Daniel Goodwin

“Does Magna Carta mean nothing to you? Did she die in vain?”

It’s almost 800 years since the signing of the Magna Carta and this wonderful line from Tony Hancock comes to mind as we launch St Albans’ District Magna Carta celebrations. Hancock Half Hour – Twelve Angry Men (Opens in new window) It just about sums up the general level of knowledge of the Magna Carta and its relevance today. However there is increasing interest in the development of law on rights and freedoms which it symbolises. This year sees the start of a series of events in the towns and cities linked to the Magna Carta Trust, leading up to a national celebration in 2015 celebrating the 800th anniversary of the signing of the Magna Carta in 1215.

Link to St Albans festival web page (Opens in new window)

Link to Magna Carta Trust web page (Opens in new window)

The Magna Carta 2015 celebrations have suddenly gained new relevance with the prospect of major electoral and constitutional reform over the coming years, following the formation of the first coalition government since the Second World War. It will therefore be important to consider some of the first principles for good government, some of which have roots that go back beyond the Magna Carta. As we consider the possibilities of new arrangements, I hope that we can use the celebrations of this ancient event as a focus for thoughts about the right constitutional framework for 21st Century needs. One which balances governmental and civic responsibilities and which considers the fundamental rights and freedoms needed in a country which should pride itself on being at the heart of democracies internationally.


2 comments on ““Does Magna Carta mean nothing to you? Did she die in vain?”

  1. Jonathan Flowers
    May 15, 2010

    Sounds as though it’s not just about a glorification of the past, but an invitation to contemplate the positive effects of governance innovation?

  2. Daniel Goodwin
    May 16, 2010

    Exactly that, Jonathan. Whilst the forthcoming changes could be quite scary for many of us, it is important that the public sector looks further than a rearrangement of the deckchairs and thinks through the organisational development requirements for the future.

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This entry was posted on May 13, 2010 by in Constitution and community and tagged , , , .
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