The Revd Margaret Legg
It is Magna Carta that establishes the principle of Parliament. Without the force of law, worker’s rights in this country may never have been enforced. Clause 14 establishes the idea of a common council, as a means of obtaining common consent, rather than the King alone with one or two advisers he had chosen. KingJohn agreed to ‘cause to be summoned the archbishops, bishops, abbots, earls and greater barons and all who are his direct tenants, for a fixed date, when the business shall proceed.’ In 1215 the business was likely to be either the assessment of a financial aid, so the principle of ‘no taxation without representation’ comes from this, or of a scutage, the money paid by a vassal to his lord in lieu of military service.