A Peasant at the Heart of Power

After living in London since 1983 I finally paid a visit to the Guildhall this week. The main hall was being laid out for a banquet for some City toffs, but I was allowed to take a few photos.

I particularly liked a couple of fabulous beasts which dominate the space. This one seems to be looking down at me with some contempt and asking who the hell I think I am barging in here.

“What do you think you’re doing in here, peasant?”

It’s perfectly true that I am of course barely above the serf level, as I discovered when I tried to see Liz from a bridge during her Jubilee, as mentioned somewhere earlier. But I wasn’t at all offended this time because I know my place now and will never again presume to rise above it.

Anyway, in case anyone’s interested the Guildhall is at the heart of the City and is a Grade 1 listed Gothic extravaganza. It dates from a time when the Lord Mayor of London had as much clout as the reigning monarch. He and his cronies in the emerging merchant class would do their deals over bottles of fine wine and sumptuous meals and generally parcel things up for themselves. Not much change there, then.

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