Monday, February 14, 2011

Today -100: February 14, 1911: Of German troubles, and lords


Headline of the Day -100: “German Troubles in Africa.” Evidently there is “the possibility of a renewal of native troubles” in the German colony of South West Africa (Namibia). Poor Germans, always being put to the “trouble” of massacring Herero tribespeople (often described as the first genocide of the twentieth century, 1904-7).

The US issues a warrant for the arrest of Francisco Madero, leader of the Mexican Revolution, for, you know, revolutionary stuff. They think he’s in El Paso.

In Britain, PM Asquith will next week introduce a bill to reduce the current power of the House of Lords to vote down legislation to a mere delaying one (two years) (except for “money bills” relating to taxes, budgets, etc, where they would have no power to reject or amend). Of course since the Veto Bill hasn’t been passed yet, the Tory-dominated House of Lords still has the power to veto the Veto Bill. So Asquith is employing some not-so-subtle blackmail: if they reject it, he will have the king name as many new peers as it takes to change the vote, which would make the lords have to share the red benches with such riffraff as Thomas Hardy, Gilbert Murray, James Barrie and Bertrand Russell (who were on Asquith’s secret list of 249 possible Lord Whositses).

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