• Of Danegeld, forest fires, closing public footpaths and riding at the Rodeo.

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    Yesterday’s outrage in Paris – the murder of the cartoonists, staff and police at the Charlie Hebdo offices – is of course an example of the terrorism that most Western democracies now have to face.
    Doubtless Dear Reader you are confused by the title of this article and the image above. Please bear with us.
    Danegeld literally means “Dane tribute.” It was a tax raised to pay tribute to the Viking raiders to save a land from being ravaged. It was called the geld or gafol in eleventh-century sources; the term Danegeld did not appear until the early twelfth century. It was characteristic of Royal policy in both England and Francia during the ninth through eleventh centuries, collected both as tributary, to buy off the attackers, and as stipendiary, to pay the defensive forces. Payment of 10,000 Roman pounds (8,841 troy pounds) of silver was first made in 991 following the Viking victory at the Battle of Maldon in Essex, when Æthelred the Unready was advised by Sigeric the Serious, Archbishop of Canterbury, and the aldermen of the south-western provinces to buy off the Vikings rather than continue the armed struggle. One manuscript of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle said Olav Tryggvason led the Viking forces.
    In 994 the Danes, under King Sweyn Forkbeard and Olav Tryggvason, returned and laid siege to London. They were once more bought off, and the amount of silver paid impressed the Danes with the idea that it was more profitable to extort payments from the English than to take whatever booty they could plunder.
    Further payments were made in 1002, and especially in 1007 when Æthelred bought two years peace with the Danes for 36,000 troy pounds of silver. In 1012, following the capture and murder of the Archbishop of Canterbury, and the sack of Canterbury, the Danes were bought off with another 48,000 troy pounds of silver.
    In 1016 Sweyn Forkbeard’s son, Canute, became King of England. After two years he felt sufficiently in control of his new kingdom to the extent of being able to pay off all but 40 ships of his invasion fleet, which were retained as a personal bodyguard, with a huge Danegeld of 72,000 troy pounds of silver collected nationally, plus a further 10,500 troy pounds of silver collected from London.
    So, what has this to do with the murders at the Charlie Hebdo in Paris?

    1,000 years ago Anglo-Saxon England was (for the time) a wealthy prosperous country off the coast of the European continent. The Danish raiders were coming in search of booty – just like burglars living in a poor deprived area of a city will if they have any sense travel a modest distance to wealth areas of that city as the pickings in the homes of the wealthiest will be the greater. The reaction of the wealthy (the Anglo Saxon kings) was to buy them off. History shows us that ultimately it did not work and a Danish King sat on the throne of England.
    Today we are in danger of loosing our civil liberties for some politicians will seek to impose further limits on the freedom of expression in an attempt to “keep the lid on things” – in other words “buying off” the promoters of radical Islam by restricting the ability of those who may offend them.
    The present erosions are less than they would have been if the last Labour government had got its way. Herewith: www.christian.org.uk/resources/theology/apologetics/christian-freedoms-and-heritage/incitement-to-religious-hatred/
    It is very likely that there will be a number of so-called “mainstream politicians” particularly in the Labour Party who will come to the conclusion that in order to reduce tensions and maintain what they call, “community cohesion” it will be necessary to reduce the freedom of expression – in terms of stopping people from giving offence to certain groups.
    These politicians will thing that such a response is akin to introducing draconian restrictions on ramblers who wish to walk through a forest in a long hot summer with a severe drought and the forest in questions is tinder dry and any spark or heat source from a pair of lost spectacles for instance could set off a devastating forest fire. These politician may well conclude that the sensible thing to do is to close all footpaths around and through the forest.
    Of all the British political parties, the Labour Party by inclination and by analysis of those who vote for it are the most likely to be tempted to go down this route. As the above link will demonstrate, it is something they have attempted in the past.
    The logic of such Labour advocates is clear:
    - It is a FACT that those who carry out such as the Paris outrage are a TINY proportion of the community the VAST majority are law abiding.
    - The support for the police by the particular communities from where the terrorist come from is a very important element for it enables the security and intelligence agencies to get the vital intelligence before an attack takes place.
    The problem for these politicians is that these extremists will NOT be bought off by such actions. It is a sad FACT that those who carried out the Paris outrage regard such as the promoters of Gay Pride marches and campaigners for men to be able to marry men and women to be able to marry women just as deserving of their attention as the cartoonists at Charlie Hebdo.
    The other problem for these politicians is that were they to get their way and introduce such restrictive legislation, prosecutions of evangelising Christians would become inevitable.
    The depressing FACTS are these: there is now nothing the mainstream politicians can do to avert disaster. The time has past.
    If he is given the opportunity, Mr Ed Miliband doubtless will attempt to ride this particular rodeo horse, but he will suffer the same fate as the rider in the image above.

    • Extremely well put. To perhaps simplify it to myself, I relate it to the Mobsters collecting “protection money” which of course, did not make the mobsters go away, it made a “business out of it” which could be bought and sold. We will, no doubt, eventually lose the freedom of thought, which is what mainstream media seem to endeavour to take from us by their reporting biaise and their “Company” approved reporting, especially the bbc. Even the Royal Family can keep any facts from us they wish

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