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Tuesday, 20 January 2015

1215 to 2015 - The 800th Anniversary of sealing of Magna Carta

1215 to 2015 - The 800th Anniversary of king John's sealing of Magna Carta

On Monday, 12th January I was invited by an English Democrats’ Member to be his guest at a splendid black tie dinner at the City of London’s Guild Hall.

The occasion was a perfect one for the Guildhall as a venue. The Great Hall of Guildhall is one of the most historic and iconic rooms, perhaps in the world, but certainly in England. 

This is a room in which many of the important events of English history took place, or were in some way associated with. 

One of those is Magna Carta. 

Therefore a perfect venue for a dinner in celebration of this year’s 800th anniversary of the sealing of Magna Carta on the 15th day of June by King John at Runnymede.

The guest list was also impressive and there were many recognisable faces there from the “great and the good”!

We had several speeches. From an English Nationalist point of view, I thought it was interesting that both Lord Dyson, the Master of the Rolls, and the Foreign Secretary, Philip Hammond MP, both spoke at some length and managed not to mention the dreaded words of “England” or “English” at any point in their speeches. 

The American Ambassador, Matthew Barzun, however then spoke wittily and for, as he joked, less time than any of us 'dared to hope'. He mentioned a dozen times or more England’s unique and crucial contribution to the development of parliamentary democracy and the “Rule of Law”, which I was grateful to note. He made no mention of “British” or the “United Kingdom”!

It would seem that the British Establishment is keen to make out that it still has a commitment to the traditional English concept of the “Rule of Law”. 

As a lawyer I am extremely dubious as to any claim about that. 

It seems to me that the current Establishment’s commitment is to a highly politicised system which maintains only the rituals and vestiges of our traditional civil liberty. 

Despite this questionable position, nevertheless the Establishment intends to make some political capital out of claiming to be the heirs of 800 years of the key document in the creation of the concept of “Rule of Law”. They are also determined to do so without mentioning that it is an English document.

In truth Magna Carta is certainly not a British document by any reasonable stretch of historical imagination. “British” is a concept that would not exist for nearly 500 years after the sealing of Magna Carta.

As I considered the anachronism and wilful ignorance of this Establishment propaganda claim, I also wondered how Scottish people would feel if the British State now sought to claim that the Declaration of Arbroath was a “British” document?


  1. Robin. It is indeed a laughable irony if it were not so repulsive that today's parliament, which behaves much as those that Simon de Montfort sought to curb, is much more like the robber barons and evil King John that preceded Magna Carta than anything that has happened since.

    Of course, Simon de Montfort, as was pointed out by, I think, Michael Wood, was the re-assertion of Anglo-Saxon England and its democracy which had been buried by the Norman Yoke. We are still not back there yet, however, and have indeed now gone into reverse. Next year will be the 1050th anniversary of Hastings. I wonder if the BBC will even bother to mention it for fear of stirring up nasty English nationalists.

    What will be more interesting will be the 100th anniversary of the Russian Revolution in 2017. I am eagerly awaiting what Putin, if the US has not managed to effect regime change by then, has to say about it and who was really behind it. As with all left-wing revolutions, the useful idiots are there doing the witting or unwitting bidding of the financial hegemons. I wonder whether Putin, in his frustration at the way in which Wall Street and the City are determined to bring down Holy Russia, will spill the beans. The Western Media will either poo poo or not publish it but the rest of the world will be listening.

  2. Robin. Hasn't this all been overturned by the Lisbon Treaty and will be finally buried with TTIP.

    1. The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) is a trade deal between the EU and US that could hand over the control of our food to big business so that corporate profits, not safety, would determine what we eat.
      That could mean more hormones and antibiotics in our food and more GM ingredients.
      It could mean schools and hospitals find it harder to buy locally grown, sustainable food for students and patients.
      Even worse, big businesses could sue any country that tries to impose tighter controls on food safety.
      TTIP is being negotiated in secret, but covers every aspect of life, not just food production, and will allow international business to impose its will on national states.

  3. Well said. In fact a number of major parts of the Magna Carta come directly from the Anglo-Saxon parliaments of the English Kings starting some 1088 years ago. These were that the King was subject to the law and parliament. The law of the land was above all including King and religion. That the law could only be changed by parliament. That the King could not invent laws or act capriciously. Additionally Simon de Montfort did not invent elections for shire knights, or invite burgesses or invite proctors (representatives of monastries and other religious establishments that the bishops did nto represent. This was done by Henry III see particularly his parliament of 1254 ("The Origins of the Early English Parliament" by the Oxford historian J R Maddicott).