Posts Tagged 'Justice'

The worst injustice: Contemptuous UK establishment has one law for us, another for them


It is said that justice should be blind.  The story in today’s Mail on Sunday (if it can be taken at face value) demonstrates it is also deaf and dumb.

The big story here is that the police stand accused of failing/refusing to investigate serious fraud allegations.  Further, that the police have only provided information that has been submitted to them to Parliament on the condition that the information is not made public.  Quite where the police get off telling our nominally elected representatives who make the law what they can and cannot do concerning the allegations that have been made, is jaw dropping.

But for a number of people, the claim that the police have deliberately refused their duty to investigate criminal activity, this is far from a new development.

For in the United Kingdom today we have a law enforcement and ‘justice’ system that selectively applies the law in the interests of their ‘friends’ – namely the establishment and the various branches of government and big business and – most importantly – their agents.  It has been that way for many years and it is not being challenged or reported.

But the problem goes far beyond that and has much more important and far reaching consequences.  What we are finding is that the police and the authorities are not only failing to uphold the law and failing to act within the law, they are taking upon themselves to make up law themselves irrespective of what has been decided in Parliament by our nominal representatives.  This shadow ‘field law’ is designed solely with the interests of the establishment in mind and used to maintain the interpretation of what these unelected and unaccountable officers consider to be ‘good order’.

While the Mail rushes into print to splash Graham Freeman’s story, they are nowhere to be found when ordinary people flag up stories of their own backed up with evidence, which has resulted in the police and branches of local government turning a blind eye to crimes being committed by agents of the establishment, such as bailiffs.  Complaints of criminal activity, especially fraud, against bailiffs result in the police twisting themselves into contortions to come up with unjustifiable excuses not to investigate, despite hard evidence of fraud and other offences.  One such ongoing case is being currently documented on a superbly written blog by Peter North.  There are 17 posts so far, but when you read it from the earliest post in June up to the most recent, the story that develops will stagger you.  It lays bare how the various entities display a dogged determination to evade their duty to uphold the law when those who have broken it are considered to be on the same team.  Bringing fraudulent bailiffs to account for their criminal behaviour would undermine the system’s ability to maintain their version of ‘good order’ by extracting money from ordinary people when the establishment deigns to levy it.

When people complaint to the local authorities, on whose behalf the bailiffs are acting, in every single case the authorities wash their hands like Pontius Pilate and say it’s nothing to do with them.  But it goes further, because not only are the bailiffs acting beyond the law, local authorities themselves are behaving in a criminal manner too.  The most common example of this is their fraudulent charges for liability orders.

The Council Tax (Administration and Enforcement) Regulations 1992 (as amended), permit councils to charge ‘costs reasonably incurred’ for liability orders to enforce council tax demands.  The court fee cost of liability orders, according to the Magistrates’ Courts fee schedule, is £3.00.  When factoring in administration and postage overheads the total charged to the resident should be no more than £10.  Yet many councils are charging between £80 – £125 per order, making a profit after costs reasonably incurred.  See here and here.  This is blatantly against the law, yet not a single prosecution has been forthcoming.  The establishment uses the law to ensure people who do not pay the council tax demand in full are threatened, bullied and harrassed until the money is prised from them.  Yet the same establishment works in concert to ensure when it breaks the law, no legal action will follow.  The rules are only for the little people.

Despite this happening hundreds of thousands of times each and every year, with the fraud – at a conservative estimate – running to around £1 billion per year in excessive charging, the media completely ignores the issue.  Despite the reams of evidence that debt is being used by the establishment as a tool to engineer even more debt from which it can profit – turning people into debt slaves – the slavers are being shielded from the rule of law by the dogged refusal of their friends to apply the law.

The implications of this are so serious and far reaching many people struggle to process and accept the unjust reality, and choose to avert their gaze and bury their heads in the sand.  The concept of our supposedly benevolent and munificent institutions abusing the law to extort monies to which they are not entitled from ordinary people, is just too terrible to accept, let alone challenge.

This issue again throws up a critical issue, namely the absence of a written and codified constitution.  The deliberately vague and disturbingly flexible unwritten articles which the establishment relies upon to maintain its control of the people, when it is supposed to be the servant of the people, makes this injustice possible.  Although we know broadly what our rights are supposed to be, the fact they are not enumerated makes it difficult to uphold them through the judicial system.  Rights cannot be given to people, they are ours by default.  But, like entitlements, they are all too often considered by the establishment as gifts to be distributed when it sees fit.  As a result the status quo maintains this unjust state of affairs where regulatory and oversight bodies are supposed to be independent but see themselves as sharing a duty to hold the line against the great unwashed, thus enabling fraudulent and illegal actions to continue without challenge.

And they have the nerve to call this a democracy.

To cap it all, we see Eric Pickles happy chuntering on about the way things are supposed to be, stating in the ‘Guidance to local councils on good practice in the collection of Council Tax arrears’ that some of the tactics and actions carried out as standard practice by bailiffs, break the law:

But where is he when the enforcement of the law is not forthcoming because the police ignore the reports made to them despite the evidence provided, go on to claim that confirmed criminal acts are civil matters, and therefore refuse to fulfil their duty to investigate and bring the perpetrators before the courts?  Where is our supposedly fearless media, fighting for truth and justice?  All we see are the various elements of the establishment obscuscate, convolute, buck pass and ultimately put their financial interests before all else.

We are all familiar with the notion of justice being blind.  But reality nothing could be further from the truth.  People need to understand and come to terms with this shocking fact, justice for all, equal under the law, is a cynically perpetrated myth.  Our response, which should rightly be loaded with contempt and opprobrium, has to be the withdrawal of our consent for these vomit inducing creatures to govern us, as they knowingly aid and abet fraudsters and thieves in the commission of their crimes.  People need to learn how we can withdraw our consent peacefully in order to bring about change.  The writings of Gene Sharp point the way, but they are not a template.  He makes clear that how we challenge the establishment beast is down to us to figure out and execute.  The question now is will we?

So while it is all well and good for the Mail on Sunday to splash today’s story about how members of the establishment are covering for each other while only the little people face the full force of the law, when will it focus on the much larger, wider and more insipid injustices we have detailed above, that go on day after day in this country?

I dedicate this post to Madame Justice, in honour of the holiday that she seems to have taken from these parts, and in recognition of the impostor that stands in her stead.

US Government is learning from the EU playbook

The US Department of Justice (DOJ) seems to have taken a leaf from the EU playbook on how to get its own way, namely when people don’t vote for the result you want, make them vote again.

That is sort of what is happening in the case of George Zimmerman, who was found not guilty by a  jury of murder and manslaughter after shooting dead Trayvon Martin while being beaten by him on the ground.

Having seen prosecutors and the media do everything they could to paint Zimmerman as a racist and position that as the reason he allegedly ‘racially profiled’ Martin leading to him following Martin, then getting involved in an altercation in which a shot was fired – yet a jury considering the evidence deciding Zimmerman was innocent of the charges – the DOJ have apparetly set up an email address to receive tips from the public about Zimmerman in the hope of harvesting evidence that would enable them to launch another prosecution against him for civil rights violations.

The DOJ appears determined to keep up its witch hunt against Zimmerman until somehow he is deprived of his liberty.  The answer of the jury was not the one they wanted to see.

Separately and in a classic example of contrasting fortunes – something that is also in keeping with mendacious EU habit of protecting their friends when it suits them – the DOJ has announced that it will not prosecute the US Internal Revenue Service (equivalent of HMRC).

This follows allegations that the IRS improperly accessed or disclosed the tax information of  conservative political candidates standing against Democrat Party representatives, after it exclusively targeted Democrat opponents for politically motivated tax audits and investigations.

Justice is supposed to be blind.  However, increasingly in the US it is just another political tool to be deployed in service of agendas that play to the biases and interests of the Democrat Party and their affiliated organisations and campaign groups.  Zimmerman is being harrassed and victimised in disgraceful fashion by the DOJ at the behest of the Democrat leaning civil rights movement, while the IRS is having its outrageous behaviour in support of the Democrats swept under the carpet.

Tammany Hall must have been moved to Washington DC.  The stench of corruption is overpowering.

It’s not our money now, it’s the government’s

On yesterday’s Andrew Marr show, Danny Alexander, who has been fuelling an ill-informed and wholly unjustified campaign against Starbucks, Amazon and Google, said:

At a time of austerity, everyone has an obligation to to play by the tax rules.

Absolutely! And playing by the tax rules is exactly what those three multinational companies have been doing.  Otherwise they would already be in court facing charges of tax evasion with HMRC being the key witness for the prosecution.

But of course, the spiteful Alexander already knows this.  That’s why he is using weasel words to incite anger among the have nots who don’t know the difference, furthering the ongoing blackmail to extort money from the companies the UK exchequer is not legally entitled to.  He knows these companies are following the rules, he just doesn’t like the fact the rules mean the government can’t get its hands on the companies’ cash because they prefer to be based in countries that charge lower rates than the UK.

As a number of governments look into how they can get hold of even more of the money individuals and companies have, Alexander and his ilk are exploring how they can enforce the same tax rate which they can then increase as they see fit knowing there will be no option for the people and businesses other than to pay up.  This is a form of armed robbery, the proceeds of which are to be used to bail out the governments for their disgraceful waste and refusal to live within their means.

The proposed actions are not only anti-c0mpetitive, they effectively mark the creation of economic imprisonment.  Our supposed servants are devising measures to take full ownership of our property and our money.  Where is the grassroots protest movement campaigning to fight this outrageous affront to personal freedom?  We already have no control over how government uses the money taken in tax, and slowly government is trying to stop us from deciding how we use our money by taking more and more of it from us.

When in the name of all things holy will people wake up and see what is happening?  The political class is out of control. The rules of the game have changed.  People need to take the power back.

English law again shows itself to be a complete ass

In the Mail on Sunday is a story concerning two adults from a family from Eastbourne.  It is thought they have taken an overdose, possibly as a suicide attempt.  The facts are not yet known, as such the media is in full speculation mode.

The point to note here is their names have not been used in the story because their daughter cannot be named for legal reasons.

This is because the daughter ran away to France with her married schoolteacher.  The teacher, who has been charged with child abduction, the girl herself and her parents all became household names earlier this year as a result of the manhunt, with their photographs splashed all over the television and newspapers.

To name them in this blog post would be breaking the law.  If the media named them it would be breaking the law.  This despite the names and photographs of all the actors in this sad piece still being instantly accessible on the internet.

So what we have is a courtroom constructed fantasy that the identity of the child – and by extension her family – can now be kept secret to protect her.  It takes a special kind of stupidity, or a complete detachment from reality, for the courts to think a genie can be put back in the bottle by banning the publication of the girl’s name – and by extension her family – in this way after saturation media coverage of all concerned.

More on the BBC’s abuse of FOI to avoid scrutiny

Over on his blog, Gaz the Journo has posted a follow up piece to the BBC FOI investigation that started when an Autonomous Mind reader came up against the brick wall behind which the corporation is allowed to shield itself from the scrutiny of licence fee payers (despite using FOI with zeal when it suits its own purposes).

It all started with a complaint to the BBC about a lack of journalistic rigour during an interview with President Mohamed Nasheed of the Maldives. The complaint was rejected prompting a Freedom of Information request to the BBC about the way it handles complaints, which was also rejected. Our reader demonstrated outstanding perseverence and launched an appeal to the Information Commissioner, and surprise surprise this was also rejected as the establishment closed ranks around its propaganda tool. As we pointed out at the time:

This is quite a staggering communication from the ICO, if again completely unsurprising.  At the heart of it is the assumption or belief that because the BBC says the complaints material informs their editorial direction they should not be bound to reveal how many complaints they receive.

However at no point is the BBC asked to provide evidence that demonstrates, on the basis of complaints received, they have ever adjusted their editorial approach.  We are simply enjoined to accept it without proof.

This case piqued the interest of Gaz the Journo. In considering the BBC response to a complaint he has made on a separate matter, he too is now asking whether the BBC actually use information from the complaints process to inform its journalism, as it claims to. Gaz seems to have already drawn a conclusion from the reply the BBC sent him, as you can read on Gaz’s blog here, but nevertheless he now seems to be committed to a course of action to dig deeper.

The more that people challenge this unjust status quo the greater the chance the BBC’s exemption from the FOI Act will come under review, and the greater the likelihood that the corporation will finally be subject to proper scrutiny from those forced to pay for it so that we can hold it to account.

What say you now Cameron, you lying hypocrite?

It is bad enough that a politician says what voters want to hear in an attempt to secure power for themselves, before reneging on that promise which in reality he had no intention of keeping.

It is quite another to go so far as sending a personal letter to the grieving father of child killed under the wheels of a car, promising to change the law so the illegal immigrant who had no right to be here and was already banned from driving in any case, could be deported – and break that pledge. That is cold, cynical and reprehensible.

But that is David Cameron for you.

Being bound by the Human Rights Act, which idiotically and uniquely in Europe incorporates all the case law from the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg thanks to the morons in the previous Labour government, Britain is unable to expel from these shores repeat offenders who are here illegally.

Cameron promised to scrap the HRA and replace it with a Bill of Rights, but by January this year as this blog pointed out, Cameron had achieved his headline and started quietly executing a U-turn (link includes Cameron’s speech about the HRA and pledge to scrap it) to preserve the EU’s domination over this country. Then shortly after winning the General Election the Tories showed they were nothing but a lying bunch of useless handwringing charlatans when HRA was again used in the case of Abid Naseer and Theresa May said the government would not appeal. Read it and weep – or better still feel sheer hatred for these lying bastards.

Aso Mohammed Ibrahim has no right to be in this country. It should not matter a damn that since arriving here his only achievement – apart from being a useless recidivist and leaching off the taxpayer – is having managed to produce two offspring that supposedly mean he has a ‘right’ to stay here for a family life. It is an perversion of justice that this criminal scum remains here offending against society. But Cameron knew that when he pledged to scrap the HRA and he knows it even now as he turns a blind eye to the injustice of the HRA and this appalling case and waits for Andy Coulson to spin him a plausible line to edge him out of trouble.

The comments of the bereaved father, Paul Houston, should make Cameron ashamed. Whether Cameron is capable of feeling shame is another matter altogether:

‘He needs to take a long, hard look at himself and make the right decision for this country because as it stands the Human Rights Act is on the side of criminals, terrorists and thieves against law-abiding citizens.

‘He wrote to me to say he would bring in the British Bill of Rights but that appears to have been put in the back burner because of the Coalition.

‘I don’t want to see this matter sidelined. I think it needs to be placed very firmly on the agenda again. If he has got the courage of his convictions that is what he will do.

‘The law does need to be changed so that it properly represents everyone – not just this awful minority who ruin people’s lives.’

So, what say you now Cameron, you two faced, lying hypocrite? What weasel words and excuses will you spew forth, or will you just hide like the craven, chinless wonder we know you to be?

Reaching the end of the line

Last week’s post here, ‘The Rules of the Game Have Changed‘ sparked the most debate yet seen on this blog.

The reluctant and deeply saddening acceptance, that if democratic means and lawful protest continue to fail to make the political class accept the will of the people we should be prepared, as an absolutely last resort to take direct action, has now been echoed in a hard hitting piece by lawful rebellion practitioner, Captain Ranty.

There is undoubtedly a sea change taking place in this country. Among people I speak with and commenters on this blog patience is wearing thin at the political class’ arrogant and self serving refusal to put our our interests first, in the manner they are duty bound to do. If they will not relinquish then we will need to take power back.

It is profoundly depressing, but people who have respected the law all their lives are reaching the end of the line and recognising that by playing by the rules the politicians have put in place we are unlikely to achieve the necessary change. The politicians bear sole responsibility for this. As Captain Ranty puts it, we are ‘stupid no more’. One can only hope that it never comes to direct action. But if it does, many people who have resolutely disagreed with direct action in the past are now saying they will take it as a last resort.

Assange: Is CPS taking orders from elsewhere?

What is the Crown Prosecution Service up to?  Irrespective of the rights or wrongs of the WikiLeaks release of US diplomatic cables, the CPS seems to be playing politics to deny Julian Assange his liberty without good reason.

Earlier this week Gareth Julian, head of extradition at the CPS, appealed against the decision to grant bail to Assange, in an attempt to keep him in custody pending the decision of whether or not to extradite him to Sweden to answer charges of sexual offences.  It was widely believed and reported in the media – without contradiction by the CPS – that Swedish prosecutors has opposed bail for Assange.

However the Swedes have gone on the record today (to Tim Marshall at Sky News) to state clearly they had no view about bail and had not made any such request of the British authorities. The CPS is not denying what the Swedes are saying. So why did the CPS oppose bail, in a case in which it was representing Sweden, when Sweden had no problem with Assange having his liberty until the extradition hearing?

Is it delving into the realms of conspiracy theory to suggest the CPS is taking instructions from elsewhere, such as the US government or the British government in an attempt to neuter Assange as the release of US cables continues?  Is it because the Americans want Assange in custody until they can make a move to have him shipped to Washington, where some of the more hysterical talking heads describe him as a terrorist?

What is clear is that Gareth Julian should be asked to explain why he opposed bail and who was instructing him to do so.  This has implications for the justice system in the UK and the matter should be completely transparent.

The rules of the game have changed

In some ways it pains me to write this because recent weeks have resulted in a huge transformation in my thinking that still leaves me feeling somewhat uncomfortable.

All my life I have advocated nothing but lawful, peaceful protest.  Growing up I had faith in the structures that have long been positioned as offering stability, reassurance and comfort to the people. Slowly the scales have gradually fallen from my eyes and the reality has come into sharp relief. Peaceful protest is noble, decent, responsible, conformist and utterly futile. The fact is it is treated with contempt by the political class as while it gives people the illusion of involvement in the political process, the politicians can ignore the wishes of the people and press ahead with their own agenda.

Consider the demonstration before the Iraq war. Consider the Countryside Alliance marches. Hundreds of thousands of people demonstrated their opposition to government plans and what difference did it make? Secure behind their multiple layers of security, shielded from the people from which they supposedly hail and to whom they are supposedly accountable, the political class has absolved itself of its representative responsibilities and assumed the mantle of all controlling master of the populace.

We are in a different era now where historic events have come full circle. Having moved away from brutal suppression by the militia of dissenters and protesters in centuries past, politics became representative. In the 20th century qualities such as honour and decency were more prevalent and a peaceful protest made representatives take notice and often work to address the wishes of the people. It was a democratic age. Imperfect, yes. But there was a sense of service and responsibility which extinguished the appetite for violent protest.

But increasingly the conduct of the political class has changed swiftly to one of dishonorable self interest and personal enrichment. Despite the evidence of their own eyes, people are finding it difficult to accept that the compact between them and their representatives has been shattered. There is still a sense of disbelief at the change that has taken place and a reluctance to acknowledge the new reality that we no longer have representatives but a self selecting elite that does not care about the things that matter to us. We have moved into a post democratic era.

Where we previously had a choice between competing and rival ideologies and outlooks, we now suffer the charade of elections where the only difference between those standing for office is their faces and the colour of their rosette. Consensus politics and the so called centre ground deny us any genuine alternative at the ballot box. As such nothing changes.

The Parliamentary battles we see hyped in the media between politicians are the product of partisan party politics. The main three parties are all on the same page when it comes to the major issues. Whether it is EU membership, climate change, taxation and public spending, defence, or any number of issues, the only disagreements are matters of nuance rather than substance. The wishes of the people are simply ignored until it is time to publish a tissue of lies masquerading as manifestos before the electoral charade every 4-5 years. Once the election is over, it is business as usual and the disconnect from the public is re-established. Yet millions keep kidding themselves ‘the public’ can influence what the politicians do. They kid themselves that peaceful protests will produce results despite plenty of evidence to the contrary.

The student disorder of recent weeks has brought this subject to the fore. Regretably these protests were not about matters of real substance, such as our democracy, our liberty and our sovereignty. They were about a misplaced sense of entitlement and a wish to continue indulging their choices at the expense of taxpayers. The behaviour was therefore unjustified. The students positioned their protest ‘against the rich’ and the ‘establishment’. They spectacularly missed the point that they should be protesting in a targeted manner against the political class and the ruling elite. Their protest did not warrant or justify the violence we witnessed.

However I can now envisage violence being justified as a means to an end – not in order to demand money from the government, but rather demanding the restoration of democracy and representative governance. Not violence to attack the police, law and order. But rather to remove those in the ruling class who abuse the law for their own ends and subvert our country, handing it over to foreign control from underneath us without mandate or permission.

The rules of the game have changed. By making it impossible for us to remove the political clones from power through democratic elections and select a genuine alternative the political class has left the population with no option but to engage in civil disobedience and possibly direct action in order to ensure the our wishes are respected and the country is run in our interests.

Where the future of our democracy, sovereignty and liberty is threatened and peaceful protest continues to have no effect, direct action will be justified to protect and safeguard those perspectives before they are taken from us by the political class and the supranational bodies that are actively taking control of us without our consent. It is the political class that has brought us to this point and we should not feel ashamed of taking direct action where it is necessary to defend our hard won freedom, a freedom secured through the blood and sacrifice of hundreds of thousands if not millions of our countrymen over many years who forever deserve our gratitude and respect.

Jackpot!

Rejoice! Forget the American Dream. Another country is the place to be. Oh yes.

  • Where else in the world can you pitch up in a distant country and ask for asylum and be provided with protection, accomodation and money completely free?
  • Where else in the world can you indulge in criminality unmolested, taking hard drugs and not having to contribute to the society which has afforded you protection from supposed oppression?
  • Where else in the world can you so hate your hosts’ values you can take yourself off from that bountiful sanctuary and travel to a country that supplies the majority of the world’s heroin, where camps operate to train people to slaughter innocent civilians and where terrorists are killing your host’s soliders, to play a part in the insurgency?
  • Where else in the world can you try to return to your host country using a forged passport to conceal your true identity and have that questionable criminal behaviour and your motives completely ignored because you complain that after your capture you claim to have been tortured?
  • Where else in the world can you then continue to avoid any examination of your own actions and motives for being around terror training camps in a warzone and trying to return to your host country in suspicious circumstances using a forged passport even though you are allowed to return legally using your own?
  • Where else in the world can you claim to have only gone to an opiate and terrorist haven only in order to get off drugs and still be believed without question by your hosts’ public service broadcaster and compensation chasing legal whores?
  • Where else in the world can you be encouraged to take legal action against your host’s government and secure a settlement payment believed to be in excess of £1 million?

Britain!

Yes, move over America, it’s time to celebrate the British Dream!  Britain is the new land of opportunity. Britain is where anything can happen and pretty much does. Britain is the land where you can pull yourself up by your sand covered bootstraps and secure wealth beyond your wildest dreams. Britain is where you are not held to account for your criminal behaviour and desire to partake in atrocities against its people. Britain is where after all this the self loathing liberal elite will blame themselves for your actions and ensure you will continue to be coddled by the state for life at the expense of its people. Britain is where you can hit the jackpot for being nothing more than a parasitic ne’er do good. Congratulations! Welcome to our land of craven appeasment and moral inversion where, like Binyam Mohamed, all you need to get on is malice aforethought and a violent intent.

‘In Europe, not run by Europe’ part XXVII

Dateline: House of Commons, London – 11 November 2010
Subject: Government written answer to a question from MP, Dominic Raab
Topic: EU Justice and Home Affairs

Mr Raab: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what powers the European Commission has to monitor UK compliance with those EU Justice and Home Affairs instruments to which the UK has opted in, under the provisions of the Lisbon treaty; and what jurisdiction the European Court of Justice has over such monitoring.

James Brokenshire: There are specific provisions in the treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (‘TFEU’) to enable the European Commission to monitor UK compliance with EU Justice and Home Affairs instruments to which the UK has opted in under the provisions of the Lisbon treaty. There may also be provisions in specific instruments that provide provisions for the Commission to monitor compliance with that particular instrument.

Article 258 TFEU empowers the European Commission to deliver a reasoned opinion to a member state when it considers that the state has failed to fulfil an obligation under the treaties. This includes any obligation arising under those EU Justice and Home Affairs instruments to which the UK has opted in since the entry into the force of the treaty of Lisbon. If the member state fails to comply, the Commission may bring the matter before the Court of Justice of the European Union. In accordance with article 260 TFEU, if the Court of Justice of the European Union finds that the member state has failed to fulfil the obligation the member state shall be required to take the necessary measures to comply with the judgment.

Just another day in the utopian European Union Provinces of Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and ‘The Regions’.

Britain caves in to European Court of Human Rights

The idea of general elections in the UK is to select the men and women who will make the laws that apply in this country. If a majority of the population believe something should be illegal, they should be able to elect MPs who will make it so. The judiciary can then apply the law accordingly. It’s a simple, democratic concept of self determination.

Problems start to arise when the judiciary assumes ownership of law making. When men and women, who are not subject to democratic oversight, circumvent the democratic legislative process and interpret law in a mischievous manner or formulate laws themselves in spite of the wishes of the public, democracy has broken down.

Such a scenario can be compounded when politicians export jurisdiction of certain legal matter to an overseas body.  A body that can issue binding judgements and that comprises a judiciary made up not just of experienced judges, but also of academics and activists from a myriad of countries with varying legal traditions. The scenario worsens when that body confers upon itself, without reference to any democratic structure, the right to develop and alter law as it sees fit. This is the space in which we find the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR).

That is the reason why this week the United Kingdom government, despite the overwhelming opposition of a majority of its citizens, will accept a ruling to allow prison inmates to vote in elections held in this country.

The arguments against giving prison inmates the vote – and explaining why voting is not a human right, rather an entitlement – have been covered on this blog previously here and here. As such there is no need to revisit the argument today, although I readily commend this post by His Grace on the subject which covers many of the points in my posts and subsequent comments from February this year – and importantly along with The Boiling Frog makes the distinction between the ECHR and the unrelated EU.

All that remains to be said is that this is the kind of undemocratic outcome that results from losing our national sovereignty. This is what happens when our political class gives up our political and judicial autonomy and accepts rule from remote and unaccountable structures completely alien to us. This is what happens when our long standing independence is surrendered to suit the interests of the political class.

Voting entitlement for prison inmates

Following recent focus on the ban on prisoners being allowed to vote, which has been covered here before, the government sneaked out a written answer to a question from Don Touhig MP on Thursday.

He asked if the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) plans to bring forward legislation to change the law which prevents prisoners from voting in general elections.  Michael Wills MP, a Minister of State at the MoJ, wrote:

The Government have recently undertaken the second stage consultation on this issue. We are currently considering the responses. The Government will then consider the next steps towards implementing the judgment in legislation.

Given that a significant majority of people in this country oppose the notion of prison inmates participating in the democratic process after offending against society, it will be interesting to see the consultation responses and the government’s next move.

In all probabaility the government will cave in to the European Court of Human Rights rather than represent the wishes of the voters who sent the MPs to Parliament.  That would show the real nature of what is supposed to be representative democracy in this country.

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Trial without jury continues, media silent

It is nearly a month since this blog was among those that highlighted the disturbing precedent set by the first criminal trial in this country to be held without a jury for more than 400 years.  Since that newsworthy event was covered in the national media there has not been a single report about the trial in the press and what it means for the defendants.

However as you can see from the Daily Court List entry below it is still continuing.  One wonders what the point is of the media making a fuss about the start of such a landmark trial if they turn their back on it when it’s underway.  The concern is that when this happens again, as it surely will, it will cease to be considered such a serious and regressive matter and another important safeguard protecting us from abuses of our liberty by an increasingly powerful state will have been eroded with a whimper.

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Prisoner vote ban is not a human rights issue

The UK is coming under pressure to allow prison inmates to vote in elections, because according to campaign groups and the European Court of Human Rights, the human rights of prisoners denied a vote are being infringed.  Lord Ramsbotham, a former Chief Inspector of prisons is leading the charge, along with the activists from the Prison Reform Trust, Unlock and Barred from Voting.

Ramsbotham is lockstep with bureaucrats and those who are opposed to the concept of prison generally in believing it is a great injustice that the government has not allowed prisoners to vote, especially after the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights decided it was unlawful to deny all sentenced prisoners voting rights in UK elections.  Today he told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme:

‘The Grand Chamber of the European Court, in rejecting the government’s appeal against its ruling, said that there is no place under the convention system for automatic disfranchisement based purely on what might offend public opinion.’

Ramsbotham and the European Court are wrong.  This is another example of entitlements being wrongly defined as human rights.  Voting is not a human right, it is an entitlement granted to those in society who respect its laws.  People are not born with the right to vote, otherwise we would be carted off the polling station straight from the maternity wing.  So this should not be a matter for the European Court in the first place.  But as is the way with supranational bureacuracy, mission creep is seeing an increasing labelling of entitlements as rights, bringing control of certain matters under legal jurisdiction and the result is a perverse undermining the rule of law and ability of the state to impose appropriate sanctions on offenders.

Men and women who have been handed custodial sentences are not in prision because they have ‘offended public opinion’ as Ramsbotham ludicrously stated on the Today programme.  Such an assertion is idiotic in the extreme.  They are there because they have broken the law of the land by committing criminal offences that have caused harm or loss to other members of society.  After trial by a jury of their peers and being found guilty of a crime, inmates have been subsequently denied their liberty and ability to participate in society in order to protect the public, punish them for their offence and, if prison actually worked properly, rehabilitate them so they do not offend again.

Why should people who have broken the law and are serving a custodial sentence be allowed to vote for those representatives who we ask in principle to make that law?  The removal of voting entitlements from offenders whose crimes were so serious it warranted imprisonment is proportional and entirely appropriate.  Many people rightly argue that rights should never be separated from responsibilities and that society has to be able to impose consequences on those whose actions harm society.  But that argument confuses the matter at hand because as I said above this issue of votes for prisoners is not one of human rights, it is about the removal of an entitlement granted by the law of the land.  Remember, the state cannot grant us rights, they are ours by default.  Don’t be confused by it.  Prisoners should not be entitled to vote.

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If justice was blind, now it is mute

Ten days ago this blog noted the start of the first criminal trial without a jury to take place in England and Wales for more than 400 years.  John Twomey, Peter Blake, Barry Hibberd and Glen Cameron are accused of taking part in a £1.75million hold-up at a Heathrow warehouse in February 2004.  Various newspaper journalists noted this regressive development.

The Guardian said that the ‘Heathrow robbery trial breaks with 400-year tradition of trial by jury’.
The Mirror reported that the ‘First non-jury trial is breaking history’.
The Times told readers that the ‘First criminal trial with no jury for 400 years starts’.
Daily Telegraph explained that ‘Alleged robbery trial without jury to make legal history’.

And so it continued with a Google News search showing 134 news articles (all but 16 of them duplicate pieces) dedicated to this very matter.  10 days on from spouting their concern and in some cases misgivings at this serious erosion of our rights under law, how have these organs of information gone about the business of keeping this ‘historic case’ in the public consciousness?  With the exception of one article by Quentin Letts in the Daily Mail on 16th January, the only information about this trial on the world wide web is this, taken from the Court Hearings page of the Queen’s Bench Division:

Our fearless media corps have other more pressing matters to focus upon.  Liberty and the rights of the individual are just not sexy enough for public consumption.  So it is in 21st Century Britain that justice is being seen to be done.  Another victory for the all-knowing politicians in their ongoing effort to enslave and control us for our own good, rather than serve us.  Instead of a blindfold maybe from now on the scales of justice should be borne by a figure wearing a gag.

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Another nail in the coffin of liberty and justice

Today marks an historic moment in our history.  Today we will witness the first criminal trial without a jury to take place in England and Wales for more than 400 years.  Lawyer ‘Tom Paine’ of The Last Ditch, reminds us of the importance of jury trials when he writes:

“The right to trial by jury has protected Englishmen from an over-mighty state since long before democracy was born. Combined with the Great Writ of habeas corpus, it meant you could not be detained without trial and that your trial must be by 12 independent jurors. For most of the last 400 years, those jurors were required to decide unanimously that you were guilty. If they couldn’t, you were acquitted.”

Slowly but surely and with relentless determination, the state is eroding protections and freedoms that were designed to shield citizens from abuses by the state.  These are not entitlements that are being stripped from us, they are rights.  The people taking them away from us are supposed to be our public servants.  But as we have enjoyed the freedom to focus our attention on other matters, our servants have positioned themselves as our masters.

It may be that the defendants who go on trial today did commit the failed armed robbery of which they are stand accused.  It may be they deserve guilty verdicts and severe punishment.  But it is for a jury of their peers to listen to the evidence and decide if they are guilty.  It is a protection that was put in place to ensure the state could not arbitrarily and unfairly deprive citizens of their liberty.

What we have now is a self contained and disconnected political class that has granted itself the power to control our lives.  Because successive governments have appeared benign and of no threat to us, the public has shown little interest in their activities.  Emboldened by this, the state has taken ever greater control over us telling us it is for our own good, for our security and well being.

Now the consequences are becoming clear and we are standing by powerless as our self appointed masters set about reversing freedoms that have been hard won over the centuries, and for which millions of people have given their lives to defend.  It is only when people realise the distractions employed to divert our attention from what they are doing to assert control over us that it becomes clear how premeditated and carefully thought out this has been.  It is not an exaggeration to say that we are becoming enslaved by the state and that the state is removing the mechanisms we could rely on to counter it.

The question is, what will it take for people to focus on this problem and put an end to it?  Or have the organs of the state now passed the point where we as free individuals can take control back from them?

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