This is a cribbed article from the blog I do on The Iain Dale website which was originally published here.
I kind of feel it got ignored, perhaps because of the title I gave to the original piece which sort of implies it's all about football.
I suggest it's time to return to the story of Robin Hood but this time I suggest a more realistic portrayal of how he might’ve looked in his later years. In this new version our hero Robin could be an aging, fat, paranoid, control freak who rules over Sherwood with a rod of iron. Fabulously wealthy he lives off the money and power he initially stole from the rich. He is protected by the labour provided by aggressively suppressed local peasants, most of whom are required to view him as a kind of quasi-Godlike figure. The rich nobles who used to do business in and around Sherwood are long gone, as are all of the original “Merry Men”. Friar Tuck was killed during ‘the great purge’ when Robin ‘freed’ Sherwood of religion. A similar fate was meted out to, Little John, murdered for being an ‘enemy of the people’, and, of course there’s the infamous, Will Scarlet, exiled from the forest only to be found years later with an ice pick buried in his treacherous head. Drunk on power the bloated Robin is shown in the final episode dying in his bed after suffering a massive brain haemorrhage and lying unattended to for hours because his “Merry Men” were all too terrified to disturb him.
Perhaps we could include a scene where Robin Hood’s idealism is mugged by the reality of his own self interest. Having successfully robbed from the rich he could be seen arguing with one of his “Merry Men” about the next bit where they simply give away their ill gotten gains to the poor. It is after all always that bit which seems to cause the most problems in the real world to people who claim to be inspired by his example. Robin could become aggrieved with the process, “this isn’t fair,” he could complain, “we’ve earned this money by stealing it fair and square, why do these lazy peasants deserve it?”
The point would be that anyone who advocates such a strategy of direct intervention in society places an enormous amount of trust and power into the overly eager hands of the most untrustworthy characters around. Furthermore the politicians who are most keen to carry out this task of wealth redistribution are, like their hero Robin Hood, necessarily in favour of the crime of theft. That they are so keen to take from others what they have not earned themselves should make even a child suspicious of their motives. Elected by the ill informed and simplistic politics of envy it seems almost inevitable that their Governments always end in petty squabbles and financial failure. However, I place the blame for their success partly at the doorstep of the casual unthinking support given to myths such as Robin Hood, feared by the bad and loved by the left.