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Today is the eight hundredth anniversary of the signing of the Magna Carta at Runnymede. This document, wrung out of King John by his rebellious Barons, enshrined the principle of equality before the law, and formed the basis for law in this country, in the commonwealth countries, and in the USA.

King John was, by all accounts, a nasty piece of work; the worst of kings. Cruel and weak, he was run to ground by the nobles of England and forced to submit before the law. Everyone was made equal in the eyes of the law by that document; it’s probably the greatest piece of law-making ever created.

Of course, that don’t make the world fair, and things are not always equal, but thanks to the Magna Carta we’ve got a fair crack.


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