Tuesday, May 05, 2009

BBC's "Ashes To Ashes" and the Freemasons

The BBC dramatic series "Ashes To Ashes" takes a Masonic turn on its most recent episode. The Sun reports:

ASHES to Ashes hardman Gene Hunt stuns DI Alex Drake — by becoming a freemason. The no-nonsense cop, played by Philip Glenister, joins the secretive fraternity for a case in next week’s episode.

An insider said: “Gene would normally feel it was all a bit dodgy — blokes giving secret handshakes. But he has a change of heart, surprising some.”


The show is set in the 1980s.

Note that the British Press cannot resist mentioning "dodgy handshakes." They just can't help themselves. I do, however, admire their restraint in not using the usual snarky companion swipe, "rolled-up trouser leg."

See an excerpt here.

1 comment:

Chris said...

As I'm sure you're aware, Bro. Chris, there has been quite a bit of controversy here in the UK about the presence of Masons in the police, justice services such as judges, and local government. Police, judges, and the like have to disclose their Masonic memberships when they join the police/judiciary. Some local governments will not hire men who admit to being Masons.

This was especially true in the 1980's and early 1990's. I expect that there will be some references to this in the TV program (I don't watch much TV so I've never seen the show). The objection to Masonic affiliation was the perception that Masons treat fellow Masons sympathetically and leniently when they are dealing with them in a professional capacity.

So, for example, a man is caught speeding on the highway. The police officer catches him and, as he comes up to the driver, the driver offers him a Masonic handshake. The police officer does not write out a ticket. Or, a judge who is a Mason sits on a case where the defendant is a Mason. The judge quashes the indictment.

I am not aware of any cases of this sort: treating a Brother who is breaking the law more leniently than any other person would be profoundly unMasonic in my (humble) opinion and might even be a Masonic offense (depending upon your jurisdiction). However, these "cases" are fixed in the public mind and they cannot be dislodged (not a pun...).

There is very little publicity for Masonry here: the current Director of Communications for UGLE is just first-rate, and he is very quick to rebut and refute untruths that creep into the media. However, there are no Masonic license plates, few Masons wear Square & Compass pins, tie tacks, or rings. I was given a splendid set of Masonic cufflinks last night at LOI by my friend N, who used to work for me and whom I sponsored into my Lodge. I shall wear them with pride, but not all English Masons would.

I will follow this story with interest--might even watch the show!

S&F

Bro. Chris Hansen, SW-Designate
Goliath Lodge, #5595, UGLE