The conifers on Rodborough Common can appear incongruous: A solitary copse on the thin soil above the Cotswold limestone; Their dark trunks dominate the sky-scape, The stunted trees shrouding the light, Like men in front of a firing squad. They were planted to commemora read more
I’m not a pagan; I’m a nothing, Formally and spiritually speaking. I might possibly be a bit of a pantheist: Losing my head and myself In wind, sky, silence, and landscape, But I’m a bit of a dialectical materialist too, With a dash of Gramscian cultural hegemony, And a read more
John Clare Day With John Clare Day fast approaching, let’s remind ourselves of Matthew Beaumont’s A Nocturnal History of London NightWalking and its John Clare relevance. Here’s a summary to re-whet the appetite: You will know the difference between the bohemian NOCTAMB read more
All this David Starkey
About Magna Carta,
The Great Charter,
And Life, Liberty and Property;
I saw him on the telly,
With his usual pomposity,
But without a hint of irony,
As he talked of ending tyranny;
For as a consequence of fracking,
Our homes now face ransacking,
And so pockets can be lined,
Our homes are undermined.
An English home is your castle?
Why, that’s oh so medieval –
Magna Carta’s not for us,
Our basements turn to dust.
Oh brave new world that has such mining in it.
1066 And All That
Here are a few of the comments of Sellar and Yeatman, from their 1930 classic, on Magna Charter (‘on account of the Latin Magna (great) and Charter (a Charter)’):
- That no one was to be put to death, save for some reason – (except the Common People).
- That everyone should be free – (except the Common People).
- That everything should be of the same weight and measure throughout the Realm – (except the Common People).
- That the Barons should not be tried except by a special group of other Barons who would understand.
Magna Charter was therefore the chief cause of Democracy in England, and thus a Good Thing for everyone (except the Common People).
And, for 2015:
- That no one’s home should be subject to fracking – (except the Common People).
For those of you for whom John Clare is a new name, But who might want to join us on a John Clare Walk, Around the common lands of Stroud and the 5 Valleys, On John Clare Day and Night, every July 13th, (He was born on July 13th 1793, at, in Clare’s words: ‘Helpstone, a read more