New Putney Debates

New Putney Debates

Occupy London has held a series of events inspired by the Levellers and Diggers’ demands for social justice, civil rights and equal access to the land in the mid-seventeenth century. The venue for some events was St. Mary’s Church in Putney where the debates started on 28th October 1647. At the New Putney Debates there was an emphasis on public participation in the spirit of 1647, when it was said that England was ‘a Nation of Prophets’.
The Centre for Labour and Social Studies (Class) is a think-tank established in 2012 to act as a centre for debate and discussion. Originating in the Labour Movement, Class works with a broad coalition of supporters, academics and experts to develop and advance alternative policies for today.
We can offer a mayor for your city. It’s a sop, a stitched-up deal.
It’s a deal that is clearly formed to help the powers that be hang on to their influence. Westminster can’t devolve any powers to Manchester or other cities and localities – they don’t actually have any real power left to bestow.
‘They’ve given it away to financial institutions, commercial media, property speculators, private-public service providers, management consultants, accountants and PFI profiteers, while ceding ultimate authority over national macro-economic policy to the bond markets.’
The UK Government owes £2 billion in World War 1 bonds, for example.
The Charter of the Forest
Henry III’s Charter of the Forest was issued on 6th November 1217, as an adjunct to the reissued Great Charter of Liberties. In order to differentiate the Charter of the Forest from the Charter of Liberties, the latter gained the name ‘Magna Carta’, being the longer of the two documents. Several of the liberties reaffirmed in the Charter of the Forest dated from the first version of Magna Carta, sealed by Henry’s father King John in June 1215. The Charter of the Forest, however, dealt exclusively with the rights and liberties that the king’s subjects held over land, in particular the open forests, heaths, commons and wastes that had multiple uses in the medieval economy. The Charter of the Forest therefore disclosed a customary relationship with the natural world, which by and large was extinguished in the centuries that followed as a consequence of enclosure, urbanisation and industrialisation.
Suggested reading: Christopher Hill’s ‘Puritanism and Revolution’ (Penguin 1984) & ‘The World Turned Upside Down’ (1991)

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