Clowns & Jokers

Stuck in the middle.... Left, right, centre. It's a mess out there.

Sunday, May 07, 2006


The local elections are over and London is blue. A stronger blue than last time round for sure. Labour lost some mighty strongholds to the Tories and NOC. Still, I cant help feeling dispondent with the political scene at the moment. The Tories should so be able to profit from this but havent yet come out all guns blazing. It should feel exciting but its not. Turnout was up but still very low, somewhere round 30%. The three parties flop around in the centre ground with corrupt Mob rule still in play (The Suns headline on Saturday: 'Now We're ALL being screwed by Prescott' was pretty much bang to rights!). So, anyway, what is the difference between democracy and absolute monarchy again?

Somewhere out there a blogger posted this (sorry i cant recall who)

At Runnymede, at Runnymede,
Oh, hear the reeds at Runnymede:
'You musn't sell, delay, deny,
A freeman's right or liberty.
It wakes the stubborn Englishry,
We saw 'em roused at Runnymede!

And still when mob or Monarch lays
Too rude a hand on English ways,
The whisper wakes, the shudder plays,
Across the reeds at Runnymede.
And Thames, that knows the moods of kings,
And crowds and priests and suchlike things,
Rolls deep and dreadful as he brings
Their warning down from Runnymede!

Rudyard Kipling

"The name Runnymede is synonymous with the Magna Carta - England's great icon of liberty and first expression of human rights.

In 1215, England stood on the brink of Civil War, because the Barons were increasingly provoked by the amount of taxes that the King was collecting in order to fund a series of unsuccessful wars in France, and by abuse of royal and feudal priveleges. Tax collections were both arbitary and extortionate King John initially refused to consider a Charter, submitted by the Barons, limiting his powers, at which point the Barons marched on London.

In an attempt to stop further unrest, King John agreed to meet his Barons at Runnymede to discuss the Great Charter. The Barons formed an encampment at Staines, and the King and his followers were resident at Windsor Castle,with the two sides meeting at Runnymede meadow.
The outcome was a document known as the Articles of the Barons.

It was the first time that an English monarch was obliged to adhere to rules of law, replacing vague Saxon laws. The initial meeting between King and Barons took place on 15th June 1215, and the Charter was finally approved by eight days later. The King could no longer act in a tyrannical manner to subdue the citizens of the country, nor dominate the Church.

Amongst the rights documented in the Charter was the first law relating to weights and measures- "one measure of wine shall be through our Realm, and one measure of ale and one measure of corn, and one bredth of dyed cloth". Women also gained some limited rights- "No widow shall be distrained to marry ".

The Charter guaranteed feudal rights, and regularised the judicial system, abolished many abuses of feudal tenures, guaranteed the liberties of London, and other cities and ports. It also prevented the arbitrary imprisonment of freemen, and protected the rights of heirs. The Charter gave extensive powers to the Barons who were to oversee compliance with the Charter.
In 1216, during the reign of John's son, Henry III the Magna Carta was confirmed by Parliament.

The Charter was further modified in 1297, during the reign of Edward I. Almost 300 years later in 1689, a Bill of Rights, confirming parliamentary authority over the Crown,was passed by Parliament, and contained many of the elements of Magna Carta.

The rights established under Magna Carta have thus been given the force of Law for over a period of seven centuries"

God, we were great. Are great. Will be great again. If we can get shot of the Mob.


At Sunday, 07 May, 2006, Blogger DFH said...

God, we were great. Are great. Will be great again.

I'm fine. I've just got something in my eye, that's all.

At Monday, 08 May, 2006, Blogger Alan_McDonald said...

Rudyard Kipling should have been poet laureate instead of Tennyson, but I hear Quenn Victoria found him too plebian.

At Monday, 08 May, 2006, Blogger MonicaR said...

Yep. The Magna Carta is right up there with the best of them Alison!

At Monday, 08 May, 2006, Anonymous Maggie said...

Just love your blogs Alison they somehow lifts my day. Keep right on.

At Monday, 08 May, 2006, Blogger Wolfie said...

How I love Kipling, what a genious.

At Monday, 08 May, 2006, Blogger Alison said...

I love Tennyson though so cant fault our gracious Queen on her choice.

Plebians make it to such lofty heights nowadays, she'd turn in her grave. Prescott the Plebian wasnt voted in by me but gets to cream off a fat cat salary i pay towards and all those minister privileges, for doing absolutely nothing other than shagging his secretary.

How did we get from King John and the Magna Carta espousing the first Bill of Rights to John Prescott.

At Monday, 08 May, 2006, Blogger Tom Tyler said...

In a way I'm glad Prescott is still around, as his presence in the govt will continue to cause resentment and the papers won't let it go. It'll all help to sink Nu-Lab.

At Tuesday, 09 May, 2006, Blogger Rastaman said...

What REALLY made England great back then were her oak forests. Ships were built of oak in those days and England had these huge oak forests to make lots of merchant ships and war ships. When the forests were cut down, the ships went poof like a fart in the rain, to paraphrase Rutger Hauer (the blonde replicant) in Blade Runner. Actually, what made England great was the collapse of the neighboring civilisations in comparison, but no, what it really was, was the fine quality of the Roman beer that the Celts brewed. No, really, it was all that insatiable opportunism successfully applied in colonializing the hapless and unprepared. Naw, what it REALLY was, really, this time, was the Beatles and Elton John. Until them, England was just another big communal pub. Everybody sat around drinking warm pints and farting and tap dancing, then suddenly BAM the Beatles!! BAM, Elton John!! and everybody said "Where the hell did THEY come from" and some old hunchbacked TV guy said "England" and most people said "Where the hell's that" and some people who wanted to look really cool said "Oh, yeah, sure". And that's how England became great.

At Tuesday, 09 May, 2006, Blogger Wolfie said...

Elton John!? What have you been smoking?

At Tuesday, 09 May, 2006, Blogger Alison said...

Oh HAW HAW Rasta. I like Tiny Dancer (a lot).

So our success is down to others collapse in Rastas quaint potted history of lil ol England - where the Beatles put us on the map, eh.

We-he-he-hehell! Ill give you that attempt at sarcasm, that fine ol English trait.

Few issues tho. I couldnt really give a rats arse if they were 'hapless and unprepared'. To quote Alan Sugar 'This is a dorg eat dorg situation'. Its a tough ol world. In theory we were hapless and unprepared when the Romans invaded us but I dont think ill be issuing a lawsuit and claiming compensation off the Italians anytime soon. Im over the Romans now. It took a while but hey, im a forgiving kind of gal. Im tremendously grateful they even bothered really.

It wasnt oak trees Rasta it was Elizabeth I wot made us great, amongst others. She certainly put the Great into Britain. Without her I expect you'd be speaking Spanish or Portuguese. A quick glance in your back yard should make you grateful she stood her ground. But, sacre bleue! Ifffff you are going to bring in any one cultural phenomenon from the Norf then I reckon it should be the Industrial Revolution.

The Beatles, pubs, Monty Python, oh and Blade Runner (great film - thanks Ridley) AND ALE, however warm, mere cultural icing on the cake ;)


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