SUNDAY 15th June sees the 799th Anniversary of the signing of the Magna Carta.
The Magna Carta was signed by King John in 1215 at Runnymede, Surrey. For those who know, it’s one of the most important documents ever signed – and is revered by active freedom-lovers the world over. However, it’s a fair bet that not many ordinary’ folks in Britain will have ever heard of it, let alone celebrate it.
This is both sad and a national scandal.
The importance of the Magna Carta is explained by one web-site (1) which seeks to explain the importance of the publication:
“Its lasting iconic value as the foundation of so many world democracies lies in the power of an idea – a principle, which states that nobody, including the King, is above the law of the land.”
The National Liberal Party is passionate about maintaining and enhancing our traditional freedoms. Indeed, Liberty is cited as as one of our core principles (2). Some time ago, we established a web-site http://www.15thjunemagnacarta.org/ dedicated to promoting the Magna Carta. It notes:
“In 13th Century England the Monarchy represented the State, only the powerful had any rights. In 1215, at a turning point of History, King John was forced to sign the Magna Carta document. This was the first time that the people were recognised as having rights!!”
The NLP feels that the freedoms established by the Magna Carta are needed like never before. Although Britain is far from perfect, at least we are allowed to vote and can openly criticise the government of the day. Unlike some nations, we are allowed a trial by jury and are presumed innocent until proven guilty. With this in mind, it’s probably no wonder that so many genuine political refugees head here.
To emphasise the importance of safeguarding our liberties and freedoms, the National Liberal Party (in publications such as Caledonian Voice, English Voice and Liberty & Nation) warns against:
“Politically Correct busy bodies who seem to want to dictate to everyone how they should think and act. Despite their self-proclaimed ‘liberalism’, in reality they’re dogmatic, undemocratic and totalitarian in nature.”
With this in mind, we’d ask readers to consider supporting the Free Speech NOW! campaign (3) launched by Spiked on-line magazine (4).
But the fight for liberty and freedom is not just limited to Britain. Another group worthy of support is the American Civil Liberties Union – ACLU (5). Their mission is “to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to every person in this country by the Constitution and laws of the United States.”
Magna Carta Day should – in particular – be celebrated by folks who are non-conformist, open-minded, non-judgemental, libertarian and free-thinking. We should use the day to reflect how lucky we are. But we should also use it as a spur to action – to see that all of our traditional freedoms are enshrined in a written constitution. And these freedoms should apply to everyone, no matter their background or status.