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?