Disturbing the Universe

David L Clements, science and science fiction

A double dose of English Insanity


There’s always been an odd thread of eccentric insanity running through english, and probably british, culture. Two things over the past few days have served to remind me of this. Firstly was a trip to the Lord Mayor’s Show in London on Saturday, encouraged by the presence of one of my upstairs neighbours on one of the floats. The LMS happens once a year to inaugurate the new Lord Mayor of London. This is a ceremonial post, unlike the London Mayor, Boris Johnson, and the incumbent spends much of their time promoting London as an all round good place. It’s an ancient title, dating back to 1189, and the show dates back to 1535. It’s an opportunity for the various ancient guilds of the City of London and more modern organisations like banks, charities and the British armed forces to strut their stuff.

The variety of this strutting is quite incredible. The military bands do what they do very well, and give a formal, uniformed, gravity to the proceedings, but many of the other displays serve to wonderfully undermine this.


I’ve no idea what these guys were up to.


Or theres, but I like their style.


But the giant inflatable rib of beef from the butchers of Spitalfields was right out there!

Now you know where the people who came up with the London Olympics opening ceremony got their initial training.

My second dose of insanity was this evening, as I walked across Hyde Park listening to the first in the new series of I’m Sorry I Haven’t a Clue. People who know this radio show will know why I was happily giggling to myself in public. Those who don’t have something to look forward to.

I doubt this radio show would do well in any other country, or that it could easily be explained.


Author: davecl

Astronomy, science, science fiction

2 thoughts on “A double dose of English Insanity

  1. Is it really just a ceremonial post? I thought he presided over the Corporation of the City of London, our last remaining “rotten borough”, which lies outside the jurisdiction of the real Mayor of London, and which exists to promote the interests of its “residents”, i.e., the big financial institutions? Maybe you have a different perspective as a Londoner, but this is the kind of thing I’ve heard and read

  2. Occupy LSX has certainly raised some important questions about the governance of the Corporation of the City of London, but I’m not sure that the Lord Mayor has a lot of influence. This year’s LM was said to have only 25 days at home in London to look forward to in the coming year, so he can’t do much in terms of governance. And while he is a member of the governing body, most of the power will be with the Aldermen and Common Councilmen, at least as far as I’m aware of the details.

    Thanks for the comment!

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