The other day Mr Esther was watching a documentary on the BBC made by Ian Hislop (of ‘Have I Got News For You’ fame) called The Olden Days. In it Hislop showed how Arthurian and Alfredian legends have been used in different times of history to promote current causes. The Telegraph had a good review for it, should it interest you. I didn’t quite catch all of the programme but what struck me very much was Hislop’s repeated assertion that when Britain wants to move forward, it always looks to the past to do so and more so than many other countries do. I have been pondering that and yes, I think he has a fair point. Parts of the ‘good old days’ get glorified and sometimes that is helpful but sometimes it also stands in the way of progress. I get a sense of that with this whole Brexit crisis. Many British people seem to be saying “we’re better off alone like in the good old days” and in my heart I just feel that those who think that are stuck in the past, not facing the reality of a global world today.
Don’t get me wrong, I think that knowing history and learning lessons from history is extremely important! Many lessons from history really can and do help us move forward and hopefully make us evolve as human beings. I also feel that focussing so completely on the past can possibly also undermine moving forward.
So, what caused me to even blog about these thoughts here? I hadn’t previously even intended to do so! But Richard Armitage posted two tweets yesterday about the Bosworth battlefield outside Leicester that is threatened to be used for development by a Japanese company that wants to test driverless vehicles there.
And there is this message of protest from Richard on the Richard III society page on Facebook, with a lovely photo to go with it….
I never sign petitions blindly just because a favourite person of mine asks me to do so. So, I tried reading that ‘Pipeline’ article Richard linked to and boy is it long and rambling and repetitive. I ended up skimming through large parts but in the article I did understand that the Japanese automotive company already has a technological park there, which already does cover a part of the battlefield. And they don’t want to take over all of the battlefield (which the messages seemed to suggest to me) but they only want to expand into a little corner of the Bosworth battlefield which potentially could be interesting (but possibly also not) to archaeological research.
I did a quick search and found this Telegraph article which shows a map of the area. A map makes things that much clearer for me and I find myself wondering: is that little corner really so essential to the whole battlefield preservation? And if so, why wasn’t the establishment of the Japanese company there deterred in the first place? The company’s property already covers Henry Tudor’s vantage point. I was at the Bosworth battlefield last summer and the area is large, we certainly didn’t take the time to walk over every inch of it. A large part is already preserved and needs to stay preserved, so can’t a little corner be sacrificed? Couldn’t they just do archaeological research in that corner of the battlefield before they build and then display what they find in the Richard III museum in Leicester or at the Bosworth visitor centre? If new things can’t be built over (the edges of) old places, aren’t we stuck? Is this an example of history taking prevalence over future and development? Or, on the other hand, is this really such a very important corner that it needs to be preserved at all cost? If that corner were to be sacrificed, is that giving an inch before they take a mile? I really wouldn’t want that to happen! And does the Japanese company really need that expansion, can’t they do it on the considerable plot they already have? And if it is really so important to keep that corner, shouldn’t the proposal be to also take back that part of Henry Tudor’s vantage point?
I can’t decide one way or the other what to do about this petition, I know too little about this and frankly, I don’t have the time or inclination to go into it in any depth. For me, as it stands now, there are far too many questions. It’s also about history or the future, what to choose? I find both important and I really don’t know! Is there a history AND a future solution? When I sign my name to something, I want to completely be able to support that cause and so, as I am undecided, I haven’t signed anything yet. I have a feeling that Mr Esther would be for signing this petition, so maybe he can convince me once he reads this… or maybe some of you can convince me one way or the other in the comments…
Now that I have written all that down, I can hopefully let it go from my thoughts for a bit and
get back to work concentrate on the Richard glimpses in the new Berlin Station trailer for season 3. The trailer, while slick, doesn’t tell us anything about the story, so in that sense I guess it isn’t a great trailer. But it sure does look pretty.
Mat Khal over on Twitter took a few lovely screenshots of the quick Richard glimpses we get, I’ll share my two fave shots here…
… and now, Richard Armitage, stop keeping me from work while I sit here in our at home office trying to look extremely business-efficient! (Oops, is that Mr Esther coming home, calling me downstairs for lunch? Procrastination, thy name is Esther!)