarts’ turbulent journey through conspiracy, civil war, execution, abdication and revolution and the struggles between King and Parliament over who should have the mandate to rule.
Dave is next up on the afternoon of Tuesday June 6th with The Seat of Power, the story of how Westminster, the cradle of one of the world’s great democracies, was the creation of generations of monarchs and evolved out of kings and regicides, democracy and terrorism.
On the evening of Tues June 6th Robin heads for The City with “For parliament or the king?”: Civil War Connections around St Paul’s and Cheapside” to explore how The City of London was involved in this key period of political history and the impact of the Civil Wars on the parliamentarian, royalist and ordinary citizens of London.
Amber is back on Weds Jun 7th with Marmite Maggie. Margaret Thatcher probably polarised opinion more than any other politician in recent history. Love her? Hate her? Amber’s walk looks at the person behind the politics, plotting key moments in her life and how she changed the course of history. For better or worse.
And we arrive at polling day itself!
On the morning of Thurs June 8th Dave presents The Price of Conscience, an exploration of the connections in The City of London connected with Henry VIII’s establishment as Supreme Head of the English church and the price paid by those who chose not to have their conscience suppressed.
Mark brings our mini-series to a close on June 8th with Pomp and Power: Election night special!, a light-hearted early evening jaunt around Whitehall to catch the buzz on election night sprinkled with fun stories such as the dodgy double-dealer after whom the world’s most famous political street is named and the man who won three by-elections from prison, only to have the result overturned each time by the irate King who had put him there.
Hopefully a bit of something for everyone!
So you never know, no matter how tired you are of the current political classes, once you hear of some of the privations our predecessors had to endure, you may yet conclude that you have in fact “never had it so good”!
We look forward to seeing you on the walks.