Peterloo Massacre: A turning point in UK history? - BBC Newsnight

  • Published on Aug 15, 2019
  • It's been 200 years since the Peterloo Massacre.
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    In 1819, peaceful demonstrators demanding the vote were set upon by the Yeomanry in Manchester, in what became known as the Peterloo Massacre.
    For many on the left, 1819 was a kind of Year Zero in British democracy, leading ultimately to universal suffrage and the birth of the Labour party.
    But others say its influence has been over-stated. Stephen Smith reports from Manchester and Alison Morgan of Warwick University and Daniel Finkelstein discuss its significance in studio.
    Newsnight is the BBC's flagship news and current affairs TV programme - with analysis, debate, exclusives, and robust interviews.
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Comments • 106

  • John Howard
    John Howard Month ago

    Just watched the film, we were bought up in ancoats George Leigh st went to st michaels then St Albans this was mentioned once when we were taken to a museum in Manchester, a we saw a sabre from the massacre,the relevance, and social importance of this was never explained, which was a real shame. Nothing has changed, you need to read. “ the ragged trousered philanthropist” a true classic and things still haven’t changed. John h

  • Rex Stout
    Rex Stout 2 months ago

    If the Tories and Liberals could, they'd relegate Peterloo to the same obscure status as a minor by law relating to the regulation of wigs or something - As they have done to things like rotten boroughs, the corn laws, the Chartists, the luddites and the school rebellions.
    These events and knowledge of them is regarded as the sort of thing only nerdy politicos have general knowledge of akin to Erskine May. That way they can live in denial about what Britain was like without being negationists.
    Whether it was a turning point is irrelevant, it happened, it illustrates what Britain was really like - the climate both cultural and political and how people had little to no rights and liberties. This is the opposite of what Liberal and Tory imaginations tell themselves about the British history of Liberty and fundamental rights. Naturally Danny Finkelstein is offended by this, it goes against his romantic allusions of British history in the industrial revolution.
    History is important, it is evidence. They are the receipts. History can't be left to anti imperical fantasists like Finkelstein and other liberal nutcases.

  • MrSnakepowder
    MrSnakepowder 3 months ago

    how much does it cost to clean teeth in Britain ffs

  • Embittered Drunk
    Embittered Drunk 3 months ago +4

    My great-great-great grandfather was at St Peters Field on the day, selling jelly vodkas to the crowd.

  • Con Butler
    Con Butler 3 months ago +1

    That arrogant Mr. Cornish is something else ! just shows the "Bastards" are still lurking in the shadows, ok Sir ,leave Peterloo go and read some Irish and or Indian history, they did it again and again ! Proud indeed ! Shame on you and him !!

    • Orsen Carte
      Orsen Carte 3 months ago +1

      Yeah - but the Irish were helping to put down the Indians !!

  • Orsen Carte
    Orsen Carte 3 months ago +1

    Two hundred years on - and the Liberal Elite are still trying to rob Working Class People of their Democratic Vote !!

  • kernow trebartha
    kernow trebartha 3 months ago +6

    And Democracy is Still a Mirage today.

  • Bake been
    Bake been 3 months ago

    The lib Dems and those other Anti Brexit MP's are no better than those red coats, trying to suppress democracy and ignore what people have voted for, They are all traitors to the people, shame on you all.

    • Bake been
      Bake been 3 months ago

      @pwdickson1 The EU and its single market racket makes Food and clothing 20% more expense (which is were the poor spend most of thier money, check that out) by keeping other countries out, fact!, You are wrong about the UK dropping any regulations in fact all EU laws will be transferred to UK law, and many UK laws are far superior, many of the EU regulations the UK introduced to the EU in the first place.
      You guys will have to stop talking this country down, its shameful and many people who worked really hard to give dipshits like you the freedoms you enjoy today would hold there heads in shame. check out what a "Quisling" is because you are one!
      The EU is no friend of the UK, they are anti democratic, use lobbyists to buy the rules for big business and damage and keep out places like Africa who given the chance would trade and do well, they prefer to keep them out, and then send payout to keep them alive, while Bullshiting idiots like you its all done for your best interest, They must be laughing at dimwits like you!
      maybe you are a snowflake?, who knows, But thinking the EU27 is your future and you have lost it, is another load of crap too, More young people go to OZ for work and opportunities than the whole EU27 put together, any country in the EU27 does not even make the top 9 countries for young Brits, and what of the 20 plus languages do you you speak?, because you will have and had no chance before the vote and with youth unemployment twice at best worse than the UK the EU27 was as important to the young as Hasting (sorry Hasting) in other words leaving the EU, just made it better for young Brits.
      Don't be the EU's bum boy. family comes first, like they always say people and other countries will come and go, but your family and country will always be a part of you, remember that snowflake.

    • pwdickson1
      pwdickson1 3 months ago

      Bake been The corn law forced the population to pay high prices often for poorer quality products. The EU has regulations controlling the production and quality of all foodstuffs. Once having left the EU these regulations can be abandoned, hence chicken chlorinated to mask poor hygiene standards in production. In effect increasing risk of illness as seen in the USA. For good measure there are also EU regulations regarding working conditions, pay, holiday and sickness entitlements. These will go too, according to the present members of the Cabinet, check it out. Roll on Brexit for the lemmings.

  • Henry Law
    Henry Law 3 months ago

    One of the grievances was the Corn Laws, which were eventually abolished in 1846. The Corn Laws were effectively reinstated in 1973, when the UK joined the then EEC. It is amazing that self-styled progressives now defend these latter-day Corn Laws.

  • thomas sheppard
    thomas sheppard 3 months ago

    F..k ,The Chartists, The Luddites, The Trade Unions , pushed for the rights of ordinary people.

  • thomas sheppard
    thomas sheppard 3 months ago +2

    It took until 1945 for ordinary people to gain a little democracy.

  • RR Extra
    RR Extra 3 months ago +1

    and democracy still doesn't exist

  • Chunky Buster
    Chunky Buster 3 months ago +3

    Hang on , didn't we vote on something a few years ago and parliament didn't take a blind bit of notice of us plebs?

    • boz
      boz 3 months ago

      shut up. There should have been a 55% threshold at a bare minimum. You didn't even know wtf you were voting for.

  • zolta -
    zolta - 3 months ago +3

    very funny that people connect this with the eu and brexit.

    • Bake been
      Bake been Month ago

      @Hannah Dyson Nothing is totally equal. read about it first.

      Quote "60,000-80,000 who had gathered to demand the reform of parliamentary representation."

      In other words, they want the people who represented them to be accountable and voted for by the people.

      Yes Brexit was not a vote to be represented or to have the vote, but the Peterloo gathering helped to win that right and to have that vote listened to and carried out, If brexit does not happen, then your vote means nothing, so in affect not represented. that is the link!

    • Hannah Dyson
      Hannah Dyson Month ago

      @Bake been This wasn't about a vote. This was about poor working conditions, lack of representation for a city . It in no way is comparable to Brexit , protesters aren't being killed for voicing their opinions however at the time people were being killed Inculding a two year old child .
      By comparing this to Brexit you undermine what Peterloo was about .

    • Bake been
      Bake been 3 months ago +1

      Because the vote means MP's do as they are told, not the opposite, A latest survey asked all the MP's today if they should do what the electorate want only 20% said they should, 80% said they should do what they think and ignore the public, when they asked the public the same question 93% said they should do what the people wanted and only 7% said they should do what the MP's think. only during this time 200 years ago, before the vote did the MP's do as they wish and not what the people wanted.
      That is the connection, the loss of democracy and yet again MP's ignoring the people.

  • Graeme SYDNEY
    Graeme SYDNEY 3 months ago

    Fuch, the conservatives STILL defending the undefendable and trying to re-write the narrative/history.

    • Graeme SYDNEY
      Graeme SYDNEY 3 months ago

      @Bake been Half Baked - I've got you nailed. You are a troll/know it all/angry at the world loser. Please, carry on your sad existence and, listen to and heed no one but that voice in your head.

    • Bake been
      Bake been 3 months ago

      @Graeme SYDNEY "The referendum was a mistake" So you don't like the result then :-), Don't be stupid, no referendum is a mistake, any chance we ie the public is asked a question should be encouraged, Some countries have them all the time its called direct democracy, I am saddened to hear anyone who takes such a defeated view point, but I'm guessing this is how low you would go when you want your own way, democracy works when losers except the result.

      I think your a guy that just votes opposite to everything, a victim. someone that when everyone gets together and makes a agreement you are the one to make it "not" work, probably never given the credit you think you deserve, probably in truth because you don't deserve it, because you are the moaning git in the corner all the time, making it not work.

      "Vote on merit" BS, I doubt you would know merit if it smacked you in the face.

      I thought we would start to have problems with this new snowflake generation who know nothing, think with their dicks and want free stuff of people who worked hard all their lives, I think its called socialism back in the day, But it seems to be helping the old bitter and twisted lot too of all ages and Mr Corbyn is right up there leading them on.

      Got you nailed mate :-)

    • Graeme SYDNEY
      Graeme SYDNEY 3 months ago

      @Bake been "Yet they are the only ones trying to do as the people wish Ie leave the EU." Policy aside; if you think the either side of politics are doing anything for democracy or 'the people' you are sadly mistaken. The referendum was a mistake driven by 'do nothing incompetency' and political survival. The last three years has been all about political survival and opportunism - good policy and truth are the first victims in the political survival game.
      "Don't tell me you are one of those idiots that would vote for a donkey so long as it had a red rosette on it ?" There is nothing like a few home truths and well aimed insults to win an argument is there?
      I'm actually a 'vote on merit' voter which means I've been a 'protest voter' for the last 30 years.

    • Bake been
      Bake been 3 months ago

      Yet they are the only ones trying to do as the people wish Ie leave the EU. Don't tell me you are one of those idiots that would vote for a donkey so long as it had a red rosette on it ?, that is why the country is in a mess and MP's act the way they do, idiots keep voting for them regardless..

  • Blue Otter
    Blue Otter 3 months ago

    Its "there are", not "there's two things" why are people starting to talk like toddlers?

  • Simon W
    Simon W 3 months ago

    No. Just more pc bollocks

    • Hannah Dyson
      Hannah Dyson Day ago

      So the rich should be allowed to abuse the poor in your view ?

  • Acac
    Acac 3 months ago +2

    200 years later still no democracy 🇪🇺🚮

  • Epikourios
    Epikourios 3 months ago +4

    It wasn't about suffrage, far too early, but it lead to the later Chartism movement as it was such an extreme event, but well understood in the country as a whole. Hunt was a Radical, thus inspired by the French Revolution which had executed the French nobility, resulted in the Terror and lead to the contemporary horrors of the Napoleonic Wars. The meeting was a direct response to the dangerous Corn Laws which protected the price of British grain for the nobility, represented by Tories and Whigs in a rotten Parliament, and spread hunger among the industrial population which was still growing. Peterloo inspired the British political sense of slow compromise. Sad how modern politicians know Jack sh*t about history but are willing to try to sound convincing on every topic. The fact that suffrage still to this day bears a residence qualification not at pace with the faster turnover off addresses for a good part of the community is an outrage causing many to be disenfranchised by lifestyle - that and the terrible practice of the BBC and debt collectors to use electoral roles in order to demand money from the poor. As for the worries below about why it isn't taught at school - it is between KS4 - KS5 or post 14 when children are able to understand it; the worry for most historians in a democracy is that history is ignored as it is an optional subject at 14. Depending of course on whether you prefer our Parliament to be staffed by non experts in culture and precedent, economics and society.

    • MrStig691
      MrStig691 23 days ago

      It doesn't bear a residence qualification. You have to be in the UK to vote, as it should be.

    • Henry Law
      Henry Law 3 months ago

      The Corn Laws were eventually abolished in 1846, reinstated in 1973 when the UK joined the EEC.

  • trev moffatt
    trev moffatt 3 months ago +11

    You'd think in a democracy, the struggle to win universal suffrage would be taught in schools - but apparently it doesn't deserve to be on the curriculum according to 'Lord' Finklestein.

    • englishgal234
      englishgal234 23 days ago

      Waterloo, then Peterloo-an uprising of the poor against Parliament. Then, the Chartist movement.
      The carving up of Africa showed the imperialism of the ruling elites. Many wrongs from Empire.

    • MrStig691
      MrStig691 23 days ago

      @englishgal234 And the mid to late 19th century.

    • MrStig691
      MrStig691 23 days ago

      It IS taught in schools.

    • lewis powell
      lewis powell 3 months ago

      I learnt it in A-level which was just over a year ago.

    • Omnishambles
      Omnishambles 3 months ago +1

      I was taught this in high school...

  • Brian Smith
    Brian Smith 3 months ago

    Well done Farrage & Co !.........oh sorry I though you were talking about the recent battle of Peterborough ! 😃👍

  • Graham6762
    Graham6762 3 months ago

    K words are the ones who gave everyone the right to vote when only landowners of Christian persuasion should be able to vote like it was in America and Britain. Now they let illegal aliens vote. The minority populations are used to menace the majority and they are pawns of people like Finkelstein.

  • Qwad Luzr FPV
    Qwad Luzr FPV 3 months ago +6

    So rich women had the vote before poor men?

  • Mrs M
    Mrs M 3 months ago +2

    Lived in Manchester all my life . Why wasn't I taught about this at school ? Its an important part of manchesters history . Just had to google to find out what it was . No wonder Manchester is being taken over by immigrants .

    • MrStig691
      MrStig691 23 days ago

      @Mark Jones Thick as shit, like you then. We are a parliamentary democracy.

    • Mark Jones
      Mark Jones 3 months ago +1

      Thirty percent of the population is as thick as shit they don't talk about the 18th or 19th century just the olden days they have no concept of the vote and democracy and how it was got and that we a constitutional
      Monarchy ruling with parliament

    • Mrs M
      Mrs M 3 months ago

      @Epikourios hahaha thats a joke . I actually did history for 3 three years at secondary school and then went to uni studying science and English . Goodbye

    • Epikourios
      Epikourios 3 months ago

      Because you dropped history as an option at school because it was too much effort.

    • Mrs M
      Mrs M 3 months ago

      @Mark Jones simple I didn't know anything about peterloo . And as its part of manchesters history why wasnt it talked about school ? What I am getting at is if they can't even be bothered to teach Manchester children our history then its no wonder immigrants have just taken over Manchester. Because the people don't know there's any history to fight for and how important Manchester was . Cheetham hill is a prime example .

  • To Err is Huma
    To Err is Huma 3 months ago +4

    Emily Maitlis, on Newsnight, c. 6 months ago: _"But at what point do you say, actually, democracy is not as important as the future economy and stability and prosperity of the country
    right now?"_

    • Acac
      Acac 3 months ago

      200years later still no democracy 🇪🇺🚮

    • To Err is Huma
      To Err is Huma 3 months ago

      @Qwad Luzr FPV I'm confident it's an exact quote. I wrote it down at the time. I don't know which video it came from, but she says something very similar in her interview with Lord/Rabbi Sacks (available on YT), just after the five minute mark.

    • Qwad Luzr FPV
      Qwad Luzr FPV 3 months ago

      If that was the exact quote from Maitlis, her, her producers and editor should be arrested.

    • J. Harris.
      J. Harris. 3 months ago +4

      @Qwad Luzr FPV Indeed. Liberals love romanticising the working-class, until the working-class do something that interrupts the flow of shekels.

    • Qwad Luzr FPV
      Qwad Luzr FPV 3 months ago +3

      They've been trying to normalise/ignore autocracy. They need a serious purge.

  • John Damage
    John Damage 3 months ago +2

    One example of why we all need guns and ammo

    • MrStig691
      MrStig691 23 days ago

      @Brian Smith It doesn't have "amendments" you fucktard ,we have statutes and bills.

    • Hannah Dyson
      Hannah Dyson Month ago

      @J. Harris. A gun wouldn't have helped . Probably made it worse .
      A gun would have been useless in that situation

    • J. Harris.
      J. Harris. 3 months ago

      @Edward Gibb The Manchester terror attacks. The government let in hostile elements that slaughtered 22 native Brits.

    • Brian Smith
      Brian Smith 3 months ago

      John Damage
      UK should have a Second Amendment !!

    • Bird Dog
      Bird Dog 3 months ago

      ebola moinkey 69 7/7

  • Christine Roberts
    Christine Roberts 3 months ago +4

    So nothing has changed.

  • Celestial Teapot
    Celestial Teapot 3 months ago +4

    The bare-faced cheek of a Conservative Lord pontificating and trying to downplay working-class history, nothing changes, absolutely shameful. Let every student of history watch and take note.

  • Bill Whittaker
    Bill Whittaker 3 months ago +8

    In my opinion this is the BBC’s clumsy attempt to remind us plebs what the state will do to us if we decide to do anything about our current lack of representation in Parliament. The BBC should be defunded and utterly destroyed.

    • Bill Whittaker
      Bill Whittaker 3 months ago +1

      nomans land - replacement for what? For news the BBC are now an international laughing stock on a par with CNN in my opinion. For specialised subject documentaries TheXvid is rapidly becoming the definitive source. For example for firearms it would be hard to do better than Forgotten Weapons and there are at least 10 other channels covering other aspects of that subject alone.

  • BestBloke
    BestBloke 3 months ago +1

    It was years ago bore off

    • Hannah Dyson
      Hannah Dyson Day ago

      It could happen again .

    • Wildgoose59
      Wildgoose59 3 months ago

      Come on you live in the world's largest historical-fantasy theme park...the UK...every time there's a royal event we fawn over the royal family and their wonderful ancient (mostly made up) traditions...the trouble with Peterloo is it doesn't fit the establishment version of misquote Mrs May, "it isn't red, white & blue" enough.

    • Mackem Scouse
      Mackem Scouse 3 months ago

      Those who ignore history are destined to repeat it.

  • buzjimbo2
    buzjimbo2 3 months ago

    Enough js already please bbc

  • steven clark
    steven clark 3 months ago +1

    This was so sad .....each side blaming each other.

  • Humannondancer
    Humannondancer 3 months ago +1

    We live in a democracy, sure. Well Hermann Goeing had some good takes on how any type of society, regarding how the people can be persuaded into believing they need to go war.

  • daryl H
    daryl H 3 months ago

    get the jews out of gov't !!! ... Support BDS !!!

  • VaucluseVanguard
    VaucluseVanguard 3 months ago +2

    A film by Mike Leigh is like watching a Khmer Rouge or Ho Chi Minh sponsored propaganda film. Peterloo was important but the way the far left talk about it you would think it was the British Bolshevik revolution. I studied it at A level, I would move it into higher level degree study.

    • Hannah Dyson
      Hannah Dyson Day ago

      I am going to be honest . It sounds like you support what happend on that day ..
      Or on other words you think it was justified

    • MrStig691
      MrStig691 23 days ago

      @Wildgoose59 Everyone knows it happened.

    • Wildgoose59
      Wildgoose59 3 months ago

      the reason why the "far left" talk about it is probably because they are the only ones that know it happened...the rest of us are too busy sleeping on the pavement in our Union Jack sleeping bags waiting for the announcement of the another royal birth.

  • incyblue1982
    incyblue1982 3 months ago

    Peterloo is a northen thing, now the south media gives a shit, I question why?

  • Fusilier Thresher
    Fusilier Thresher 3 months ago +7

    18 people isnt exactly a massacre init? Boston Massacre was just 5 people too.

    • Wildgoose59
      Wildgoose59 3 months ago

      It wasn't for trying... not forgetting there were over 700 wounded, presumably with sabre slashes..the injuries & deaths were inflicted disproportionately on women & children...they couldn't get away fast enough...

    • Epikourios
      Epikourios 3 months ago

      No two is enough to qualify:
      an indiscriminate and brutal slaughter of people.

    • Fusilier Thresher
      Fusilier Thresher 3 months ago +1

      @Celestial Teapot they had nhs init

    • John Damage
      John Damage 3 months ago

      It is if you are unarmed

    • Celestial Teapot
      Celestial Teapot 3 months ago

      hundreds died of their wounds init, they were too scared to look for treatment init

  • The Grumpy Englishman
    The Grumpy Englishman 3 months ago +16

    Hang on I thought feminists say we live in a patriarchy where men have been in charge for centuries?
    They mention women's suffrage without mentioning men who didn't own property couldn't vote yet property owning women could. Funny eh? It's almost like they're painting a narrative leaving out anything that contradicts it.

    • Hannah Dyson
      Hannah Dyson Month ago

      Not all women got the vote . The common woman got the vote last . Women were not allowed to become MPs , doctors or lawyers for a long time . Not to mention they were often regarded as property .
      So yes compared to their male counterparts they had it harsher . The common man had it better than the common woman .

    • Hannah Dyson
      Hannah Dyson Month ago

      @Daniel Bostock No they were often married of for various reasons no proposals what so ever . Women weren't allowed to inherit unless under extreme circumstances, up until fairly recently it was fine to beat your wife .
      Going to war for them ? They went to war for crown and country . Nothing to do with your wife

    • Wildgoose59
      Wildgoose59 3 months ago

      @Calum Spencer wasn't there a famous case were a old guy sold his goods and chattels at a local market...amongst the chattels was his wife...

    • Wildgoose59
      Wildgoose59 3 months ago +1

      The irony is that when reform finally came in 1832 the middle class do what they do best and betray the working class. They end up with the vote but the right is removed from the few members of the working class that had it prior to "reform".

    • Straight Edge Gaming
      Straight Edge Gaming 3 months ago

      Calum Spencer He probably won’t.. too busy being a right wing troll making his poor quality video. Acting like he’s apart of the disenfranchised..