June 15, 2008 5:03pm CST
In Runnymead, on 15 June 1215, a group of concerned citizens forced Bad King John to put his seal on the Magna Carta (Great Charter), establishing the principle that even the head of state cannot ignore the rights of the citizenry. Magna Carta went on to become the foundation of the British constitution (leading ultimately to the Bill of Rights, free elections to Parliament, the US Constitution etc). Modern civilised forms of government have their roots in Magna Carta, and quite rightfully it still has legal force. This is an anniversary worth celebrating. Unfortunately we currently have a government which thinks Magna Carta is fit to be used only as toilet paper, with multiple human rights violation being the norm, the latest of which is 42 days imprisonment without trial for those that the police claim to suspect are guilty of terrorist offences. All right-thinking people in Britain oppose this, and a high ranking Opposition MP (David Davis) has gone so far as to resign as an MP in order to force a by-election which will be fought on this issue. At least one shameless Labour councilor has suggested putting up a victim of terrorism as a candidate opposing Mr Davis - since they don't have a rational argument in favour of 42 days, he obviously thinks it best to fall on old habits and go for the shroud-waving routine instead, in the hope that enough unthinking fools will be conned into supporting the government: http://www.linkbucks.com/link/f889f573/16312 Fat chance, if you ask me. This government is going down, and about time too.