History's HEROES?

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"Oliver Cromwell was a disaster three times over: for the Irish, for the English, and for the cause of democracy and human rights!

For the Irish, the brutal massacres at Waterford and Drogheda are bloody stains on his character and reputation. They show clearly what an utterly ruthless man he was. He was willing to let his brutalised British soldiers loose on hundreds of innocents. These episodes were part of the long, sorry history of British stupidity and callousness towards their near neighbours.

For the English, his weakness and ineptitude as a ruler meant that the system that he built collapsed like a pack of cards within a few months of his death. He allowed the quarrelling and petty-mindedness of his religious extremist friends to undermined any real possibilities of building a stable government. He was unable to work with anyone - so no one supported his regime once his rough hand was gone. So the English had no choice but to let the ridiculous monarchy back in. The result is that, even today, instead of a sturdy, honest republic like that of the Americans or the French, we have an anachronistic, so-called "constitutional monarchy", based on feudal ideas and class privilege.

For democracy and human rights, his government meant that he was unable to build an enduring regime built on the people's will. In fact, of course, he never had any intention of doing so. His massacre of the Levellers, those true democrats, show that clearly enough. He was a tyrant in all he did, and from the first sought to govern as a tyrant - the very thing for which he had had the king executed! He was a religious fanatic who wanted to impose a narrow, bigoted Christianity on the country - closing theatres, banning dancing, turning Christmas day into a fast day instead of a feast day! No wonder that within a couple of years of his death the country had welcomed back all those whom he had banished!"


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