Posts tagged ‘Magna Carta’

January 22, 2012

The law and the peasantry








I have to put pen to paper and express a frustration that has been growing in me of late. I had the misfortune to hear a lawyer, on TV, trot out the tired old line that there is one law for all and everyone is treated the same in the eyes of the law.


Magna Carta was not the beginning of the law in England, there were recorded laws before it, but it was the beginning of modern law as we know it – although very little of it remains.

However, although written law is classless and supposedly the same for lord and peasant alike, it is interpreted and administered by the upper classes. This has always been the case and always will be.

When the barons forced King John to sign Magna Carta, the only peasants  (like me) who were at Runnymede were there to hold reins and shovel horse shit.

The fact that some parts of Magna Carta worked also in the peasant’s favour, must have been one hell of a shock to the poor old barons. Magna Carta was written as a way to take power from the king and put it in the hands of the aristocracy. Its secondary function was to keep the rest of the populace in check – the law has been keeping the peasants in check on behalf of the upper classes ever since.