Apologies to Mr R Hood?

Some of you took exception to hearing the late Mr Hood described as an armed robber. I did so, as in the accounts and films of Robin Hood that I have seen, taking money off successful local entrepreneurs at arrow point was an important part of what he did.

I freely accept that he might have also been an early member of a foreunner of UKIP, making a stand against European government in the form of the Sheriff of Nottingham, imported by the Norman invaders and given authority from the local castle. Like UKIP in a later age, his stand made no difference to the success and legitimacy of the European government imposed.

I also accept that he might have been an honourable outlaw, resisting unreasonable use of force and abuse of local power by an overmighty local official. Unfortunately there are so many different sightings and records of people who might have led to the legend we will never be able to be fair to the memory of one so elusive.

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11 Comments

  1. Ian B
    Posted May 19, 2010 at 6:11 am | Permalink

    Like UKIP in a later age, his stand made no difference to the success and legitimacy of the European government imposed.

    I haven’t seen anybody else, including those choosing an “insider strategy”, having much success either…

  2. adam
    Posted May 19, 2010 at 9:28 am | Permalink

    ha ha ha

    I wish we had King John taxes, today
    IMF taxes are much worse

  3. Rollo Clifford
    Posted May 19, 2010 at 10:15 am | Permalink

    Great stuff re RH when one starts to counter mr Crowes new version ohistory in his newest film each time it could turn into a career! Who will he kebab next Churchill?

  4. Stuart Fairney
    Posted May 19, 2010 at 10:18 am | Permalink

    Comparing UKIP to historic criminals is dishonourable.

  5. pauper
    Posted May 19, 2010 at 10:26 am | Permalink

    You apologise too soon, Mr Redwood. Has Mr Hood threatened to sue? In his earliest manifestation ("The Geste of Robin Hode") he was, as you said originally, nothing more nor less than an armed robber, preying indiscriminately.

    In later ballads, to be sure, his depredations were against big-state authority figures, such as tax collectors and abbots collecting their rents. In that sense he was a small-state Tory. We are not told, however, that he actually returned the money to those who earned it, which possibly makes him more of a Gladstonian Liberal. What he certainly wasn't was a statist socialist.

    So deeply embedded in the self-congratulatory Labour psyche is the Victorian image of the hero rebel with an overdeveloped social conscience, stealing from the rich and giving to the poor, that it would be rather amusing if the Tories took steps to steal Robin Hood from them.

    Perhaps they already have. On the wireless this morning I heard a man putting out some Tory policy on the Big Society. He advocated communities' "taking over derelict land", and the state expropriating dormant bank and building society accounts to fribble their contents on worthy causes. Can it be that Mr Hood has influence with the new Government, no less than with the old?

  6. alan jutson
    Posted May 19, 2010 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

    You do not Like UKIP much John, do you !

    Can I recomend you visit the Robin Hood Legend Visitor attraction in Sherwood Forest for more details.

    Some of the dates are a bit mixed up, like the oak tree he is supposed to have hideden in, is actually dated 200 years younger than the period he was supposed to have been around, but then he was a legend !.

    The story a bit like the mathematics of the last Government it fits in places, but not in others.

  7. Andrew Gately
    Posted May 19, 2010 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

    The Robin Hood ideal has been a major factor in introducing new taxes.

    Most taxes are initially brought in to hit the rich only.

    As govts thirst for more money grows then the taxes introduced to hit the rich are filtered down to include the middle and working classes.

    An example of this is the three percent rate of stamp duty. The three percent rate of stamp duty was introduced in 1997 on properties over £250k to hit only fairly large homes. Now in 2010 the threshold still remains at £250k and hits an average family home as houspe prices have more than doubled.

    The process is known as fiscal drag and is the reason why those who believe in the Robin Hood ideal eventually punish themself.

  8. Kevin Lohse
    Posted May 19, 2010 at 3:27 pm | Permalink

    Dear John, Robin of Locksley was in fact the founder of the Saxon National Party and Leader of the Provisional Saxon Reconquering Army, a breakaway of Hereward the Wakes' Official Saxon Reconquering Army. He sold out to the european union of the time, actually participating in the illegal invasion of the Turkish empire as a follower of the Lionheart on the spurious grounds that it was an undemocratic oppressive state.
    On returning to England, he found that Maid Marian had escaped from the arranged marriage, which was part of his settlement for selling out, by taking the veil. The wealthy estate which came with the marriage contract had been subsumed into the convent holdings when Marian became a nun. Little is known of Robin's fate after that time.

    • gac
      Posted May 19, 2010 at 4:56 pm | Permalink

      I agree with the History according to Kevin. Also the taxes were high when he returned and public services being cut to pay for the profligacy of the Nuparty who had been left in charge.

      I think he died of a broken heart and/or Hawaian Disease.

  9. Miller
    Posted May 19, 2010 at 9:38 pm | Permalink

    I liked the clip from Backadder when Baldrick, describing with total admiration, the highwayman “The Shadow” remarked

    “What a man! They say he's half way to being the new Robin Hood.”

    Blackadder: “Why only half way?”

    Baldrick: “Well he steals from the rich, but he hasn't gone round to giving it to the poor yet.”

    Apologies for the flippancy on such a serious site, but it may turn out to be nearer the mark than we think.

  10. Socrates
    Posted May 19, 2010 at 10:17 pm | Permalink

    I suspect that UKIP isn't over yet.

    Dave's 2006 LBC interview in which he called UKIP supporters "fruit cakes and loonies and closet racists mostly" may show his true allegiance. It may also account for the lack of Tory support from their voters in the election. In my experience insulting people with firmly held worries is not a good way to get them to support you. At least he didn't call them bigoted that would have been really tactless!

    I have learned to judge people by their actions not just by their words.

    We have just seen George Osborne being utterly outflanked in Europe over regulation of Hedge funds. The line is that apparently, the negotiations were too far advanced for us to influence them. It's as well that Mrs Thatcher didn't follow that sort of line when she got a lot of our rebate back.

    I understand that the Commons may soon be voting to ratify a modified Lisbon Treaty. It seems to me that thaty might well be an opportunity to get the EU's full attention by suggesting that we could stick to our promise of a Referendum if we don't get what we want. Better still we could actually have a Referendum.

    Why do I suspect that Dave will find a way of ratifying Lisbon without a Referendum? On balance, Dave doesn't deserve any UKIP votes – it is pointless whining about their lack of support if you don't follow policies they want. No doubt there are seats where the Lib Dems would have got in, if only UKIP had supported them. With their policies, no one in their right mind would suggest that might happen, why so much surprise about a lack of Tory support with their policies? Where are the so called Eurosceptic Tories? – if they deserve UKIP support let them say who who they are.

    In the end, Dave and the Tories will be judged by their actions not their usual political economy with the truth.

  • About John Redwood


    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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