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Should we make Magna Carta Day our national holiday?

20 March 2014

2:31 PM

20 March 2014

2:31 PM

I know there are probably more important things in the Budget, but I for one (and probably, literally, the only one) am won over by the government’s decision to spend £1 million to celebrate the Magna Carta anniversary next year.

As I’ve written before, there’s a strong case for making Magna Carta day, June 15, our national holiday: the other choice, St George’s Day, is too close to Easter and May Day and in any case too meaningless; all we get on April 23 are a load of tortured essays in the press about what Englishness means and its invented traditions, which has sort of become a tradition in itself.

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Magna Carta does mean something, however. Although drawn up to protect the interests of barons to curtail an incompetent, lecherous drunk on the throne, it became the basis of a constitution. The rights that the barons had fought for were later confirmed by Edward I, after he had won the Second Barons’ War, and had had the rebel leader (his uncle) Simon de Montfort cut into four pieces and his testicles hung around his nose. Much later 16th and 17th century jurists cited the charter, and its most important Clause, 39, is one of three still on the statute book.

Yet as Daniel Hannan wrote in his excellent book How We Invented Freedom, this ‘English Torah’ is rather neglected here compared to the United States. The American Bar Association left a memorial in Runnymede, and when a copy was taken to New York in 1939 some 14 million people came to see it. The US House of Representatives also contains a portrait of De Montfort.

Partly this discrepancy is because America was founded by Whigs, who were more attached to the constitutional tradition of which Magna Carta was the foundation (as Hannan points out, half of Harvard’s graduates in the 1640s fought in the English Civil War for Parliament). But it may be that America has had more need for constitutional patriotism in order to assimilate newcomers into the culture. England never has.

Until now; Britain dealt with mass immigration first with the policy of multiculturalism, which proved a miserable failure, then with vague New Labour ideas about Britishness being defined as ‘tolerance and fair play’. You can’t simply define a nation in such way, because nationhood is about a share history and relationships. Magna Carta obviously provides a much better national story; if we’re going to define Britishness or Englishness by anything, you can do worse than the rule of law.

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Show comments
  • Skyenomore

    Dear Ed,
    You have raised an important issue, and one that was close to the hearts of advocates of Anglo-world cooperation in the early 20th century. In 1907, James Hamilton, a Canadian-born US-resident son of Scottish and English parents, formed the International Magna Charta Day Association which favoured marking 15 June as a day to emphasis peace and common understanding in the Anglo-world. The IMCDA had particular currency in the interwar years as sundry presidents, former PMs, and national leaders signed up to support it. Read more here. Get in touch if you would like a copy. Don MacRaild, School of English and History, University of Ulster.
    http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/14794012.2014.900967#.U3n8Ca1dXiQ

  • http://thecornishrepublican.blogspot.com/ cornubian

    What did Magna Carta ever do for Cornwall? We continued to be ruled by the feudal Duchy of Cornwall.

  • Daniel Maris

    It should have been called “The Barons Enrichment Charter”. Take a look and see –

    http://www.bl.uk/treasures/magnacarta/translation/mc_trans.html

    Much better if we honoured the Chartists and their first great petition with a national holiday.

  • mutton

    We need an England day.
    Independence day.
    Its nice to see the word English being recognised firstly as a race and secondly as a country with its own history, progress indeed.

  • D Whiggery

    Probably, but how can our politicians credibly support such a measure when they are for the destruction of common law by EU law? What’s the point in honouring a document in this way if those honouring it constantly undermine the principles within it?

    George Osborne showed his breathtaking hypocrisy yesterday when he announced funding for Magna Carta celebrations, before using it as a comical baton to beat Ed Milibland and then confirming that he really does think that it’s all just a joke by not announcing that HMRC will soon be able to raid people’s banks accounts without due process. He left that to the small print.

  • Rush_is_Right

    How about Culloden, 16 April?

  • Steven Barr

    If we want to celebrate Magna Carta, how about an end to fining people without due process and Labour’s restrictions on jury trial?

  • Jackthesmilingblack

    … did she die in vain?

  • dougthedug

    I’m quite happy for England to celebrate the Magna Carta but what’s it got to do with Britain?

    If there’s to be a British Magna Carta day, fair’s fair, there’s got to be a British Declaration of Arbroath day as well.

    • Denis_Cooper

      What was Alexander II doing there?

      • dougthedug

        “We will treat Alexander, King of the Scots, concerning the return of his sisters and hostages and his liberties and rights in the same manner in which we will act towards our other barons of England…”

        Alexander II also held lands in England as a Baron but he was there to get his sisters back.

  • Tom Tom

    Tomorrow is CRANMER DAY – why don’t you mention that ?

  • Jabez Foodbotham

    Sounds fair enough to me. As Tony Hancock rhetorically asked, ‘Did she die in vain?”

  • Reconstruct

    Might as well – the British state honouring Magna Carta with a holiday would confirm precisely that it no longer has any teeth/relevance.

  • Rockin Ron

    A Free Church of England

    1. FIRST, We have granted to God, and by this our present Charter
    have confirmed, for Us and our Heirs for ever, that the Church of
    England shall be free, and shall have all her whole Rights and Liberties
    inviolable. We have granted also, and given to all the Freemen of our
    Realm, for Us and our Heirs for ever, these Liberties under-written, to
    have and to hold to them and their Heirs, of Us and our Heirs for ever.

    A Free London

    9. THE City of London shall have all the old Liberties and Customs which it hath been used to have. Moreover We will and grant, that all other Cities, Boroughs,
    Towns, and the Barons of the Five Ports, as with all other Ports, shall have all their Liberties and free Customs.

    No arrest without a trial

    29. NO Freeman shall be taken or imprisoned, or be disseised of his
    Freehold, or Liberties, or free Customs, or be outlawed, or exiled, or
    any other wise destroyed; nor will We not pass upon him, nor condemn
    him, but by lawful judgment of his Peers, or by the Law of the land. We will sell to no man, we will not deny or defer to any man either Justice or Right.

    What’s not to like?

  • Frank

    What a good idea.
    Shall we have a competition to list all those who should be away from England on that day?
    I will start:
    -Nick Clegg

    • Wessex Man

      Ed Balls

      • Nicholas chuzzlewit

        Salmond. Oh, with a bit of luck he will be going anyway.

    • Hexhamgeezer

      Jo Brand

      • Wessex Man

        David Cameron.

  • HookesLaw

    Given the example of Simon de Monfort then I suppose Gordon Brown got off lightly.

    • Frank

      Health and safety innit

  • swatnan

    King John was a Plantagenet, and French, just like his brother King Richard who only sprent 6 months in England during the whole of his reign and yet they put a statue of King Richard outside Parliament! You couldn’t make it up! The Chancellor got in a good joke about John stabbing his brother in the back to take the top job which must have made EdM wince a bit. Since UKIP and the BNP have hijacked St George, we should look to another hero of Liberty and a Parliamentarian. May I suggest Oliver Cromwell, since they’ve already got a statue of him outside Parliament. and make 1 May a National Holiday, and forget about Magna Carta which didn’t really mean much, because everyone chose to ignore it when it came out.

    • Kitty MLB

      Superb idea that, a superb , Cromwell Day,
      I shall second that.

      • HookesLaw

        Cromwell who ended up a dictator? If more people drew lessons from our history and applied them to the modern world we might get less hysteria.

        • Tom Tom

          Cromwell who achieved Parliament being superior to the King

          • cbinTH

            Cromwell, whose soldiers marched into Parliament and turfed out the MP’s. Cromwell, who made a nonsense of law by putting the King to death for treason.

    • Denis_Cooper

      We could have Naseby Day followed by Magna Carta Day and make it a two day holiday, scrap May Day of course because we are not communists.

      • Wessex Man

        and replace it with Flodden Day!

    • HookesLaw

      And William the Conqueror was Norman. How far back do you want to go?

    • GUBU

      The political colossus that is Mr Russell Brand will no doubt lead the opposition to your proposed Cromwell Day.

      As you may recall, Mr Brand was initially attracted to Cromwell, until a cursory glance at Wikipedia convinced him that the man was ‘a right arsehole’.

      Whilst I lack Mr Brand’s perspicacity, I believe the Lord Protector was particularly keen on celebratory events as a rule, which might just make him an inappropriate subject for one.

      Why not William Shakespeare instead?

      • the viceroy’s gin

        Yes.

        .

        This royal throne of kings, this sceptred isle,
        This earth of majesty, this seat of Mars,
        This other Eden, demi-paradise,
        This fortress built by Nature for herself
        Against infection and the hand of war,
        This happy breed of men, this little world,
        This precious stone set in the silver sea,
        Which serves it in the office of a wall
        Or as a moat defensive to a house,
        Against the envy of less happier lands,—
        This blessed plot, this earth, this realm, this England.

        .

    • Wessex Man

      You don’t know a lot about Ukip do you, or sadly for that matter the BNP, they both use the Union Flag. You are also ill educated that you don’t know what Cromwell got up to in Ireland, ah.

  • Robert Taggart

    ENGLANDS National Day.
    Alright, so England existed before this date, but, barring the utmost national maturity – Republic – this be the next best thing we have…’Common’ people putting Monarchy in its ‘box’ !

  • Denis_Cooper

    Magna Carta was not an exclusively English event and so there is no reason why having Magna Carta Day should be instead of having St George’s Day.

    • Robert Taggart

      Nah – as an English Atheist – Magna Carta has far more meaning.

  • Wessex Man

    Let’s have St George’s Day as a Public Holiday and Battle of Flodden Day as another English Public Holiday. Last September was the 500th anniversary of the Battle that saw an invading king and 10,000 of his men killed. A truly stupendous victory for England’s second string as Henry was busy fighting the French at the time. I was going to go and commemorate the anniversary but decided not to when I found out that the day would be marked with a Service of Reconciliation!

    You can bet your bottom dollar that Salmond and the Scots will enthusiastically celebrate the 700th anniverary of the Battle of Bannockburn ‘against the English opressors’ and pay for it with English money through the Barnett Formula. You couldn’t make it up!

    • Kitty MLB

      Yes Scotland will no doupt will do that with the
      English money that they do not have.

      • MichtyMe

        The English don’t have any money, it’s all borrowed, from foreigners.

        • Wessex Man

          this is true, mustn’t upset dear old Putin too much.

        • Nicholas chuzzlewit

          At least we have a currency.

      • Wessex Man

        prove it.

        • Kitty MLB

          Sorry Wessex Man, I phrased that wrong.
          I meant money from the English taxpayer that they benefit from, that doesn’t really belong to them, I think I meant do not really – that sounds even more confusing,
          its difficult to decipher my posts.

          • Wessex Man

            Well as I like you, you are forgiven.

    • Denis_Cooper

      Battle of Edington Day would be better, or Battle of Brunanburh, except we don’t know the exact dates. The first was between May 6th and 12th 878 so we could just have a week of constant celebrations to be sure of covering the correct day. But all that is known about the second is that it was some time in 937, between the spring and the autumn I would guess, so that’s more of a problem as we couldn’t really devote nine months to it even though it was the crucial battle that forged England and the English.

      http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/merseyside/4112301.stm

      “Birthplace of Englishness ‘found'”

      “A group of academics believe they have found the battlefield where the concept of ‘Englishness’ was born.

      The bloodbath at Brunanburh in 937 AD was fought by King Athelstan when he united the Anglo-Saxons for the first time to fight off a Viking invasion.”
      Of course it was a takeover by Wessex more than anything else.

      • Wessex Man

        Well Denis now you are talking he was my hero and is entomed a mere ten miles from where I live, hence the moniker Wessex Man!

        • Denis_Cooper

          Was entombed, maybe, but nobody knows where Alfred’s bones ended up. There was a TV programme recently where they opened a grave in a churchyard which they thought might be his, but there was a jumble of bones from later times, and then they excavated in some memorial garden and found a bit of hip bone but so far there is no proof that it was his:

          http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-hampshire-25760383

          As for his grandson Athelstan, I think the same goes there as well, his bones got mixed up with those of other kings:

          http://medievalnews.blogspot.co.uk/2010/01/remains-of-eadgyth-anglo-saxon-queen.html

          “Mistakes could occur, and also bones could be later disturbed: those of the Kings of Wessex — many of them Eadgyth’s relatives — in Winchester Cathedral were thrown out during the Civil War, and when they were recovered were thoroughly mixed. Modern techniques would allow some restitution, and the current examination of Eadgyth’s presumed remains will employ just such procedures.”

          • Wessex Man

            I agree entirely, with modern technology, we could have some order and reburials with due respect. What people like Hooky and other detractors don’t seem to understand is that we English should be proud of our mixed ancestors and also of of modern day England.

      • HookesLaw

        Anglo Saxons – those people from Germany you mean, fighting off people from Norway and Denmark who went on to settle in Normandy and finally came over here in 1066.

        • Wessex Man

          and your point is Hooky?

        • Denis_Cooper

          Yeah, what is your point, if you have one?

        • Tom Tom

          Saxons were not really from Germany more Denmark

          • BarkingAtTreehuggers

            Nanana. Widukind was born in Westfalen. In the absence of Lutherianism you could call him a converted Roman Catholic.

    • Samuel Kaine Wheeler

      You want to mark Englishness with the triumph of an Aragonese queen?

      And Bannockburn was infighting between a bunch of Norman nobles over who a given group of peasants belonged to.

      • Wessex Man

        She did pretty well with her hubby away defending dear old England from Scotlands old friend didn’t she? some gal, he shouldn’t have treated her so badly.

    • Conway

      Wasn’t it Catherine of Aragon who was in charge of the country when England was invaded by Scotland while Henry VIII was in France? No doubt she’d learned from her mother, Isabella of Castile.

  • Smithersjones2013

    No Let’s have St Georges Day and scrap May (Labour Day) and then introduce another

    • Raw England

      Well said.

    • Samuel Kaine Wheeler

      The struggle of working people back through Jarrow, the Chartists, the Luddites, Peterloo, the Diggers, the Levellers and beyond means a damn site more to any notion of English identity than some Near Eastern lizard-stabber.

      • Colonel Mustard

        To you maybe.

        • Samuel Kaine Wheeler

          Yep, and to anyone with any conception of English history.

          • Wessex Man

            come on then tell me why we English were so so bad, you self haters never cease to amaze me.

            • Samuel Kaine Wheeler

              What self hate? My very point is that, as a celebration of the best bits of English history, where the people rose up against their oppressors, May Day works better than St George’s Day. Celebrating one’s national identity by venerating someone who never even set foot in the country, who died for an ancient and distant creed, seems bizarre.

    • HookesLaw

      The ONS say ‘English as a sole identity (not combined with other identities), was chosen by 32.4 million people. If the population of England is 53 million, that’s 61%.
      For what its worth.

      But we we do see is that the kipperesque tendency now hate the British as well as the Scots Welsh Irish and every other nationality their pea brains can think of.

      • Wessex Man

        Hooky you must stop telling these lies, your nose will grow and grow! Who’s father in law was it, horrified at the prospect of fracking near him said can’t they go and do it in the desolete North East, he and you are the real racists.

        • HookesLaw

          I don’t see what fraking has got to do with some nutter saying ‘Being ‘British’ is something our worthless establishment political classes…bla blah…’
          Being British is not good enough now for these nasty loony kippers. Well stuff them. Its good enough for me.

          • Wessex Man

            Hooky mate you are making my point, why don’t you just admit you are a secret UKip lover and come on over.

          • vieuxceps2

            Yes,Hooky,being British IS good enough for you. But it’s not good enough for the real English people.

    • Conway

      I’d like to celebrate 15th September – Battle of Britain Day. The weather’s usually nice, too, so that’s a bonus!

    • Daviejohn

      Best Comment on the subject of Holidays I have read here. Although I must say I like the Magna Carta concept.

  • Pootles

    No. St Edmund’s Day, and St. George’s – we’ll have both please. And a new capital – Winchester or York.

    • Robert Taggart

      Neither – though the former would at least be more relevant AND was for real AND was of this land.
      York ? – AYE – will settle for that if only to counteract the Lundun ’tilt’ !

    • Kitty MLB

      Considering all that wish to attack our Christian religion, and turn us into a multi faith country- we are not, we respect those who respect us, but we are still a Christian country. So lets
      please our Arch Bishop and have Canterbury as a new capital.

      • Samuel Kaine Wheeler

        The biggest Christian denomination in the UK now is Catholicism.

        • HookesLaw

          How do you arrive at that?
          The Church of England says about 26 million people have been baptised, the Catholic Church claims about four million members in England and Wales.

          • Samuel Kaine Wheeler

            More people go to Mass every Sunday than go to Anglican services.

            • HookesLaw

              Do they – I understood there was some doubt about RC statistics. But that does not compare with the ‘biggest denomination’.

            • Wessex Man

              You’ll have to excuse Hooky, he can be very tedious sometimes, well quite a lot, oh alright all the time.

        • Kitty MLB

          Well I should have a slapped wrist for not knowing
          that Sammy, being a catholic , don’t tell them, will you 🙂

      • Wessex Man

        it’s a bit boring.

        • Kitty MLB

          Shall put the thinking cap back on.
          Visited Canterbury a couple of times years ago, charming
          with good restaurants- but ok….

  • Q46

    Since Magna Carta along wirh Habeas Corpus, Bill of Rights no longer have any meaning, with the electorate’s wholehearted, or empty-headed, support, there seems little point in commemorating it.

    Instead we should have, Joy and Wealth Redistribution Through EU Feudal Rule Day.

    • Wessex Man

      oh too cynical even for a tick up or down!

      • Robert Taggart

        Not sure which way to tick it !
        DC – are you stating fact or support ?
        Moi ? – Euro Sceptic Non Supporter !

        • Denis_Cooper

          Click on the link to the government information.

          May 9th is “Europe Day”:

          http://europa.eu/about-eu/basic-information/symbols/europe-day/index_en.htm

          and Blair had it added to the official list of days for flying flags.

          • Conway

            When can we have a Freedom from Europe Day? We could call it VE day 🙂

            • the viceroy’s gin

              …maybe do a fly-over Brussels with some old warbirds. And maybe pack a few bombs into the racks just for old time’s sake. 😉

    • Denis_Cooper

      We already have that, May 9th, and although it has not yet been made a public holiday it is a day we mark by flying the flag of the new non-imperial empire on all our public buildings.

      https://www.gov.uk/designated-days-for-union-flag-flying

  • Hello

    Oh god. There’s nothing more tedious than a nation searching for it’s “identity”. If it’s that bad then we probably no longer have one.

    • Raw England

      That’s the thing tho, Hello. Actual English people know already; its inbuilt. For example, most English know that the most fundamental requirement of being English, is being White. The only people debating English Identity are hostile immigrants.

      • Hello

        Now, now.

        • HookesLaw

          Good old racist raw england. A key demographic for Saint Nigel.

          • Raw England

            Charming as always, dear Grandad Hookes.

            • HookesLaw

              And you are filthy as always.

              • Raw England

                X x x

              • Wessex Man

                Don’t tell me you know because you’ve already been together.

          • Wessex Man

            Hooky, I’d like to put you two together and see what sort of music you make.

            • the viceroy’s gin

              It’d be like a combination of Wagner and Culture Club.

              • the viceroy’s gin

                Now that I think of it, I’d throw Ethel Merman in there, too.

    • Wessex Man

      Not at all, we English who actuallty care about our country with the same pride as the Scots and Irish for theirs, arn’t searching for anything, we know what we are and proud to be whereas people like you would struggle to be proud of anyrthing.

  • CharlietheChump

    Should we make Magna Carta Day our national holiday?

    NO

    • Robert Taggart

      YES

    • HookesLaw

      I agree – why should we celebrate a gang of barons usurping power?

      • Wessex Man

        beyond parody Hooky babe, you just keep giving!

  • Raw England

    The definition of English ethnicity and identity is very simple.

    Firstly, it involves being White, obviously; having family/blood lines in England; an intrinsic pride in, and loyalty to, England (to England proper, not the failed multicultural version); Empire; Winston Churchill; Industrial Revolution; Shakespeare; World War II; bowler hats; gossip over the fence; dry sense of humour; community; Patriotism; Freedom of Speech; the arts; philosophy; debate; Sunday dinner; cups of tea.

    That’s the definition of the English ethnicity/identity.

    All those laboriously, creepily debating what Englishness is are, 99% of the time, Leftists and immigrants, you will find. The definition of Englishness was defined centuries ago; our ethnicity and identity isn’t up for debate – certainly, it is not the right of immigrants to dictate it.

    It is impossible for non-White people to be English; just like its impossible for White people to be Pakistanis, or Indian.

    • BarkingAtTreehuggers

      Windmills are unanimously white.
      We ought to celebrate that fact with a National Renewables Day.

      • Raw England

        Hmm.

      • Hexhamgeezer

        White AND phallic. Strewn all round the land, these non-too-subtle monuments to white male fascist oppression are a standing affront to women, ethnic minorities and the LGBT communities everywhere and should be removed now.

        • the viceroy’s gin

          …I’m not sure, but I think I smell a conservative pirate sailing under a false flag. 😉

        • BarkingAtTreehuggers

          Yes, all that, but not before signing a decree enshrining National Renewables Day.

    • Kitty MLB

      I have no idea why we speak down the British Empire, it’s now a dirty word
      and we feel as if we must apologise for the things we have done in the past
      to help other countries, that used to be ours and most places such as Hong Kong say they were better off under British rule.
      You forgot to add Cricket to your list of Englishness, although I must
      point out that India are pretty damned good at it also.

      • Robert Taggart

        The Empire be dead – The Commonwealth be as good as dead – as good as a ‘dead parrot’ !
        Time for England to throw off its British shackles.

      • Samuel Kaine Wheeler

        It wasn’t “our” rule, it was the rule of the financial and political elite.

        I certainly don’t feel ashamed of an Imperial past, nor do I feel proud. Had nothing to do with me.

        • Wessex Man

          probably had a lot to do with your ancestors though.

          • Samuel Kaine Wheeler

            Doubt it. My ancestors best I can tell are mostly the industrial poor with a sprinkling of Irish peasantry. However should I discover tomorrow I was a Cecil I still don’t buy into any of the blood guilt stuff.

            • Wessex Man

              and before that Ag lab, who fought as the PBI in their Lords quibbles, I would have thought that you would have known that, what with your studies under John Darwin!

        • Colonel Mustard

          Tripe. Instead of the student union cartoon of Empire try reading some objective history.

          • Samuel Kaine Wheeler

            I’m rather well read on the subject darling. Dr John Darwin wouldn’t have tolerated anything else in his tutorials.

            I suggest you start with “The Imperialism of Free Trade” and follow the historiography from there, rather than watching Niall Fergusson documentaries.

            • Wessex Man

              So you studied History under Dr John Darwin, still doesn’t him or you any more correct in his or your interpretation of the History of the British Empire than any other fellow. someone else at a different University may have shaped your opinions differently, which to me would say that you are perfect fodder for propaganda!

              • Samuel Kaine Wheeler

                It certainly doesn’t mean I’m right, but I can assert as a matter of fact that I’ve read a lot on the subject, which was Mustard’s contention.

    • Wessex Man

      You are really an embarrassment to this particular white Anglo-Saxon, just go away!

      • Raw England

        You love me really, Man of Wessex. What’s more, you know it.

        • Wessex Man

          oh dear.

      • HookesLaw

        Mr Wessex there are more like him about than you realise. If circumstances were different he would have a blood group tattoo on his forearm.

        • Wessex Man

          aw, now there’s one upset Tory Boy, who can’t think of anything witty to say.

    • Samuel Kaine Wheeler

      Out of macabre interest, how ‘white’ is ‘white’? If I spend too long on the Costa del Sol do I lose my privileges?

      • Raw England

        Obviously, having a tan has no bearing on the matter.

        • Samuel Kaine Wheeler

          So we’re not going off appearance, is there some kind of genetic test then?

          • Raw England

            No test needed. The huge physical and mental differences between the races are glaringly self evident.

            • Guest

              Yup, some save, others gamble away the colonies one after the other, then more colonies, then Ireland, then more colonies, then Scotland.

  • Kitty MLB

    Excellent idea. I think I can remember the words to the English Bill of Rights 1689?
    that the Magna Carta enshrined, in which Ulysses Returns mentions:
    ‘No forreign prince, person, prelate, state, or potentate hath or ought to have
    any jurisdiction , power, superiority and pre eminence within this realm’-
    splendid words !
    We should have another bank holiday and this a is excellent way in which to celebrate the history of our ancient land. philistines can just think of it as another day off.

    • Q46

      And the no foreign price, state, etc thing has worked out so well.

  • la catholic state

    Magna Carta belongs to the past. It will probably be overturned within the next 50 years……most likely by Sharia. I prefer to call on St George.

    • Rationale

      Wow. Really? Grow up and don’t be a reactionary child.

      • Wessex Man

        nothing childish or reactionary to that comment, just goes to show your overbearing holier than thou attitude.

        • MirthaTidville

          Amen to that Sir

    • Tom Tom

      It was overturned shortly after it was sealed

  • asalord

    After independence Scotland should have a Declaration of Arbroath Day.

    • Wessex Man

      After you have thankfully gone, oh I do hope the Scottish people vote for infependence, can with have a ‘Without asalord know nothing day?’

      • MirthaTidville

        Not going to happen sadly..The turkeys have never voted for Christmas

        • Wessex Man

          Don’t tell him that!

    • Kitty MLB

      How are things going in the land of milk and honey ,asalord, Laddie!
      Ready to grab your freedom. Not going to happen you know.
      Salmond is a goose trying to lay the Holyrood golden egg with his head buried in the sand like an ostrich.

  • Ulysses Returns

    I would totally support Magna Carta Day as a national holiday if it wasn’t for the fact that this magnificent day in our country’s history had not been undermined by English Law and Common Law (which Magna Carta enshrined) now being subjugated to foreign courts, Parliament becoming a satrapy to Brussels and our last government making us second-class citizens in our own country.

    • monty61

      Is there a competition on to see who can get the first EU reference into a thread?

      • BarkingAtTreehuggers

        He forgot to elaboorate on the “democracy of the people” instead of having wet dreams about enshrining a feudal/vasal-like judiciary.

      • Samuel Kaine Wheeler

        It’s Spectator bingo. EU, gay marriage, immigration, Muslims, capital punishment, global warming…

        They’re even more excited since Georgie Boy cut the tax.

        • Colonel Mustard

          You are the one with the clichéd soundbites of a student trot – and a tedious avatar to go with them. I hope you are as juvenile as you seem. I’d hate to think those views survived to adulthood.

          • Samuel Kaine Wheeler

            Because hiding behind a pseudonym from a children’s board game is the definition of maturity.

            • Colonel Mustard

              Is that the best you can do, sonny?

              Tell us what your avatar means to you. What exactly does it represent? Hmm?

              • Samuel Kaine Wheeler

                Saying “is that the best you can do?” tends to be what people say when they have no retort.

                My avatar is a piece of art that makes me smile, which is all it need do. I might change to a Wilfred Owen picture come Maundy Thursday, if I feel particularly subversive.

    • Colonel Mustard

      Not just foreign courts but subjugated by the prosecution wing of the Labour party under that Labour stooge Starmer who doesn’t understand the difference between a ‘victim’ and a ‘complainant’ or the implications for a fair trial when you presume beforehand that a complainant, if a woman or some other Labour-protected and preferred category, is always telling the truth and therefore the accused must always be guilty.

      Now the rule of law is equal but some parts of it are more equal than others. Blind justice with the sword and scales replaced by a large effigy of Starmer’s role model, the pig Napoleon from Animal Farm.

      • Samuel Kaine Wheeler

        Justice was never blind, certainly not in a system where legal aid is woefully underfunded and the rich can buy the best advocates.

        • Colonel Mustard

          But the statue is. At least it wears a blindfold the significance of which clearly escapes you.

          As for funded advocacy that is where good judges and juries come in. The former are in very short supply with the majority now apparently working towards a common purpose where ideology trumps justice whilst the latter are being increasingly sidelined by “improvements” to the system.

          • Samuel Kaine Wheeler

            I get what it’s meant to symbolise, I just think it was a lie. The rest of what you’ve said it the usual mixture of paranoia about the Frankfurt School and the reverence for an imagined past where the state only acted to crush people you personally dislike.

            • Colonel Mustard

              Yeah, yeah. Heard it all before. Not as big a lie as the one you have fallen for.

              Your avatar would more accurately represent the nonsense that is you if it was throwing a brick.

        • starfish

          An interesting theory
          Unfortunately what actually happened was that only the rich (who can afford it) and the poor (under legal aid funded by taxpayers) got access – the rest of us have to try and find the money while being taxed to keep the welfare state etc running

          • Tom Tom

            and pay 20% VAT as a tribute

      • Chris Bond

        Hayek said that the first thing the socialist do is remove the rule of law, so the law can be used to make some more equal. Thicko leftists just throw around the word “equal” with no context. They really are disgustingly thick.

    • Tom Tom

      Just a query, why is Common Law so superb ?

      • Colonel Mustard

        It isn’t ‘superb’. But it is better than some Napoleonic regulation drafted by some faceless European bureaucrat in a foreign country and rubber stamped here by the invertebrates who have sold this country down the river.

        • BarkingAtTreehuggers

          Pardon? Like the smoking ban then, curiously only enforced with utmost rigor in Ireland and Britain?
          I mean seriously, what are you on about? Which law does not pass through *our* system first before it becomes *our* law? Name one.

          • Colonel Mustard

            I never wrote that I wanted to break Human Rights legislation in my comment. Never even mentioned it.

            • BarkingAtTreehuggers

              I never said you did – never mentioned anywhere: Colonel Mustard said let’s abolish Human Rights legislation. No, never. Do you want me to say it now?

              • Colonel Mustard

                Don’t be a chump:-

                “You want to break Human Rights legislation”

                ‘You’ in reply to my comment. So, er, which ‘you’ were you actually referring to then?

                • BarkingAtTreehuggers

                  ‘You’ as in the bunch of chums going all spastic about Theresa and her ‘issues’ last summer – can’t quite recall whether you were in that camp, never mind…

        • Tom Tom

          So why is Common Law so special ? It has largely been removed from the English legal system by Statute since the 19th Century as being unpredictable and capricious

          • Colonel Mustard

            Then I don’t think you understand what Common Law really is. It is precisely a protection against the unpredictable and capricious because it seeks precedent not code. The Napoleonic code on the other hand:-

            “was conceived as a complete legislative statement of principles rather than rules and as a truly revolutionary enactment designed to remake the law in the image of a new and better society. It was founded on the premise that for the first time in history a purely rational law should be created, free from all past prejudices and deriving its content from ‘sublimated common sense’; its moral justification was not to be found in ancient custom or monarchical paternalism but in its conformity with the dictates of reason. And thus its fundamental precepts are presented with the claim of universality.

            The drift towards “codifying” law in England, in part coerced by the EU which is re-making Napoleonic law, is not seeking freedom from past prejudices or derived from “sublimated common sense” but rather imposing current prejudices and deriving from sublimated leftist ideology.

            • Wessex Man

              Well said Colonel, it’s everything you said and still they will argue with you, quite sad.

            • BarkingAtTreehuggers

              You support the increasingly outdated feudal/vasal style arrangements of our laws, making it up as we go along in the interest of those select individuals who hold the power at any given moment in time. Fine. But that is not a democracy.

              • Colonel Mustard

                Here we go again. ‘You’ this, ‘you’ that. Well you are another one who doesn’t have a clue what ‘Common Law’ is or what it implies. No wonder it is being so easily eroded.

                Were you really brought up in such a dumbed down environment that you think everything that happened before you were old enough to realise what was going on (less than a couple of decades ago I should imagine) was ‘bad’ and feudal? I take it in the context of the democracy you bleat about that you do understand what exactly Baroness Ashton represents and the system that brought her about?

                Define ‘outdated’ law – by what measure?

                • BarkingAtTreehuggers

                  Watch change happen. Law needs to relate to today’s world and setup, not some outdated notion of what once briefly was. I suspect you are prepared for what’s up next so will not be overcome with all too much emotion.

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