Celebrating the building blocks of democracy in England’s rich history

My surgery last week was at the Hastings Mosque in St Leonards.

I like to move them around Hastings, Rye & the villages to make sure that I reach people who might not otherwise make an appointment.

Friends at the Mosque welcomed me as always and also quickly moved on to indignant condemnation of the grotesque murders in Paris.

I gather the Imam at prayers had clearly spoken out too.

If the solution to reducing the threat from home grown terrorists lies in public condemnation of extremist Muslims, we are well served locally.

In an obituary of the Duke of Wellington, who died last week aged 99, I learnt that he used to try to entice French Ambassadors to commemorations for the Battle of Waterloo, but the Ambassador always replied that he was waiting for the Battle of Hastings ....

Well, I have good news for our French friends. There will be a celebration of the Battle of Hastings and they needn’t wait until 2066, as the Council is planning one for the more modest 950th anniversary next year.

And we will celebrate it proudly as it remains an important part of our history.

We might even invite some of the French!

But before we get there, this year we are celebrating 800 years since the Magna Carta was signed.

Like the source of the Nile, the original birthplace of our democracy is formed from many different sources, but the 1215 Charter at Runnymeade was an essential one and remains a cornerstone of our English liberties.

It is something we should all celebrate and pass on to our children.

When our democracies are threatened with vile acts of terror, we should count our blessings even more fervently.

P.S I hear that the Access to Justice Foundation is hosting a fundraising walk in Hastings on the 14th September 2015 to celebrate the Magna Carta’s 800th anniversary.

Find out more on: http://magnacarta800th.com/events/access-to-justice/