Lady Godiva's response today
She is supposed to be merely a legend.
According to legend, in 1057, Lady Godiva asked her husband Leofric, the Earl of Mercia, to reduce the heavy taxes he had laid on the people of Coventry. She could clearly see that heavy taxes depressed business and trade and hurt people. All those centuries ago, when people were supposed to be more benighted than the enlightened leaders of the 21st century, a mere woman grasped a basic economic fact that eludes the Prime Minister and Chancellor.
Leofric refused, but Godiva, whose name means 'gift from God', refused to take no for an answer. The Earl ended the discussion with the favourite gambit of the tyrant - he tried to silence her by attacking her dignity. He told his wife that he would reduce taxes when she rode naked through the town of Coventry. Clearly he did not expect she would.
Lady Godiva gazed at him. Perhaps she spoke. Perhaps not.
She went to the people of Coventry and asked them to remain indoors. Loosening her hair to cover her as a cloak, she rode naked through the city, seen only by a rude fellow known ever afterward as Peeping Tom.
Lady Godiva became the first tax protester in recorded history, and a defiant exponent of demonstrating outdoors.
Her husband slashed taxes. As late as the 13th century the people of Coventry paid no taxes except on their horses.
The story that Brits recounted - that of a vulnerable, naked woman confronting an unjust leader and achieving a victory - is marvellous. Too marvellous, say scholars, who overlook her great protest against taxes, and rather pettily insist she must at least have worn a shift.
The myths and legends of a people may not be true, but they say a good deal about them.
In years to come, Brits will implement equally dramatic ways of reducing taxes.
Labour's budget once again raises taxes, hurts job creators, diminishes freedom and does not reduce spending.
The modern Lady Godiva's response: Reduce spending. Cut taxes. Get out of the EU. Encourage entrepreneurs. Support freedom. Protest flamboyantly.