What is it with anarchists and Guy Fawkes?

Many many blogs have commented on the current campaign to bring back the death penalty in the UK, so I won’t go into it here (if you want to read more, I would suggest this or this or this, and there are lots more). Once the government promised that e-petitions gathering more than 100,000 signatures would be eligible for debate in parliament, this was as inevitable as rain in the autumn.

I was more struck that this campaign is being spearheaded by a libertarian blogger called Paul Staines who writes as Guido Fawkes. What is it with apparently well educated libertarians and anarchists identifying explicitly with Guy Fawkes? Alan Moore did the same with V for Vendetta (a graphic novel I enjoyed immensely, I should add). Sure, the image of blowing up parliament is obviously an attractive one for anarchists, but the gunpowder plot had nothing to do with anarchism. It was about killing a Protestant monarch and replacing him with a Catholic one. It was an attempted act of religiously motivated terrorism.

Four centuries from now, will there be novels whose heroes wear Osama Bin Laden masks?

Probably.

I should note, by the way, that, as so often happens, cracked.com noticed this years ago.

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