Sunday Times: Goodbye Magna Carta - extract from " I Fought the Law," by Dan Kieran
April 8, 2007
Goodbye Magna Carta
Dan Kieran, author of Crap Towns, is so fed up with the loss of traditional British freedoms that he turned criminal to shake us out of our apathy
These days it’s not enough to talk or write about something. People don’t notice. They haven’t got time. You’ve got to do something visual: You’ve got to make a statement by proving you can be stupid on a scale never seen before.
We’ve seen many types of desperate behaviour to which people will lower themselves for celebrity status, but we’ve never seen anyone deliberately attempt to become a criminal to point out how far from real-life experience and how authoritarian our “democracy” has become. Well, not for a while anyway. So there was nothing for it. I would have to turn my back on the law. In the interests of the greater good, of course.
My descent into this new shady criminal underworld began when I arranged to meet a man called Neil Goodwin one bright morning in Parliament Square. Protest and the right to free speech have always seemed to me to be part of our national DNA. It’s perhaps not surprising then that another of this nation’s great traditions, the tendency towards eccentricity, was soon being employed to fight the government’s exclusion zone that has banned spontaneous protest for a radius of one kilometre outside the seat of our democracy, the Houses of Parliament.
" I Fought the Law," by Dan Kieran
Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: Bantam Press (7 May 2007)