Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Anyone remember St. George?

For we are the people of England, that never have spoken yet (G. K. Chesterton, The Secret People +).

SQA is watching the National Archives web site with baited breath. Will we see any recognition of England's national day on 23 April?

St. George slaying the dragon: the EU?

With the advent of the Scottish Executive and the enhanced role of the Scottish National Archives and the Welsh Assembly and associated archival changes in the Principality, TNA has taken on a more crucial but less well publicised role as the English National Archives (see TNA branch page About Us which states TNA is the the National Archives of England [editor's underlining], Wales and the United Kingdom.

We might therefore expect TNA to showcase documents of particular relevance to England, the Mother of Parliaments *, perhaps Magna Carta or the Bill of Rights. We are open to suggestions.

Magna Carta

That such a promotion of the documentary heritage of the country that has done more than any other to establish, internationally, peace and stability, the multi-party system, democratic accountability, representative government, the rule of law, the Common Law, trial by jury, presumption of innocence, Habeas Corpus, the English language and free trade should be undertaken by TNA therefore seems reasonable.

After all, TNA is promoting Black History Month, even publishing an official TNA Black Presence branch web site. TNA is also a partner in the Moving Here project, which seeks to encourage research into and better understanding of the limited immigration to these shores. (Professor David Coleman, Professor of Demography at Oxford and honorary consultant to Migration Watch disputes Barbara Roche's claim that Britain is a nation of immigrants, based on DNA testing.)

Prof. David Coleman, centre

Or will we witness a repeat of the invisible Commonwealth Day? (See our previous blog.) We are pessimistic, given the omission of the name England from the EU map of the UK and the break up of England into indentyless regions and the apparent ignorance of England's patron saint among the general public.

We shall see.

* The British Parliament is often called the "Mother of Parliaments," as the legislative bodies of many nations — most notably, those of the members of the Commonwealth — are modelled on it. However, it is a misquotation of John Bright, who had actually remarked on 18 January 1865 that England is the Mother of Parliaments, in the context of supporting demands for expanded voting rights in a country which had pioneered Parliamentary government (source: Wikipedia)

Further reading:

+ For the full poem, click here


The England Project

The Campaign for an English Parliament

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