Friday, March 21, 2008

British Fact of the Day

Nearly half the UK population (45%) don’t know what Magna Carta is according to a ‘You Gov’ poll commissioned by the British Library prior to the launch of its Magna Carta website Less than one in three people (32%) know that it set written limits on the authority of the monarch...

Responding to the results of the poll, Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice, Jack Straw MP, said:

"If you asked an American if they had heard of their Bill of Rights, I expect they’d tell you it was a trick question. Such is the enormous iconic value of one of their cornerstone constitutional documents. In contrast, many British people struggle to put their finger on one of our own defining documents, Magna Carta. In Britain we have an innate sense of rights, but they have more existed in hearts and minds and habits than in explicit understanding. The challenge for today is to look for a new expression of our rights, and the responsibilities that go with them, which is relevant for the 21st century. Magna Carta remains an epochal moment in British history, with a resonance that still lasts today. I hope that our proposed new British Bill of Rights and Responsibilities will in time become as deeply engrained in our culture as its equivalent on the other side of the Atlantic."

via Heavy Lifting

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