Friday, October 26, 2007

Ideal and reality

...the Levellers posited nearly 400 years ago...precisely the kind of secular constitution guaranteeing freedom of conscience and speech alongside a sovereign parliament which many regard today as much needed political safeguards...What the Putney debates highlight is this nation's extraordinary role in the development of participatory democracy. In our diffident relativism we tend to shy away from it, but from the Magna Carta onwards, we have played a pioneering role in the emergence of equality before the law, universal suffrage, an independent judiciary and freedom of speech. The struggle for these rights is precisely the history we should be teaching our schoolchildren and new migrants.
-- from Tristram Hunt on the Putney Debates of 1647.
Lord Hoyle's solicitor said that the financial relationship with Mr Wood was "a matter of public record of which Lord Drayson, who is a friend and colleague of Lord Hoyle, would be fully aware".
-- from Peer was paid to introduce lobbyist to minister, a report by David Leigh and Rob Evans.

[P.S. 30 Oct: CIF on the putney debates.]

No comments: