|Not Big Enough for modern teenagers|
I escaped to Rome and met a daughter backpacking with two friends. Two out of three expressed surprise at the size of the Colosseum. They had expected it to be bigger. Too many digitally enhanced super-cities have beamed from their millennial screens.
|Corbyn at 2016 Tolpuddle Festival|
Rome jaunt means, sadly, that I'm missing the Sunday climax of the Tolpuddle Martyrs Festival in Dorset, where Jeremy Corbyn is due to speak this afternoon. It celebrates the early days of British Trade Unionism when in 1834 farm workers in west Dorset faced punitive wage cuts and lawfully formed a trade union.
|The "Draco of Dorset"|
Their deadly enemy was rich local landowner and magistrate James Frampton, who masterminded the ruling-class plot to smash the union. He framed them with a charge of taking an illegal oath of secrecy. This law was meant to apply to mutinies in the navy, not workers’ unions. But Frampton was a clever lawyer and on a mission.
|The Edict Framing Union Members|
Six Tolpuddle men were sentenced to seven years’ transportation to Tasmania. One of them, George Loveless, later wrote a pamphlet in dazzling prose which remains one of the most important sources on the dire experience of deported felons in the colonies.
|George Loveless is depicted bottom|
|DRACO of ATHENS|
The dastardly Draco of Dorset will have understood his nickname. As a wealthy young gentleman, Frampton studied Classics at Winchester and St John’s College, Cambridge, before going on the Grand Tour. Come to think of it, he will certainly have visited the Colosseum.
A shame that his classical education led him to side forever with the Dracos and Domitians of antiquity rather than with Prometheus and Spartacus.