Since then I have seen an awful lot of people rubbishing any thought of commemorating the 800th anniversary of its signing next year. Nothing of Magna Carta remains part of our law and the whole thing was irredeemably sexist and all sorts of other ists too.
There is something deeply silly about someone who is shocked to find that the social attitudes of the 13th century were different from those of our own. And even if nothing of Magna Carta remains in law, it remains a symbol somewhere deep in the public mind of the idea that the powers of government can be curbed.
Those who resist this seem to feel that if only they could strip all symbols away the votes would sweep them and their radical ideas to power. I wish them luck with that project.
And their rubbishing of Magna Carta reminds me of one of the sillier speeches given in the House of Lords in recent years.
On 13 October 2008 Lord Carlile decided it was part of brief as the government's independent reviewer of terrorism legislation to speak in favour of Labour's Counter-Terrorism Bill and join the payroll vote (and no one else) in voting for it.
Then he said:
I have heard it said that this is a breach of Magna Carta. I disqualify that on the grounds of misrepresentation and over-reliance on a document that, although of its time, by today's values is sexist and racist. I would expect Liberty to be marching in the streets against it.Perhaps the best summation of Magna Carta's place in modern life was that given by Marriott Edgar, who was once famous for his monologues - including The Lion and Albert.
His The Magna Charter concludes:
And it's through that there Magna Charter,
As were made by the Barons of old,
That in England today we can do what we like,
So long as we do what we're told.