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Wednesday 25 November 2020

Freeman On The Land? Er, No

Does Magna Carta mean nothing to you? Did she die in vain? That brave Hungarian peasant girl who forced King John to sign the pledge at Runnymede and close the boozers at half past ten”. 61 years ago, Tony Hancock made more sense than those who, today, are citing Magna Carta as a defence against Coronavirus restrictions - and failing badly.

Do I have to sign the hairdressing clause too?

Very little of Magna Carta is still relevant to today’s laws. And citing Section 61 will get you precisely nowhere, because it is not part of the “very little”. Sadly for all the cranks and the easily led, telling the authorities “I’m on common law”, or “Freeman on the land” is also irrelevant, and also, whisper it quietly, humiliatingly embarrassing in any court of law.

Did she die in vain?

None of this was allowed to permeate the world of one Sinead Quinn, of Quinn Blakey Hairdressers, situated on the main road in the village of Oakenshaw, south of Bradford. She has declined to consent to the latest restrictions, which have mandated the closing of hairdressers. So she has kept on trading, with the inevitable result.

As the BBC has reported, “A hair salon owner is now facing £27,000 in fines for repeatedly opening in breach of Covid-19 lockdown rules. Sinead Quinn was working at Quinn Blakey Hairdressers in Oakenshaw, Bradford, on Saturday when Kirklees Council officers issued a £4,000 fine. The council found the salon open again on Monday and Tuesday and issued two further £10,000 fines. It had £1,000 and £2,000 fines for previous breaches”.

But, not to worry, “Ms Quinn said on Instagram she did not consent to or accept the fines … The salon owner posted videos on the social networking site which show her talking to council officials and police, saying she had not broken any laws. On the video, she is heard saying: ‘I don't consent to any fines, so it will just be returned to sender’”.

While Kirklees Council ponders its next step - which may involve bailiffs distraining upon her assets and a court appearance - few of those looking on have registered any sympathy for her. Alex Tiffin’s reaction was typical: ”I see a Salon Owner took their legal advice from Facebook QC and decided that the meme about Magna Carta seemed strong enough”. What about Magna Carta, then? Did she really die in vain?

If you've cited Magna Carta as a defence to avoid lockdown restrictions because some guy called Jeff said he saw it on a Bill Gates, 5G Mind Control & Lizard Overlord Facebook Group, then you deserve the £17k fine”. Actually, that’s now £27k. Or more. Louise Raw, who you can tell as she’s a doctor, added “I feel like someone on a Covid Denial website said ‘Yeah just say Magna Carta, they can’t touch you!’ and she believed it”.

As to what little of Magna Carta actually is relevant to today’s laws, Patrina Finn had bad news for Ms Quinn. “Oh dear, Article 61, void, was never incorporated into any statutory laws. Magna Carta was written for [the] nobility, not wider public. Of 4 clauses still applicable today, ‘No free man shall be … ruined in any way … except by the law of the land’, so that's you Ms Quinn”. £27k may indeed be ruinous to her.

The law is the law. You can’t make up your own by being taken in by wacko conspiracy guff. And Magna Carta doesn’t allow you to get round that law, just the opposite: it was intended to ensure that the law was what went. Which Ms Quinn may soon do.

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AndyC said...

Going to stick my neck out a bit and bet she voted Leave and still cant see any downside to Brexit. Kinda goes with the Covid denying and two fingers up at the law schtick.

Arnold said...

To no one will we sell, to no one deny or delay right or justice.”
Has anyone tried using this when trials are delayed, or legal aid refused?

Anonymous said...

Perhaps she shud sue mark zuckerberg? Just a thought ...

Nigel Stapley said...

I would recommend reading David Allen Green's blogpost of 5½ years ago on the subject (and the two lectures by Supreme Court judge Sumption which he links to) for the complete (and officially-cnovenient) misapprehension of what Magna Carta actually was:


grim northerner said...

Mark is a 'freeman of the land', so he's untouchable.

Arnold said...

Freeman definitions of common law include "you do not cause harm or loss to another,

Ignoring Covid-19 restrictions risks causing harm. Or is she one of those who thinks it's a hoax?