June 16, 2013

AS IN NEARLY ALL MATTERS...:

Occupy Runnymede: Six reasons why the British Establishment hates the Magna Carta (ANTHONY BARNETT 15 June 2013, Open Democracy)

If you go to the long meadow of Runnymede beside the Thames where the Magna Carta was sealed in 1215, there is a strange surprise. It is best located today by saying it just to the west of Heathrow Airport and the M25 between the M3 and the M4. There you will find a memorial to the great Charter erected by the American Bar Association in 1957. The land itself belongs to the National Trust, it too seems to have been gifted thanks to American patrimony. Sitting in the Magna Carta Tea Room you can reflect that it seems to be the only truly English erection. Otherwise, here at what is arguably and mythologically the centre and starting point of that great Anglo Saxon contribution to civilisation, namely 'the rule of law', there is an absence - a wonderful meadow but no pompous parliamentary statue or monument, not even a stick in the ground to say, "Hey world, look here, this is where we did it".

All sorts of marvellous medieval achievements are officially celebrated, but not this one.

Today is Magna Carta day. Most people have no idea that it is because it isn't marked in the calendar anymore than the site itself.


...it is Americans who understand and revere history, not the ignorant Europeans.

Posted by at June 16, 2013 6:54 AM
  

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