Magna Carta Libertatum…. anniversary of

I have not told many people this, but my ancestor Guy de Charon, a minor Norman baron who didn’t toe the party line all those years ago, was King John’s adviser and sent back the first draft of Magna Carta Libertatum to the Lords. As every Englishman, woman, boy etc etc knows (For Magna Carta only applied in England as the English had not at that time annexed Scotland, Wales or Ireland) the Norman Lords were not entirely happy with the Charonite amendments, sent it back to the King, and a meeting was arranged with King John at Runnymede on June 15, 1215.

This week Tony Benn told a slavering press that he did not think he would see the day when Magna Carta was torn up, let alone by a Labour government.

The 42 day vote was won by the government with the assistance of the DUP to cries of “thirty pieces of silver”. 36 Labour MPs rebelled.

The Press and media huddled together in their respective groups to plan their next moves… when slowly silence descended. At first the sound was muted… but gradually the sound of galloping became clear, building to a crescendo as a ‘noble’ man galloped through the doors of a dystopic parliament, dismounted, and announced that…

“The name of my constituency is Haltemprice and Howden – [which] is derived from a medieval proverb meaning noble endeavour. Until yesterday I took a view that what we did in the House of Commons – representing our constituents was a noble endeavour because for centuries … we defended the freedom of people. Well, we did, up until yesterday. This Sunday is the anniversary of Magna Carta, a document that guarantees the fundamental element of British freedom, habeas corpus. The right not to be imprisoned by the state without charge or reason. But yesterday this house allowed the state to lock up potentially innocent citizens for up to six weeks without charge. The Counter-Terrorism Bill will, in all probability, be rejected by the House of Lords very firmly. After all, what should they be there for, if not to protect Magna Carta?…”

David Davis, formerly Shadow Home Secretary, announced his resignation and declared that he would stand for Parliament again in a by-election to fight against the “the slow strangulation of fundamental British freedoms by this government” and on a single issue – “that the monstrosity of a law that we passed yesterday will not stand.”

The Press hyperventilated and within hours attention had turned away from Gordon Brown to ‘the deep divisions in the Tory party’ and the press and media went on to prepare hyperbole on an industrial scale, majestic in faux Shakespearian grandeur, to write or talk of the “Rift between the Davids”. WebCameron was reported to be ‘furious’ but countered by replacing Davis immediately with Dominic Grieve, who had been idling away time before power by being shadow Attorney General, and declaring that there was no way back now for Davis.

In a rather bizarre twist, Kelvin “Gotcha” Mackenzie, former editor of The Sun, pops up on the This Week programme on Thursday night to announce to a bemused Andrew Neill, Portillo and Diane Abbott that if Rupert Murdoch is good for the money – he, Kelvin “Freddie Starr ate my hamster” Mackenzie, would stand against Davis in the by-election if no-one else would. The Lib-Dems and UKIP planned not to stand and Labour was about to treat the whole things as a stunt and a farce.

Mackenzie told us that he is not bothered about the increasing number of CCTV cameras, that he doesn’t have any fears about ID cards, about DNA, because he hasn’t done anything wrong and has nothing to fear – and seems to be quite relaxed about 42 days detention without charge. Not a great deal of meat on the Mackenzie manifesto yet, not illuminating, as yet, on the legalo-philosophic rationale for supporting the erosion of civil liberties – but, no doubt, the resources of Sky and Murdoch and Mackenzie’s undoubted intelligence and sharp wit will lead to more in due course.

Brown is not off the hook. The Press will soon turn their focus back and the Lords have yet to consider their view of the 42 day proposal. Brown stated at PMQs that the British public supported their 42 day proposal. It may well be that parliamentarians on the Labour and Tory side try to dismiss Davis’s action as a stunt – but I have a feeling that it will ignite debate, the public may well change their tune on 42 days, and that both Brown and Cameron will have to have their wits about them.

For the moment, until I hear Davis express his mini manifesto – I’m with him. Davis took a principled stand – and I hope that he drives the message home in what will certainly be a high profile by-election.

I’d just like to add that David Cameron reminds me of that computer generated creation Max Headroom. I think I’m entitled to express a thought, a view, even in these unenlightened times. I’m off for a glass.

Charon rating

10 thoughts on “Magna Carta Libertatum…. anniversary of

  1. One has to wonder if Kelvin will wow the male voters with the charms of a Page Three girl, and try and smarm the lady voters with his own charm. As if… he can try with this lady, but I ain’t interested. I personally think Kelvin misses producing the news, and now just wants to make the news.

    Just who did he think he was impressing with his “I was around at Rupert (Murdoch’s) house this afternoon, for some drinky-poo session, and he just happened to mention to me…”, oh get over yourself!!

  2. Helga

    He does seem to be rather pleased with himself – we shall see how he fares when the media spotlight is on HIM> Journos have long memories and those who put themselves forward for public office tend to find journos breaking in through the doors of private life – metaphorically speaking, of course

  3. I’m rather impressed by Mr Davies too. So far. I hope it doesn’t end up being nothing more than a publicity stunt for himself.

    It would be nice to think there is still one parliamentarian that is prepared to stand or fall over his principles.

  4. Ro: It is quite a shrewd move if the pundits are correct in their assertion that Davies has been ‘iced’ and is not part of the inner circle.

    It will be interesting to see developments.

  5. My Dear Charon,

    I think Cameron has made a fool of himself. He should have backed Davis.

    As for Davis, he may emerge with support from left and right.

    James C

  6. James C

    I agree…. could be an error not to have done so. It would have raised Conservative stock as centrist and positioned the conservatives on the moral high ground.

    There are, however, two more years for the present government to build – but they won’t do it with Brown at the helm.

  7. My Dear Charon,

    I am not impressed by Cameron. Boris has gone quiet too. I suppose they will return to work after the summer season has ended and a few more grouse have met their maker.

  8. I know what you mean about Max Headroom but… don’t you think there’s more than a passing resemblance between Cameron and that disgraceful sleaze-monger who got sacked for actually having the audacity to try reporting real news items in The Mirror a couple of years ago? In fact, I’m pretty sure I’ve never seen them both in the same place at the same time…

  9. Pingback: Weekend Review 14-15 June: A week to remember for a very long time…. « Charon QC…the blawg

  10. davis’s great move in defence of liberty (which – and you hear it here first – will in time prove to be have as much to do with civil liberties as aitken’s sword and shield had to do with the truth) is surely down more to a general falling out with cameron and his own desir for self-promotion.

    it would also be churlish to mention the fact that the tories (much to nobody’s surprise if you recall their love of locking up people at random -ahemminersahem, ahemantiapartheiddemonstratorsahem, ahemantinuclearprotestersahem- ) have no plans to reverse the 42 day rule cos frankly once there’s a law, well it’s just too much bloody fuss to change; and let’s see how keen they are to stop the state spying on everyone – might just come in a bit handy that, once they are in power…).

    it contrasts very nicely with mr cameron’s attitude to that bit of lefty nonsense the human rights act, which is due for the dustbin when the friends of liberty take power on the usual wave of tax-cutting sod the poor bugger the blacks shaft the homos policies these imaginatively-challenged lightweights spout at election time.

    plus ca change.

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