Don't Miss: Rise Up Downtrodden Sarkian Serfs It was good to be the Seigneur of Sark, one of the last feudal rulers in Europe. But the fun's over...
NPR logo Don't Miss: Rise Up Downtrodden Sarkian Serfs

Don't Miss: Rise Up Downtrodden Sarkian Serfs

The Only Thing You Have to Lose Is Your Shackles

Since cars are banned, carriages are the main form of transport on the island of Sark. Chapel Studios hide caption

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Chapel Studios

"Feudalism isn't all bad," say the residents of Sark, a tiny island off the southern coast of England. Sark was ruled by a hereditary group of landowners and the Seigneur of Sark… that is, until those blasted "human rights" folk interfered. Turns out that Sark (which is technically owned by the Queen of England, but is not part of the United Kingdom) has had to bring its generations-old form of government in line with the European Convention on Human Rights — which sort of frowns on serfs. The serfs themselves didn't seem to mind much, but you know how bureaucrats are.

Anyway, they've switched to a form of democracy, although the Seigneur of Sark, the hereditary ruler, will keep some privileges, including keeping pigeons and the only unspayed dog on the island…as well as some other things.

Ah, heck, listen to the whole piece on All Things Considered tonight.

UPDATE: That story about the mini-levees I blogged about earlier actually turned into a piece, which wasn't expected at the time.