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Cromwell Dissolves Parliament

The Original:

Oliver Cromwell MP’s speech on the dissolution of the Rump of the Long Parliament, given to the House of Commons, 20 April 1653.

It is high time for me to put an end to your sitting in this place, which you have dishonoured by your contempt of all virtue, and defiled by your practice of every vice; ye are a factious crew, and enemies to all good government; ye are a pack of mercenary wretches, and would like Esau sell your country for a mess of pottage, and like Judas betray your God for a few pieces of money.

Is there a single virtue now remaining amongst you? Is there one vice you do not possess? Ye have no more religion than my horse; gold is your God; which of you have not barter’d your conscience for bribes? Is there a man amongst you that has the least care for the good of the Commonwealth?

Ye sordid prostitutes have you not defil’d this sacred place, and turn’d the Lord’s temple into a den of thieves, by your immoral principles and wicked practices? Ye are grown intolerably odious to the whole nation; you were deputed here by the people to get grievances redress’d, are yourselves gone! So! Take away that shining bauble there, and lock up the doors. In the name of God, go!

Movie version:

My lords, honourable members, I have always desired, above my life, a free Parliament … …sitting by the authority of the good people of this nation. A Parliament open and visible, to be seen by all men.

It is six years since I handed over to you this great responsibility… …in the hope that you would make good and wholesome laws… …which the people of this nation expected of you. I must confess to some abatement of my hopes… …for what has happened in my absence.

Instead of uniting the good people of this nation… …with righteousness and peace… …which would have been a glorious and Christian thing to have done… …what do I find? Anarchy, corruption… …division and dissatisfaction.

I say that the enemies of this nation… …have flourished under your protection.

You were from the beginning a provisional government… …not truly representative of the people.

For have the people elected you? Has this House gone once to the people it purports to represent?

No, it has not! And after six years of misgovernment, what do we find?

Sir Thomas Fairfax moves a bill to give this House a further lease… …of its worthless and dishonourable life!

Gentlemen, an immovable Parliament is more obnoxious… …than an immovable king!

You are drunkards, tricksters, villains, whoremasters… …godless, self-seeking, ambitious tricksters. You are no more capable of conducting the nation’s affairs… …than you are of running a brothel!

You are scum, sir. And not truly elected scum at that.

This is no Parliament.

I shall put an end to it.

I hereby declare this Parliament dissolved!

– Colonel Harrison!

– Yes, sir.

Troops forward!

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • ghostsniper March 20, 2021, 6:05 PM

    Is that the birthday cake in the rain dood?
    A man called horse?

  • Kevin in PA March 20, 2021, 6:11 PM

    Viewing the news of worldwide anti-lockdown protests this weekend, it seems the West has come full circle and returned to a state of despotism.
    “drunkards, tricksters, villains, whoremasters… …godless, self-seeking, ambitious tricksters. You are no more capable of conducting the nation’s affairs…”. What an apt description of the average U.S. Congresscritter.
    Actually, I expect that most members of congress might be well versed in running a brothel.

  • Nori March 20, 2021, 10:16 PM

    Irishman Richard Harris is indeed the man who left his cake out in the rain.
    And it took so long to bake it! And I’ll never have that recipe again!
    Quite good athlete,singer,and actor.
    This piece from Cromwell is from the era of British historical dramas,along with A Man For All Seasons. Cinema gold.
    Interestingly relevant today.

  • David March 20, 2021, 11:40 PM

    Could be talking about the liberal govt of Canada at the moment. First elected six years ago, with the latest election resulting in a minority govt backed by the ndp and block quebecois. A truly useless govt it has not presented a budget for two years and there seems no fear of that in the foreseeable future. As it is in the USA, the china flu is a tremendous boon to the liberals as it takes the focus off more important issues i.e. the complete bankruptcy of the treasury. This govt resembles nothing more than a bunch of high school sophomores each with her pet issue. Canada will be hard pressed to survive this

  • Casey Klahn March 20, 2021, 11:42 PM

    Our current level of corruption will be a scar on history. We live in interesting times.

  • gwbnyc March 21, 2021, 12:59 AM

    “You have sat too long for any good you have been doing lately… Depart, I say; and let us have done with you. In the name of God, go!”

  • Boat Guy March 21, 2021, 3:13 AM

    The fence with the concertina wire in the district was erected in anticipation of Oliver’s arrival/ return. The righteous wrath of the people ( the ones outside not the agents provocateur within) scared them badly – as it should have. Yet they, like that parliament, carry on, whoring; failing to learn the lesson in a less painful (for everybody) way.

  • Terry March 21, 2021, 11:11 AM

    I would muse, there are a large number of very smart patri*ts thinking very dangerous thoughts in regards to the snakes hiding behind the Concertina “wall” that is now Washington D.C.

  • Christopher L Hunt March 21, 2021, 6:03 PM

    Good Lord, I miss Richard Harris. If only this scenario would be re-enacted today.

  • Nori March 21, 2021, 10:04 PM

    Is there a single virtue now remaining amongst you? Is there one vice you do not possess?
    Which of you have not bartered your conscience for bribes?

    Asking our Ruling Trash…