Posts Tagged 'Law and Order'



Just who are these people serving?

I defy you to read this section of Christopher Booker’s latest report about forced adoptions and what amounts to child theft and not feel frustration at best, or raw violent anger at worst. (Hat tip: EU Referendum):

I shall give just one disturbing instance of the latest developments in a case I have been following for months. Like many others, this came to me through the Forced Adoption website, run by former councillor Ian Josephs. It involves a married couple whose five older children were seized earlier this year, subsequent to which their latest baby was torn from its mother’s arms only hours after it was born.

The bizarre story originally stated by the social workers to justify their ruthless intervention in this family’s life seems to have collapsed. At a recent court hearing, I am told, the judge seemed disposed to reunite the family as soon as possible. The baby was returned to her parents later that day. But the council asked for 21 days’ stay of execution before returning the five older children, three of whom the parents had not been allowed to see for weeks. The judge apparently agreed but insisted that an independent social worker should interview the children.

The independent social worker eventually managed to interview four of the children, apparently reporting that they all wished to be allowed to go home to their parents. But the court refused to give the parents a copy of the judge’s ruling, and on Friday they were summoned back to hear from him that he had now seemingly changed his mind and that the children did not wish to come home after all. According to the parents, they were not allowed to question the evidence on which he based his new ruling, although they were told they could appeal.

What on earth is going on here? Even from the little I am permitted to report of this case, it seems evident that something seriously odd is afoot.

But this is merely one of far too many cases where families are being heartlessly torn apart, often without the parents even being allowed to question the evidence or to speak for themselves. To hear such horror stories being dismissed as representing “less than 10 per cent” of all the cases where children are seized is simply not good enough. Each is shocking enough in its own right. But when every week brings news of a dozen more, this only confirms that we indeed have a national scandal on our hands.

This is not justice. This is enslavement by our self selecting elite. The servant believes himself to be the master and ensures the law fails to protect us. How is this a democracy when our elected representatives ignore our demands to end such travesties and we are powerless to do anything about it?  It must not be allowed to continue. There will be a reckoning.

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The FitWatch Conundrum

During the course of today certain sections of the blogosphere including one of my regular favourite reads, Longrider, have been up in arms about what appears to be a disturbing example of police exceeding and misrepresenting their authority.

Without applying for, or being in possession of, a court order, an Acting Detective Inspector from the Met Police’s CO11 department requested an ISP shut down the FitWatch website because:

In connection with our criminal investigation into registration or use of the domain name set out in this letter, we hereby confirm that:

• The domain is being used to undertake criminal activities

Attempting to Pervert the Course of Justice, contrary to Common Law We hereby request [redacted] to de-host this website for a minimum period of 12 months.

The site in question, FitWatch, styles itself as standing against the activities and behaviour of police Forward Intelligence Teams. Continuing in the same manner the site’s editor(s) published advice to those people involved in violence during the student protests in London. In addition to advising students who were engaged in unlawful activity not to give themselves in and to change their appearance, the advice also recommends such individuals dispose of the clothing they were wearing to hinder identification and remove the possibility of the clothing being used as identification evidence. It is this that the police have taken exception to and used as justification for their actions as detailed below:

REASON FOR CLOSURE

This website are committing offences of attempting to pervert the Course of Justice under Common Law.

The website is providing explicit advice to offenders following a major demonstration in Central London. The demonstration was marred by violence and several subjects have already been arrested with a major police operation underway to identify and arrest further offenders.

The person controlling these websites has posted material held to be contrary to Common Law within the UK.

I hope everyone who was engaged in violence or criminal behaviour during the student protest is caught and prosecuted to the full extent of the law. But what is written above will be deeply disturbing to anyone with even a rudimentary understanding of the law, for here the police are presenting as a fact something that is only alleged until a court determines otherwise.  Note that last sentence – ‘held to be contrary to Common Law‘. Held by whom? That is the commonly accepted legal language for a matter that has been put before a court and judged upon. Despite there being none, the Acting Detective Inspector has deliberately given the impression that his request has legal force. As such the ISP immediately shut down the site.

A pertinent question would be, since when did the police take over the role of the judiciary? No doubt this officer feels the end justifies the means, but where does that slippery slope end? Will blogs like this be shut down if it makes a criticism a police officer takes exception to? Will politicians or civil servants task the police with getting sites closed down if they share inconvenient or embarrassing information? Could such action be used to silence opponents of, say, EU membership? What about climate change?

Make no mistake, what FitWatch did was ill advised and leaves an unpleasant taste in the mouth. They clearly want people who committed criminal acts to get away with what they did. At the very least no one could dispute they are trying to offer support and advice to people who are trying to evade justice. But it does not follow FitWatch have broken the law. The advice is no different to what a legal representative would say in a private consultation with a client and it is only the view of a police officer that such advice is illegal.

It is worrying in the extreme that police officers feel able to exceed their authority and misrepresent themselves in this way to censor speech or silence dissent. There must be consequences for this unacceptable over reach.

If true, this is an outrage

The always excellent Boiling Frog regales a story on his blog about a police murder inquiry in London. Knowing a lot of police officers I know how some stories get embellished in the canteen to play up the ‘No way!’ reaction. But anyway, read on because the tale is more than plausible.

Put yourself in the position of a CCTV camera operator. You see a fight break out on a street in broad daylight and at the same time you notice a car driving in a bus lane. Where would you focus your attention to record evidence? Read the Frog’s post for yourself to see what allegedly happened and what the consequences were.

‘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’.

MPs fail in craven attempt to avoid justice over expenses

The three former Labour MPs facing criminal charges over their expenses have lost their final appeal at the Supreme Court to avoid trial.

Jim Devine, David Chaytor and Elliot Morley argued they shouldn’t be put on trial in a criminal court because their expenses are covered by parliamentary privilege. Their desperate attempt to be treated differently to other alleged criminals because they are part of the political class has underlined the ‘them and us’ sense of entitlement that pervades Parliament.

The three troughing attempted justice evaders have denied theft by false accounting in relation to their parliamentary expense claims. Thankfully in this instance the law has avoided being an ass and the Supreme Court – only surpassed in power by every cross jurisdictional court in Europe – ruled the MPs were not protected by their ludicrous claim of parliamentary privilege.

Trials will now follow at Southwark Crown Court beginning later this month. They should be open and shut cases and the three men should be hoping fellow politician Kenneth Clarke can wreck the prison system before they are invited to become guests of Her Majesty.

This case, as mentioned previously on this blog, highlights the need for a written constitution for this country. It also confirms the need for a political revolution to turf out the political class and confer real power to the British people.

The sick spectacle that is John Hirst

The only word to describe it is ‘sick’.

The Daily Politics gave airtime to the BBC’s latest curiosity, John Hirst. The so called Jailhouse Lawyer, who was nothing more than a prison plaintiff, listened to Andrew Neil describe the manner in which Hirst took an axe, put the kettle on, killed a defenceless woman with the axe, then made himself a cup of tea. Hirst then grinned broadly, laughed and thanked Neil for the graphic account.

He laughed.

The family of Hirst’s victim, Bronia Burton, should not be subjected to the sick spectacle of the mentally unstable, aggressive killer of their relative being paraded across television and radio to bask in the limelight of a stomach churning celebratory tour. Hirst’s behaviour demonstrated what a grotesque and unpleasant person he is. Nothing has changed since this profile of him published in the Guardian in 2006.

Despite 25 years in prison (after being sentenced to 15) for submitting a plea of manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility, there is no indication that John Hirst has been in any way been rehabilitated. He denies committing violent offences in prison that saw his sentence steadily increase, claiming he only served 10 additional years because he challenged their authority and demanded his ‘rights’.  The sick irony of Hirst demanding the entitlements that progressive idiots have taken upon themselves to redefine as rights – after Hirst denied Bronia Burton to a genuine human right, the right to life – should not be lost on anyone. The hypocrisy is staggering.

Hirst considers himself intelligent and learned after completing a degree while in prison and challenging the ban on prison inmates having the vote. But he was pathetically incapable of answering why prisoners such as him should be entitled to participate in the democratic process. He simply repeated over and over that prisoners should vote because it is their human right, before throwing personal insults at Andrew Neil for having the temerity to ask perfectly reasonable questions. If anything, the thoroughly revolting Hirst actually demonstrated there are people who plainly unfit to be allowed to vote and should be barred from participating in the electoral process.

The European Court of Human Rights agreed with Hirst back in 2005. But then, it would given it is largely comprised of socialist progressive placemen whose legal experience does not include training as counsel, practicing in courts and subsequently becoming judges. Many of the members of the ECHR bench are nothing more than academics who studied or taught law and have perpetuated the liberal agenda of upholding ‘rights’ for offenders while thumbing their noses at the law abiding in society who are trampled on by the bureaucracy that infests our lives. Such people should have no place handing down rulings to anyone.

The ECHR should not have legitimacy, but it has because the political classes who make up the Council of Europe signed up to be bound by its rulings in a fit of bien pensant idiocy. The ECHR should not have the competence to effectively create law. But it does because the political class did not challenge the ECHR awarding itself the ability to do so. Not for the first time the chickens are coming home to roost, but yet again the political class is sticking its head in the sand to avoid having to admit they got something wrong.

Against such a backdrop it is no surprise Hirst’s unworthy challenge successed and that he has subsequently been given a platform for his obnoxious grandstanding. After all this is declining Britain in the 21st Century, where common sense and decency are sneered at and the honest and law abiding are under continuous attack. However, at some point the people will hit back. Hard.

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.

Only in Britain

What never ceases to amaze is just how idiotic people described as learned can be.  The Home Office policy which allows for foreign nationals who have been refused permission to remain in Britain to be deported quickly after the decision, has been struck down by another activist judge, Mr Justice Silber.

So what we have in Britain now is a constraint that makes it illegal to quickly deport people who are have been deemed to be present in this country illegally.

Despite having gone through the immigration process and legal system and having been refused permission to stay, the judiciary is preventing people with no right to remain here from being sent home – in order to provide them with the opportunity to continue fighting against the decision at taxpayer expense, until some other judge decides to give them indefinite leave to remain in this country.

The lawyers make a nice pile of cash, the legal aid budget is stretched to breaking point and someone without grounds to come here as an asylum seeker is allowed to stay regardless.  Just to ensure the game continues to be played in the same way, any discussion about immigration is shut down by a political class that is incapable of anything beyond affording itself more control over our lives and engaging in gesture politics.

European Investigation Orders will erode national sovereignty

Remember all those Eurosceptic noises that were made by the Conservative Party in recent years?  Actions speak louder than words and that fact is about the brought into clear focus thanks to the planned forthcoming implementation of European Investigation Orders (EIO) reported in the dead tree press today.

For while the Conservatives chant their mantra about being ‘in Europe but not run by Europe’, they concede to every directive that emerges from Brussels that cement still further the EU’s control over the United Kingdom.  This is evident from the news that Theresa May, the Conservative Home Secretary, will announce she plans to sign up to the European Investigation Order (EIO) – a move that has been identified by Steve Peers, professor of Law at Essex University, as:

“… an attack on the national sovereignty of Member States, which would in effect lose their power to define what acts are in fact criminal if committed on the territory of their State.”

Not run by Europe?  The continuing Conservative deception concerning our relationship with the EU is exposed once again.  Many decent Tory backbenchers have again had the legs cut from under them by the self serving autocrats who hold the whip hand over party and policy.  Why these MPs remain in a party that lies repeatedly to the public passes understanding.

The EIO is an insipid instrument that builds upon the European Evidence Warrant (EEW), but crucially it sweeps away most of the grounds upon which states could refuse a request for mutual assistance in criminal investigations – thereby eroding protections that existed to ensure individuals were treated in a just and fair manner.  As Peers explains in the document linked above:

The combination of these changes [from EEW to EIO] would mean that a person who committed an act which is legal in the Member State where the act was carried out could be subject to body, house and business searches, financial investigations, some forms of covert surveillance, or any other investigative measures within the scope of the Directive as regards any ‘crime’ whatsoever which exists under the law of any other Member State, if that other Member State extends jurisdiction for that crime beyond its own territory. Note that there is nothing in EU law or any other set of rules in this area which restricts a State from extending its extraterritorial jurisdiction over criminal offences.

The effect of all this is to further erode national sovereignty and centralise power outside member states.  The systems of law and order in England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland respectively, are being changed without reference to or sanction by the people who will be subjected to police action directed by a foreign power.

For all the fine rhetoric of David Cameron and Nick Clegg, pledging as they have to give people more power over their lives, the reality is people are being ever more tightly controlled by the organs of the state.  The political class has seen to it that we have no legal recourse to prevent this increase of state control and we are sleepwalking into a totalitarian nightmare.

Polanski escapes justice for sex with 13-yr-old

The film director, Roman Polanski, has been freed from house arrest by Switzerland after an extradition request by the United States was turned down.  The Swiss seem to be suggesting there was some kind of fault in the US request.  Polanski can consider himself unjustly fortunate for not suffering the consequences for effectively raping a child. 

Just think, if Polanksi had been arrested in the United Kingdom his extradition would have been a certainty.  Just ask the NatWest Three, Gary Mulgrew, David Bermingham and Giles Darby, who were carted of to the US without so much as a prima facie case being presented to a UK judge.  In contrast, Polanski had been found guilty and fled the day before sentencing.

When people say there is no justice in this world they might just have a point.

UN appeases North Korea over Submarine attack

The United Nations has once again demonstrated fundamentally dysfunctional it is.  For today the UN’s Security Council has given an exhibition of appeasement to rival all others, by unanimously condemning the sinking of the South Korean warship, Cheonan – but bandying words to avoid blaming the aggressor, North Korea.

In fact appeasement is not the right word.  What the UN did today was nothing short of cowardice.  It backed down in the face of threats of further naked aggression by North Korea if blame for the sinking was laid at Pyongyang’s door.  The mighty international community has been pushed around by the playground bully, caved in and promised not to tell the teacher.  The dead members of the Cheonan crew were killed in the Yellow Sea and have now had their memories disrespected by craven yellow bellied diplomats.

The spin from the talking shop that the supposed condemnation shows the international community has taken a strong stance that no provocations against South Korea will be tolerated is just laughable.  Where is the lack of toleration of North Korea for the provocative act of sinking a South Korean Navy warship, killing 46 sailors?  Don’t do it again North Korea, or else you will be told in somewhat uncertain terms that if you do it again it won’t be tolerated, and that line will continue ad infinitum.  Yeah, that should do it.

No doubt there are some who will rail against this description of the UN’s action as cowardice.  Perhaps they will prefer to call it by its weasely alter ego currently so beloved of politicians and diplomats today, pragmatism.

Abid Naseer deportation case is utter insanity

Are you an Islamist terrorist?  Do you want to wage violent jihad against the decadent infidel in the west?  Would you like the security of knowing that if you’re from a country that has the death penalty – and you are caught by the security services of your target nation – they will allow you to stay, at the cost of and under the protection of the people you had set out to murder and maim?  If your answer to these questions is ‘Yes’ then you should be trying to attack the United Kingdom!

A special immigration court, hearing an appeal against deportation, has ruled that Abid Naseer was an al-Qaeda operative – but could not be deported because he faced torture or death back home in Pakistan.  This is the man identified as the leader of an al-Qaeda cell that, MI5 and the police say, intended to bomb shoppers in Manchester.  Despite his intentions, this Pakistani national is being allowed to stay in this country.

Only a country run by craven bureaucrats could construct a process that enables a foreign national accused of planning terrorist atrocities against civilians to remain in that country for his own protection, at the cost of the people he was planning to kill.  Not only is our judicial system incapable of dealing with fanatics who wish to murder us, it is determined to put their ‘rights’ before our ‘interests’ and force us to cohabit with them on these islands. It is a perversion of common sense and an example of the warped moral relativism that is undermining this country.

I wonder how many Britons like the idea of a special immigration court blocking the deportation of a member of a terrorist organisation who allegedly sought to bring death and destruction to these shores. Why should the political class and their judicial activist friends be allowed to undermine the interests of the United Kingdom because a sovereign country has the death penalty and the terrorist who is a citizen of that country might lawfully be subjected to it as a consequence for his actions?

Does anyone believe the new politics address this insanity?  Don’t count on it, the politicians don’t care what we think.  A point made all to clear by our new Home Secretary, Theresa May, who while ‘disappointed’ is stating she doesn’t intend to appeal the decision.  Don’t like it, ordinary citizen?  Tough.  Our political class has spoken.  Enjoy the new politics – it’s not much different to the old.

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Jihad Janes are new generation of Anne-Marie Murphys

News of the arrest of two American women dubbed ‘Jihad Janes’ show that Islamist terrorists are going back to the 80s in their attempts to carry out terror and murder.  In seeking to use proxies whose profile would not ordinarily raise suspicion among security services, terrorists are going back to a technique used in the UK by Nizar Hindawi.

Hindawi was a Jordanian Arab who started a relationship with an Irish woman named Anne-Marie Murphy.  In 1986, while six-months pregnant carrying Hindawi’s child, Murphy was duped into believing she and Hindawi would be getting married and honeymooning in Israel. Hindawi bought her a ticket for an El-Al Israeli airlines flight to Tel Aviv and said he would meet her there because he had to travel via Jordan.

On instruction by his Syrian handlers, Hindawi gave Murphy a bag to take with her containing a bomb, which she knew nothing about and that was only discovered in security checks minutes before check in closed.  395 people would have died if the attack had been successful.

These Jihad Janes, Colleen LaRose and Jamie Paulin-Ramirez (who it seems may have been released on bail in Ireland), are enhanced versions of Anne-Marie Murphy.  They were bored.  They were lonely.  They were in search of companionship, excitement, a sense of belonging and desperate for validation.  They were susceptible to the charms of men ultimately intent on terror, who it seems actively sought them out on the internet.  They were chosen specifically because they do not stand out as a potential security risk.

Women like LaRose and Paulin-Ramirez make it possible to put distance between the instigators of terror and the intended victims.  But unlike Murphy, they are not unwitting proxies used to transport bombs.  They are acting in the full knowledge of what they are doing.  They have been groomed to be sympathetic to the Islamist cause and radicalised with a fervour to commit acts of terror.

The big worry here is that if this is happening in the United States, you can be sure it is happening in the UK.  We have in this country, by the government’s own admission, a pool of radicalised Islamist young men who want to see acts of terror perpetrated on the streets of Britain.  We have already seen Islamic converts such as shoe bomber Richard Reid and 7/7 suicide bomber Germaine Lindsay turn to terrorism.

How long before we start seeing British women revealed as Jihad Janes, caught doing the bidding of vicious homocidal maniacs who have sought them out, developed relationships with them and radicalised them to assist in or commit atrocities?

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We should not suffer fools such as Dr Maggie Atkinson

When calling for the age of criminal responsibility to be raised from 10 to 12 years, comments made by Children’s Commissioner, Dr Maggie Atkinson, about the murder of James Bulger by Robert Thompson and Jon Venables, defy belief.

In Dr Atkinson, fans of political comedy The Thick of It, may have found a real life subject worthy of Armando Iannucci’s witty and cutting description ‘disconnected to the point of autism’.  How else to explain Dr Atkinson’s assertion that:

“What they did was exceptionally unpleasant and the fact that a little boy ended up dead is not something the nation can easily forget, but they shouldn’t have been tried in an adult court because they were still children.” (emphasis is mine)

Exceptionally unpleasant?  I apologise for the graphic nature of what follows, but the context is essential.  It was a brutal and sadistic killing.  James Bulger did not ‘end up dead’.  It was not an accident.  Thomson and Venables sexually assaulted the toddler and then systematically tortured him to death with kicks, punches, beating with bricks and blows with an iron bar.   They then laid James across a railway track, covering his head with bricks,  so his body was severed by the wheels of a train.

If this is Maggie Atkinson’s mealy mouthed, politically correct interpretation of exceptionally unpleasant then I dread to think what her definition of brutal and sadistic violence could be.  The murder scene was one of unimaginable horror.  It is impossible to comprehend the suffering of that James Bulger, or the agony his family have endured.  She clearly has a problem with facts too, having asserted that Robert Thompson and Jon Venables had been jailed.  For as James Bulger’s mother, Denise Fergus rightly points out:

‘They never spent a day in jail. They were sent to children’s homes where they were given kid glove treatment, computer games and the best of everything. They were rewarded for murder and left thinking they had got away with it.’

Is there some special academy somewhere that churns out insensitive, moronic, politically correct nonentities like Maggie Atkinson for recruitment by authorities, agencies and quangos, or appointment to commissions by politicians?  Where on earth do these people come from?  They clearly struggle to recognise the real world around them that the rest of us inhabit.

At a cost of £138,000 of taxpayers’ money per year, we have had pushed on us in controversial circumstances this woman who was pompously described by her annointer, Ed Balls, as a ‘strong, effective and independent voice for the children and young people of our country’.  But she is nothing more than an out of touch, politically biased, bien-pensant, bureaucrat apologist, pursuing her own agenda of absolving youngsters of responsibility for their actions by playing down the seriousness and gravity of one of the most sickening and shocking murders in our lifetimes.

It’s unlikely Maggie Atkinson will resign over this matter.  So Denise Fergus is right, Atkinson should be sacked from the role she should never have been appointed to.  People in such positions should represent the interests of society, not their own personal aims.

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MPs’ Parliamentary privilege defence underlines need for written constitution

It’s no surprise to see that Labour MPs Jim Devine, David Chaytor and Elliot Morley, along with Conservative Peer Lord Hanningfield, are running scared and seeking to evade due process within the criminal justice system by claiming that Parliamentary privilege removes the Court’s jurisdiction over them.  It is spurious nonsense.  It is a desperate and cowardly effort to avoid being brought to trial for offences they are alleged to have committed.

Parliamentary privilege in this country pertains to the freedom of speech on the floor of both Houses in the Palace of Westminster.  It no longer protects MPs and Peers from civil actions and therefore it most certainly does not protect them from criminal proceedings.  The four Parliamentarians are hoping that an intepretation of privilege dating back to the 1685 Bill of Rights will enable them to dodge charges of false accounting under the Theft Act of 1968.

Julian Knowles, the barrister representing the MPs, said a trial in a criminal court would breach the constitutional separation of the legislature and judiciary.

“My clients should not be understood as saying they are above the law. That would be quite wrong.

“Parliamentary privilege is part of the law, and it is for Parliament to apply the law in their cases. The argument which they will present concerns the process by which the allegations should be determined; not whether they should be determined.”

That is utter rubbish.  Where a crime has been committed a trial in a criminal court must take place.  All citizens of this country must be equal before the law.  These men are saying they are a special case because they are MPs and that the charges relate to accounting matters that only came about because of their status.  It is a claim deserving of the same kind of contempt they themselves are demonstrating through their craven behaviour.

Every other citizen of this country would have to face a Court if such charges were brought against them, so these men must also be subject to criminal proceedings and trial by jury.  Anything less would position them as unequal in society and undermine the rule of law.  But we would not be experiencing this ‘make it up as we go along’ nonsense if this country had a clear written constitution setting out the rights and responsibilities of every citizen of the United Kingdom.  It is ridiculous that in this modern era our politicians are allowed to get away with applying arbitrary and self serving interpretations of rights and responsibilities by preventing them being cemented in writing and enshrined in law.

The fact we are now seeing the people who make the law trying to use their status as our elected representatives to avoid being subject to it, makes the need for a written constitution all the more urgent.  As citizens – or subjects if you will – of the United Kingdom we see our democracy being undermined, our national sovereignty being subverted and our political class positioning itself as beyond the law it imposes on the rest of us.  This state of affairs cannot and must not continue.  We must have a written constitution to protect our rights and prevent abuses of power.

How European justice is dispensed to British citizens

One of the primary functions of a nation state is the protection of its citizens.  Membership of the European Union destroys that capacity and leads to unacceptable injustices.  This disturbing issue is brought into sharp focus today with news of Friday’s release from prison in Hungary of British citizens Michael Turner and Jason McGoldrick.

Both men were accused of fraud after their Hungarian company folded with claims that they owed creditors £18,000.  Hungarian prosecutors used cross-border European arrest warrants to have Turner and McGoldrick detained then extradited from the UK.

When they lost their extradition fight in the UK they were sent to Hungary where they were handcuffed and imprisoned, without any charges being made and without any opportunity to seek bail.  They spent 116 nights in limbo, incarcerated in Hungary.  Their experience is not yet over.

The disgrace is that a British court, bound by European Law, put those two Britons into a situation where they were deprived of their liberty despite an absence of any evidence that prosecutors had a case against them.  Although they are currently out of the cells, Turner and McGoldrick have had their passports taken from them and must remain in Hungary until they are due to report to a Hungarian police station on 8th April.  To us this is an injustice.  To Europeans this is how our judicial system should operate.

This is what it means to be at the heart of Europe.  This is what Brown and Clegg crave and what Cameron refused to fight off.  This is what the European style of justice forced upon us by our craven political elite means for ordinary people.  It is just another example of how we are but serfs to the great power of the EU.  We are owned by our masters in Brussels.

The United Kingdom has no place in such an anti-democratic, injudicious and unjust entity.  But we do not have democratic politicians any longer, just self serving sell outs focused on their own vested interests.

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Community based sentences being flouted

On the day that the Prison Reform Trust ramped up its efforts to have offenders given the entitlement to vote in elections, a freedom of information request has shown the Trust’s faith in more community based sentencing rather than custodial sentencing looks badly misplaced.

The website Regeneration & Renewal submitted their FOI request to enquire about the number of breaches of community orders recorded in England and Wales.  The figures show that the number of breaches rose by 47% between 2006-08 from 46,589 in 2006 to 68,343 in 2008.  To put this figure into context the number of community orders handed out rose only slightly over the same period, from 119,109 in 2006 to 127,700 in 2008.

It is no surprise that the public remains concerned that offenders are not being suitably punished for the offences they commit.  The odds seem stacked against law abiding victims of crime when numerous campaign groups rally around to support offenders and even online resources are on hand that can help those offenders who are pulled in for breaching community orders to prepare for their court hearing.  At least someone who sees the effect of so called low-level crime seems to have retained a sense of perspective:

Bill Pitt, director of ASB Action, which advises service providers such as housing associations and community safety teams on antisocial behaviour, said the figures painted a “horrific” picture that called into question the effectiveness of community-based punishments. “Breaches of community orders are awful: they bring the criminal justice system into disrepute and leave communities feeling fragile,” he said.

They also dramatically undermine the arguments of those groups who seek to keep as many offenders out of prison as possible, or make prison as comfortable as they can for those whose offences are just too bad for them to be allowed to retain their liberty.  The criminal justice system has become a farce where tough talk is not backed up with appropriate action.  When it comes to community orders, too many of the people given them treat the punishment with contempt because the consequences for doing so are trivial.

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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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Lord Hutton… a Labour saving device

Today we have yet another example of our Lords and masters at work in their parallel reality.  The Mail on Sunday is retailing the story that Lord Hutton, the peer who chaired the inquiry into the death of UN weapons inspector Dr David Kelly (who had earlier been outed as the source of BBC information that the Iraq dossier had been sexed up) has secretly barred the release of all medical records, including the results of the post mortem, and unpublished evidence.

This is the second twice that James Hutton has ridden to the rescue of the Labour government.  Clearly Hutton was not content with publishing a whitewash of an inquiry in 2004 that hammered the BBC while clearing the government of any wrongdoing.  With the Chilcot Inquiry closing in on the possibility of seeking to re-examine evidence concerning the death of Dr Kelly, a move that could embarrass Labour again, we now see that Hutton has taken a draconian step to hide the medical records, post mortem results and other evidence that was unpublished.

There is no justification for such action.  It is inexplicable.  What is it these socialists keep telling us, if you’ve nothing to hide then you’ve nothing to fear?  So what is it Hutton and the government have to hide?  It should not be legally permissible to seal the records in this way to prevent objective independent scrutiny of the available information.  Hutton is seeking to hide information he is trying to keep out of the public domain and the only possible beneficiary is this squalid Labour government.

The stench of scandal and corruption surrounding this action is nauseating.  It is imperative that independent judges overturn this ruling and allow proper scrutiny of that which Hutton is trying to hide for the government.  Such an abuse of the law must not be tolerated.  The law should serve all citizens of this country fairly and be used as a tool to establish the truth and hold wrongdoers to account.  It should not become the sole preserve of the political and moneyed class, to be abused for their own ends and shield them from justice.

But perhaps people will remain more concerned with Celebrity Big Brother and the latest goings on in Albert Square to be bothered about this.  Until that is it directly affects them in a damaging way, by which time it will probably be too late to act.

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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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