We have a tendency in these islands – particularly in England – to prefer our history packaged as 'heritage'. Pageantry and grandiose words may easily replace rigorous and realistic analysis with a warm fuzzy feeling. It can also make us look both foolish and false.
The 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta in June 2015 is being widely celebrated. King John’s signing of this document symbolised the end of an age when rulers had absolute power. Yet worship of the state, in England and beyond, is still common.