v for vendetta fifth november

Remember, Remember the Fifth of November

Remember, remember the fifth of November, gunpowder, treason and plot. This British nursery rhyme reminds us of the plot by Guy Fawkes and his co-conspirators to blow up the Houses of Parliament in 1605.

History books tell us the reason he wanted to take on this heinous act (was it really such a bad idea?) was because of the repression of Catholics following the reign of Henry VIII. His plot was uncovered, and he was arrested and executed.

However, it is worth remembering that history tends to be written by the victors and is rarely the unvarnished truth and there is a theory that some members of Parliament were aware of the plot but allowed it to go ahead to ferment anti-Catholic feelings. So, in this spirit of anarchism, I’d like to share a clip from the film V for Vendetta with you. If you haven’t seen it, it’s worth watching because it seems pretty prescient in terms of the times we live in.

The music is Tchaikovsky’s 1812 overture.

And in the tradition of great revolutions, this week’s writing prompt encourages you to think BIG, I mean REALLY BIG as you identify what social, global or political issue you would tackle if you were ruler of the world, and how might YOU go about it?

If you’re happy to be seen as a latent anarchist feel free to leave your contribution below as a paragraph, story, poem, stanza or even title. If you want to share but don’t want anyone to know who you are use a pseudonym, the only person who sees your email address is me, or you could even use a fake one if you’re really concerned and going all out for a global revolution.

Finally, here’s my effort as I’m definitely not a poet .. please be kind 🙂

If I ruled the world!

No Amazon, no Uber eats, no profiteering businesses.
No SUV’s or private jets, no TV ads or stealthy bets.

No wealth transfer, no global poor, no war, no want, no wasted lives.
No politics, no oligarchs, no domineering technocrats.

And the whole nursery rhyme is below:

Remember, remember, the 5th of November,
Gunpowder, treason and plot.
I see no reason
Why gunpowder treason
Should ever be forgot.
Guy Fawkes, Guy Fawkes, ’twas his intent
To blow up the King and the Parliament
Three score barrels of powder below
Poor old England to overthrow
By God’s providence he was catch’d
With a dark lantern and burning match
Holler boys, holler boys, let the bells ring
Holler boys, holler boys
God save the King!


  1. Ach, of course, poor old Guido. He was just the fall guy. The explosives expert brought in for the job and left to carry the can. The patsy. Set up from the outset to take the consequences if it all went pear-shaped. Reminds me of more recent historical events.

    Meanwhile, if I ruled the world. Honestly, I think I might just take a leaf out of Zaphod Beeblebrox’s book, say Hi! steal the presidential goodies and run off to have a good time. Oh, no. Sorry, that’s what our politicians actually DO, isn’t it?

    If I really ruled the world, I would probably just run away and hide. I don’t want the job. Because I know where we are, and I know where we need to be, and I have a pretty good idea about what it is going to take to get from A to B.

    And it ain’t gonna be pretty.

    It is going to hurt.


    If we think we have seen death and destruction, war, pestilence and plague…we have no idea.

    If we think we have seen poverty and purgatory…we are in for a shock.

    If we think we know what economic meltdown looks like…oh boy!

    We need a re-set. We need to get back to the land. We need to learn to live without all of our toys. And we are educationally, emotionally, intellectually, unready.

    We need to disconnect globally in order to reconnect locally.
    And we are resistant and reluctant.

    We need an economy that is based on ability and need,
    rather than one based on profit, which equals greed.

    We need respect – and to know that respect has to be earned.

    We need to undo hundreds of years of development –
    while keeping all of the lessons of those years,
    and the benefits of those years.
    And it is impossible.

    If I ruled the world, I would give you back the keys to the castle (or the presidential spaceship) and I would hike out into the hills, hoping to find a cabin in the woods, and someone to teach me how to do it right, next time around.

    1. My oldest friend Sue, who may be reading this 🙂 wants to start a movement that teaches everyone how to make fire from scratch because we’ve lost so many of the old skills and may well need to rekindle (pun intended) them. You’d get on famously I’m sure Lesley and you’re certainly a woman after my own heart too 🙂

  2. I’d tax offshore investments, energy companies and water companies, as well as everyone and every company making billions while the poor starve. I’d calculate how much each person needs for food, rent, energy, fares, for each dependant, and to save for emergencies. I’d pass a law to enforce that those whose income was insufficient to meet those needs would receive a supplement and keep receiving it until their income reached the basic level.

  3. Hello everybody. I’ve never had a go at this before so thanks to Linda for an excellent prompt. Here’s my first attempt at responding to a writing prompt …

    My feet skidded to a halt.

    “I can’t do this. Jake, we have to go back.”

    “I’m not stopping now,” he growled. “Jenni, I need you. Come on.”

    He reached out for my wrist but I pulled away.

    “This isn’t right. They’ll all die. Can you live with that? Their families …” My throat constricted as the words left my mouth, my tongue seeming to swell. I shook my head, trying to knock out the horrific images.

    “Remember who you’re talking about,” snapped Jake, stamping closer. His voice was muffled by my hands which covered my ears. “Do they care about choking our country? Our families are suffering. We can’t comply any longer.”

    Voices erupted behind us. A distant gunshot.

    Fingers wrapped around my wrist, tugging me onwards. The roof-high piles of boxes and loose papers transformed the basement into a maze. Jake knew his steps, well-practised after years of working within the building. I stumbled to keep up. Jake’s backpack shook and rattled, leaving me an audible trail.

    “Once we’re into basement four I can set the device. I need you on look-out. We’ll have three minutes to retrace our steps so make sure you know where you’re going.”

    A shudder shook my core, making me stumble. Jake didn’t stop. I caught up with him as he slammed, shoulder first, through a heavy fire door. I followed, peering into the darkness of the room beyond.

    “Right, here we go,” he said, pulling a jumble of wires and buttoned boxes from his backpack. I sank to the floor, unable to help as he connected his system. He called my name several times but I couldn’t answer. How could I have let myself get this deep? There was no way of going back.

    1. Wow, that’s an excellent first attempt Kate and I want to know more. I also think there are quite a few who might cheer that on these days Kate and it might be worth taking it further, perhaps exploring what the progenitor was that preceded the decision Jake made????

    2. Hi Kate – good take – I love writing prompts, seeing where they take me and where they take other people. It’s the diversity of responses that I find fascinating. I do prompt responses in several different places and I never fail to surprise myself. Some are better than others naturally, but it is SUCH good stimulus. I hope you come back for more.

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