We may not have to fight for the vote. But the deceit that led to the referendum result is a historic betrayal
Monday 16 August 1819 was a beautiful summer’s day, when at least 60,000 people came in their Sunday best to St Peter’s Field in Manchester for the peaceful demonstration that turned so tragically into the bloody Peterloo massacre. On 16 August 2019, by contrast, there was a relentless downpour of the worst Mancunian variety. But the spirit of 200 years ago was not the least bit dampened by the torrential rain.
In our complex world of lies and fake news and sinister manipulation, democracy is under threat on so many levels. And the radicals and reformers of two centuries ago have much to teach us – the lessons of Peterloo go far beyond the issue of universal suffrage. As John Thacker Saxton, a real-life radical played by John-Paul Hurley in my film, says: “Though we can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark, the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light.”
When we were kids, these buildings were pitch black. How surprising to see their true beauty after the Clean Air ActsContinue reading...