Monday, November 09, 2020

Today -100: November 9, 1920: You are hiding the republic behind the body of a dead soldier

The Supreme Court rules that liquor for personal use may legally be stored in a warehouse and transported. However some states, such as Illinois, have their own laws against this.

In Parliament, Prime Minister David Lloyd George calls the shooting dead of a pregnant woman holding a baby by police in Keltaran, County Galway, “one of those unfortunate accidents that always happen in war.” Queried about the war thing, he says “It is war on the other side. It is rebellion.”

The laughable Irish Home Rule Bill is working its way through Parliament, with the government adding provisions that if half the members of the two devolved parliaments (North and South) aren’t properly elected or fail to show up the bodies can be dissolved and their powers given to a committee named by the Lord Lieutenant. Both parliaments can set up an upper house (or not, it sounds like). The usual oath to the Crown has been dropped.

The French government decides that the unknown soldier to be buried on Armistice Day will go under the Arc de Triomphe rather than the Pantheon. At the same time the heart of long-dead prime minister Léon Gambetta will go the Pantheon. In the National Assembly, socialist Alexandre Bracke-Desrousseaux objects to the funding for the unknown soldier: “You are hiding the republic behind the body of a dead soldier.” Worst. Game of Hide and Seek. Ever. His complaint is that the anti-republican Right forced this amalgamation of Armistice Day with the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Third Republic, which should have been celebrated in September.

D.H. Lawrence’s Women in Love, that novel about Alan Bates and Oliver Reed wrestling nekked, is published in New York but not London because its predecessor The Rainbow is still banned in Britain. I don’t seem to have underlined any passages in my copy (also, I can’t believe I was ever able to read such tiny print; jesus, Penguin).

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