A meeting of heads and a call for rendezvous.
In numbers of mass, the Clubmen of Dorset, Wilts and Hampshire saw a need to form across County a mutual association.
A strike on one was a strike on the generality. Where to gather and speak of their grievances was not in question, fear of legality of their actions by the local governance which they were very much a part of, was not an issue, and far from thought.
The illegality to gather was only used later by Parliament for making their actions a mark as traitors.
A fear of their strength by King and Parliament was agreed.
When Thomas Young that great orator from Badbury read out the Clubmen's Desires and Resolutions to 4000 gathered before him in 1645, their was no scupperer from a branch of local governance or ownership requiring a permission to gather. No committee of spoilers and appropriate paperwork being in tow with added expense.
Our 21st century Thomas Young's ancient rights and liberties are now wrapped in a greyish merge of public and private bureaucracy. His freedoms not lost under the arbitrary power of the sword but by a more distant at arms length subtle form of management, with requirements needed of one's intentions now not from state but in his own backyard.
Councils and their connection with developers and corporations is of local as of state.
Our public so called spaces have become a part private part public merge across the land.
The process of being managed is a cry The Clubmen of 1645 knew well and rallied against.
A state in turmoil and a top down force of the state enforcing their agenda upon the people and a fight between King and Parliament and not the people was where The Clubmen found themselves.
What strikes a difference to our present Thomas Young was their make up of an in and across Counties form of organisation.
A representation from the County of across all creeds, by association not union. You don't join, your in it, like it or not. They had little quarrel with local governance, they were part of local governance. Inclusive and not of the exclusive. A space to air grievances from their County base and locality was a norm.
The garrisoned troops and passing through by soldiers from both sides forced a coming together for a mutal defence. Top down imposed requirements as to the quartering of troops was agreed but on their terms and under their commands, this of course was seen and described by both sides in the Civil War as a threat and not encouraged or allowed.
Fairfax himself describes his concerns on the Clubmen of Wiltshire. They had succeeded in getting opposing garrisons near Salisbury to drink together.
I come to this blog in view of an event of old and new in process of a reenactment of The Clubmen's plight in Dorset for a History Festival. The pre planning for this event has in effect become a tool to look at not only The Clubmen grievances but where they voiced them. Changes in structures and forms placed by governance and effect.
A light shone as such by The Clubmen onto the present relating to those events of 1645.
Association in and across the County and a place for gathering has been replaced by a bureaucracy and a belonging in a tribal sense. Finding a space to meet and organise has been partitioned within County. Association has been transformed into being a part of the community. Being a part of and being associated with are different in outlook. Community is a section within.
Local Government frequently holds all the cards and is all to frequently at add odds with sections among that community. This can be by choice, private interests or from state imposed legislation. Association is across all , their is no parts of and expansion of has no limits. Council, people and the family dog, were in it altogether, a generality.
A place to meet of the generality has simply gone. We all gather to type in a political sense and interests. The rare occasion of meetings of difference in political outlook comes about once in every 5 years through election hustings.
A view to move into more of a distance between people and represented local government in the form of super councils is now seen as the future. A push from seeing community in a local sense with representation and a shift into a generality and local government as of that generality maybe of its time again?
Badbury Rings. Clubmen reenactment 2016
A space of neutrality for a mass to gather one could argue was what the Occupy movement of 2011 highlighted a loss of.
The occupation highlighted the loss of a public space availability to voice grievances. Private in ownership space had the look of a public use for generality.
The dispersal of Occupy was always in a time frame of legality. The message of "We Are The 99%" was a cry that Occupy succeeded in putting across but the message and space required to air that message was short lived.
What followed was where to go after and the extension of that message into the locality. This did occur for a short period.
Meetings made by that occupation were conducted back in the localities of Counties but the mass of its initial energy as ever is hard to sustain and these local occupations were also quashed as being illegal.
The message itself was a fruitful one its neutrality in the we. The present Labour UK slogan "For The Many, Not The Few." has a nod to the former Occupy "We Are The 99%" and Shelley with "We Are Many, They Are Few" but where the We is inclusive the Labour slogan is in the form of For The Many.
Representative by vote exclusive. Vote for us, we have your interests at heart as such.
"It was seen fit that the people should show their grievances and strength" said The Clubmen of 1645 not unlike the Occupy message of 2011.
That place of The Clubmen gathering at Badbury requires now an appropriate insurance and due notice of putting on with agreement.
An urgency in the cry "It's vital we reclaim our public spaces for public assembly, without prejudice." was not an issue in 1645.
Ownership by generality and association as a mindset is in the 21st Century a concept at a loss. The political platform sets of a right and left put a divide at is core. A forever two and fro between the two. The generality is always under a governance of whoever is setting legalities of the day. The co opt of an interest by party for it's future gain is a loss of a common.
An inclusive is always at a short term. An energy behind an injustice felt and a plundering of a mass being kept by objection to as a neutrality is fought on systems and structure which exist on a party political grounding.
The Clubmen when put to choice and persuasion by Parliament and King had put as reply.
We fear if we join either side "it would be lengthening to this war."
Although not of party politics of the modern,
at core those fears of the Clubmen should be seen as the current state of play in our party politics. An extension of the franchise is a valid argument.
The Clubmen fight and rally against what was being opposed on them did not begin with thought of, are we allowed to gather and where, and had no "are you for King or Parliament?"
An era where an association of generality for a mutual defence was a brief episode though 1645 and was forced on The Clubmen by a Civil War but can give a voice to the now.
An reenactment for a History Festival and the then showing the plunder of County in 1645 as a historical observation and performance has as such an ironic feel. As you could say, the agreement of a space being allowed and allocated and allowing of so requires a plunder of ones liberties in itself.
The message from that space of plunder by permission is a reflection of our present.