An informative, combative post from Jack of Kent about the Magna Carta, which is supposed to have celebrated its 800th birthday a couple of days ago. Magna Carta plays more of a symbolic than a functional role in English law. But what does it symbolise?
[It symbolises] not a great English constitutional principle, but the lack of one. It symbolises the capacity of people to nod-along at being told they have fictional and non-existent rights instead of having rights which can actually be enforced. It symbolises that people are content with believing in fairy tales.
Those with political and legal power know this. It is safe for the government to want you to celebrate Magna Carta, which you cannot rely on in court, whilst it – for example – seeks to repeal the Human Rights Act, which you can.