Everyone has been going ballistic about the recently launched Robin Hood Tax. For us it reintroduces the most loved outlaw of all time. But who actually was he? Let’s find out
The Robin Hood Tax aims to get banks and other financial sector institutions in the UK to pay a small share of tax to overcome financial crisis. Simply put, money from the rich, to the poor — justifiably titled the Robin Hood Tax.
Who am I?
For those who don’t know about me (which I would like to believe is highly unlikely), I was an outlaw from Nottinghamshire. I stole from the rich and gave to the poor — so obviously, became a prince to the poor and a rogue to the rich. Archery and swordsmanship were my skills, and with my trusted band, the Merrymen, we made sure to put our skills to perfect use. My dislike towards the Sheriff of Nottingham was most publicised, but I would also have liked it if my sensitivity to the opposite sex was given equal publicity! I loved the colour green (as you see in my attire) and the taste of freshly-killed deer. Several centuries later, it definitely feels great to see movies made on my life, and outlaws around the world likened to me. And with the latest Robin Hood Tax introduced by President Sarkozy of France, Chancellor Merkel of Germany, and many others, I can only say, “We are right on the mark boys, just give it a shot!”
My woman — Maid Marian
There have been many women in my life, but what can I say about Maid Marian? The day I saw her, I knew I loved her. Marian was the daughter of the Earl of Fitzwalter, and her house was close to where I lived. Sounds great right? Even better, I was not even an outlaw then. But the greedy Sheriff of Nottingham cheated me out of my wealth, and I had to run away into the forest, but not without swearing to take revenge. As hard as it got, I had to forget Marian, but she never could. Disguised as a man, she set out in search for me in the forest. And when we met, we barely recognised each other as I was in disguise too. After a long duel, when she bruised my cheek, I accidentally spoke in my original voice, and she recognised me instantly. But naturally, what followed was hugs, embraces, kisses and… okay, you’ve heard enough.
Movies inspired by me
From the 1908 silent movie that depicted me on the screen, to the most recent 2010 Robin Hood film starring Russell Crowe and Cate Blanchett directed by Ridley Scott, I must say it’s difficult to pick what I really liked. But portraying me must have been really exciting for the boys – obviously. Errol Flynn, Sean Connery, Kevin Costner and Russell Crowe sure did a commendable job, but if I were to take my pick — it would be Kevin Costner. Obviously, with such a great performance, the movie had to be a hit. And yes, not to forget Bryan Adams Everything I do, I do it for you song — It rightly depicted my love, my passion and my weakness for Marian. The Robin Hood — Men in Tights movie, a funny spoof of the Prince of Thieves version — I never wore tights really, but if that’s what people liked seeing my character in, that’s fine by me. On second thoughts, tights would have been a comfortable clothing option for a profession like mine.
Copycats I say!
I have heard of a multitude of bandits and outlaws in India being likened to me, but Veerappan got my attention. ‘Mr Handlebar moustache’ was called the ‘Robin Hood’ of India. Eluding the law for more than four decades, he supposedly committed 120 murders and got away with it before finally getting killed. He is undoubtedly a distorted version of me, and honest to my women, I never intentionally killed — and definitely never throw the meat of my victims to the fish like he did! It definitely feels good to be referenced, but I must admit, it sometimes can get intimidating — after all, I have done all I could to nurture a positive image, and would like to keep it that way.