Shostack + Friends Blog Archive


Be celebratory, be very celebratory

A reminder for those of you who haven’t read or watched “V for Vendetta” one time too many, it’s Guy Fawkes Day today:

The plan was to blow up the House of Lords during the State Opening of Parliament on 5 November 1605…

…Fawkes, who had 10 years of military experience fighting in the Spanish Netherlands in suppression of the Dutch Revolt, was given charge of the explosives.

The plot was revealed to the authorities in an anonymous letter sent to William Parker, 4th Baron Monteagle, on 26 October 1605. During a search of the House of Lords at about midnight on 4 November 1605, Fawkes was discovered guarding 36 barrels of gunpowder – enough to reduce the House of Lords to rubble – and arrested.

Guy Fawkes day is a celebratory event in the UK with fireworks and bonfires.  It’s also when some of my ex-pat friends stock up on fireworks to ensure they can be suitably obnoxious on the 4th of July, but that’s another story…

So why is it that in England, a failed terror plot has become an excuse to have a party, whereas in the U.S., a failed or thwarted terror plot is  an excuse to strip away Civil Liberties?