Banana Republic

While a cross-party cabal of MPs consipires to block Brexit, one of the incipient ‘yellow vest’ group in Britain is arrested in connection with pretty tame abuse dished out to Remain-ultra MP Anna Soubry, subsequent to an entreaty from MPs to take the abuse of remainer MPs more seriously.

This situation must now be viewed in a light that transcends the petty and dogmatic divisions of Brexit. Reasonable Remainers and Brexiters must now concede that we are in a situation that brings great shame upon a nation that was once the gold standard of freedom and democracy.

For better or worse, we had a referendum where a massive proportion of the British public, and a clear majority of those who voted, elected to leave the EU. Since then the resistance to the public’s demand has been relentless, with a multi-pronged strategy ranging from outright refusal to comply to death by a thousand tiny cuts.

While abuse of pro-Brexit MPs and members of the public has gone on unhindered for more than 2 years, a legitimate – if lowbrow and infinitesimal – demonstration against key a pro-Remain MP has landed a guy in police custody.

As I’ve said many times before, the process is the punishment now in this country, so the man arrested will doubtless be held as long as legally possible, charged and released on conditional bail that will mean he has to avoid all public rallies and demonstrations and he will have to report to a police station on a regular basis, probably for months to come. He may also be left unable to communicate with his friends or use Facebook to stay involved in a legitimate act of public resistance to MPs’ betrayal. Who knows where it’ll end for him, but one thing will be for sure – the authorities, as well as wanting him out of the way, will want to make an example of him, pour encourager les autres.

Meanwhile, the conspiracy to blatantly defy a clear democratic mandate continues apace, and looks ever more likely to be successful.

And all in the short term interests of some petulant MPs who must have their way, because the little people know not what they do, and should never have been given a say, in spite of the fact that a massive majority of MPs voted to hold the referendum.

The situation we find ourselves in is disgraceful and shameful. And if people can bring themselves to leave their sofas for just a little while, it could end very badly indeed.

So what can we do? Well for one we can chip in to support James Goddard’s legal defence and fund him in whatever way necessary. We can also provide funds to support the movement of which he’s a part. Of course, the paypal and Facebook pages we may have used for this purpose a week ago have now been shutdown, and I haven’t yet found out if there’s a new crowdfunder set up already, but I intend to find out, and to contribute. I’ll share details here if and when I find them.

AJ

Update: New crowdfunding site is here.

Update 2: He’s been released. Sooner than I expected, but on apparently on conditional bail (or other legal mechanism) that severely curtails his ability to play any further part in legitimate demonstrations against an establishment stitchup. I expect this to remain in place until after March 29th at least.

The reason to be optimistic is that, if the Yellow Vests follow the playbook established by the Gilets Jaunes, the organisation will be effectively leaderless, which limits the authorities’ opportunities to ‘behead’ the organisation by legal or other means.

Update 3: Spiked are on it. Their lawyer reckons it’s a stitch-up, too.

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Protecting Elites from our Anger…

Today, there’s been a call from MPs for them to receive more robust protection from abuse at the hands of protestors.

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Speaker John Bercow has described the abuse and harassment of MPs outside Parliament “a type of fascism” and called for a change of policing policy.

He said recent incidents, including Tory MP Anna Soubry being verbally abused on Monday, were “intolerable”.

More than 60 MPs have called on police to improve their response to abusive protesters outside Parliament.

The Metropolitan Police have said they are ready to “deal robustly” with any instances of criminal harassment.

Ms Soubry was shouted at – including being called a liar and a Nazi – during live TV interviews on BBC News and Sky.

The former minister was later called “scum” and jostled as she tried to re-enter the Palace of Westminster.

The above is the way the ever-supine BBC has framed MPs’ response. The Times is a bit clearer about what their response has been:

John Bercow is to write to Cressida Dick, the Metropolitan Police commissioner, increasing the pressure on her to act over the abuse of MPs outside parliament.

The Speaker of the Commons is expected to urge police to do more to protect MPs following a string of incidents including one which saw protesters chant at Anna Soubry, a leading Tory MP, that she was a Nazi. The number of MPs who have signed a similar letter to Ms Dick has reached 60 and is rising.

Ostensibly, this is on the back of repeated episodes of abuse directed at Anna Soubry, though I have no doubt that other MPs have had similar experiences. I have little doubt about the veracity of claims that it is primarily female MPs who have faced this sort of abuse – after all, feminists and their ‘male feminist’ allies have shown no compunction about haranguing women who do not share their idiosyncratic views.

There are a few really interesting things about this.

The first is that Ms Soubry has faced screams of “NAZI”. As much as I disagree with Ms Soubry to the point of despising her, it is patently ridiculous to call her a Nazi or a fascist. The claim is that those shouting at her are extreme right-wing Brexit supporters. I’m not going to address the veracity of this claim as it’s immaterial. What’s interesting is that the practice of screaming “NAZI” at those with whom one disagrees is a practice that was minted by the far-left ‘Antifa’ types.

(Like many cultural and political trends, it started in the USA and took very little time to permeate the rest of the Anglosphere.)

It started with increasingly shrill protestations that x or y utterance/act/opinion was racist. This tended to silence people who did not wish to be tarred with this particularly damaging brush, however reasonable and hitherto mainstream their opinion happened to be. The more this slur has been deployed though – and the more outlandish, absurd and openly malicious the usage – the more it has lost its power and meaning: if everyone and everything is racist then nothing and no-one is racist.

It moved on, of course, via sexist and homophobic, to Islamophobic then Nazi. The same applies. Like antibiotics, deployment starts off being extremely effective, yet through lazy and inapt overuse, the terms lose their efficacy, and need to be superceded with something more powerful.

You could tell, though, that this stratagem was heading up the garden path to oblivion when we started to see people being referred to as ‘literally Hitler’. If I have to unpick that and explain the myriad problems with the claim, you’re in the wrong place.

There had long been a view that if the far-left are the enemy, and they are, a valid tactic is to turn their own weapons against them. So is it any surprise if we see extremists on any spectrum you are to imagine using these proven (if time limited) tactics against those elsewhere in the spectrum of opinion on any given matter?

The second interesting aspect of all this is that MPs imagine they are entitled to special protection from this sort of abuse. They are not. They have sat idly by while anyone who supports Trump or Brexit or the Tories, or is pro-life, pro-church, against gay marriage etc is smeared, intimidated and shutdown using these exact tactics.

As much as the de jure or de facto situation may be different in France or Germany, MPs in this country are citizens with the same rights and responsibilities in law as any other citizen. To even suggest that MPs should be entitled to any sort of special treatment is offensive in the extreme in the context of UK political history. I mention France and Germany deliberately, as it seems there is a strong correlation between MPs calling for special treatment and protection and MPs who support remaining in the EU, with its Napoleonic Codes and its special status afforded to powerful elites.

We did not, for example, see calls from Jacob Rees Mogg for special protection when his family and housekeeper were harangued in the nastiest possible way by protestors outside of his home. But Anna Soubry can’t abide people calling her nasty names on College Green in the heart of Westminster.

The third respect in which this interests me is that it is just the latest development in people’s open expressions of disgust with an increasingly vile, selfish, disconnected elite class of those who brandish power over the public.

For most people it started with the expenses scandal 10 years ago, the fallout of which included a token number of sacrificial lambs and some minimal changes to MPs’ expenses rules. For the most part though, abusers of the expenses system sailed on with impunity, unpunished for their egregious theft of taxpayers money, and worked on developing ways to best exploit the revised rules.

Since then, there have been many episodes that have illustrated the widening chasm between the people and the politicians. Many of these episodes have highlighted that it isn’t just the politicians themselves who act as if they are a higher class with special powers and immunity from the rules that the rest of us are expected to abide by.

The grooming scandal is an example that seems to expose the privilege and ineptitude of all of those in the hierarchies of power. This is a scandal that was repeatedly raised by parents of the girls, maverick politicians and the rare brave journalist. For the most part though, MPs, the police, social workers and the media were complicit in disregarding the ghastly treatment being meted out to tens of thousands of working class girls by the protected class of Muslims.

It matters not whether the powers that be turned a blind eye due to cowardice in the face of cries of Islamophbia and racism, or due to the fact that they genuinely bought into the ideology that permitted the situation to emerge and continue over decades.

It was a watershed in the divison of society between ‘the elites’ and ‘the ordinary people’. Ordinary people could see perfectly well how wrong the situation was, and how wrong the powerful were, and yet the elites were either complicit or in complete denial, until the moment passed when inertia was no longer an option.

This brings us to Brexit, of course, which has become the schism from which things ‘the way they have always been’ may never recover. The elites in the media and politics are blatantly riding roughshod over the will of the people. The social contract is broken beyond repair.

That MPs are effectively demanding protection from the public is proof of this. It is a canary in the coal mine.

I have been sceptical in the extreme about claims we are seeing a seismic shift, foretelling the shattering of the peace and the shredding of the social contract.

I have been of the view that most people just don’t care, and are very happy to be mollified by the bread-and-circuses provided to them. If indifference isn’t bad enough, some people seem very happy to defend the status quo against all attacks in an almost comical performance of Stockholm Syndrome.

For the most part, even those who are deeply unhappy with the situation that has been unfolding for a decade are far too invested in the status quo, with their jobs, houses, debts, investments and status.

I think that any meaningful form of dissent – even cutting satire – is more difficult and fraught with danger now than it ever was before in my lifetime in the UK. Pervasive surveillance, nebulous catch-all laws that are being applied ever more broadly, curtailed access to justice and an army of useful idiots amongst the citizenry all conspire to make the expression of unorthodox opinions ever more fraught with risk of being shunned, shutdown, bankrupted and imprisoned. And when you get to prison, you’d better convert to Islam or you’re really screwed unless you’re a hard case.

But perhaps those who look with hope to the Gilets Jaunes, the Italian government, Trump, the Brexit vote and the burgeoning populist movements in other European countries are right after all. Perhaps the masses are ready to throw off their chains. Perhaps MPs are waking up to this possibility which is why they are starting to ask for special protections from the people who they are supposed to be representing.

One thing is for sure: with households carrying more debt than ever, with a housing market built on articficially low interest rates, and the threat of negative interest rates for those with any savings, come the next financial crisis, there will be more people than ever before losing everything. And you know what they say about people with nothing left to lose.

There’s something that has been a peculiarly American obsession, born of the frontier spirit: disaster planning. Establishing a literal or financial shelter, buying supplies, moving money out of the wobbling financial system. Maybe this will spread to Europe. I think we are starting to see it with people moving some of their limited wealth into gold and cryptocurrencies

Perhaps. In the meantime, here’s X Factor, I’m a Celebrity and Match of the Day, followed by Black Friday, January sales, Easter, summer in the Balearics and a rise in mortgage interest rates, energy bills, taxes and net immigration.

AJ

Related reading:

(1) Rory Sutherland in The Spectator – A Principled Argument for a Hard Brexit

Apart from the needless fear it generates, it is also slightly dubious to suggest that it is the gilets jaunes or the Five Star Movement or the supporters of Brexit or even Donald Trump who are acting intemperately. It is perfectly possible to argue that these movements are a sensible, overdue reaction against governments that have imposed economic globalisation on the world at a pace that is entirely inconsistent with the human lifespan and the speed at which we can adapt to change.

(2) Andrew Cadman in The Conservative Woman – MPs beware – Direct Democracy is on its way

Purely representative democracy is entering its twilight: as this site has long argued, it has become a socially destructive system that cannot fix the major problems it has helped caused, or deal with the reality of modern society.

(3) Adam Piggott on Pushing Rubber Downhill – 2019: The Year of the Powderkeg

2018 was the year of the awakening for normies. The reason for this is that it was also the year that the prog left pushed as far as they were able to, not due to any limitations of permission but more from a want of energy and resources on their part. The progs acted with impunity not only because they are able to but because when things turn against them it will happen fast. One must make hay and all that.

(4) The Guardian – Average UK household debt now stands at record £15,400

The level of unsecured debt as a share of household income is now 30.4%, the highest level it has ever been at. It is well above the £286bn peak in 2008 before the financial crisis, the TUC said. That figure also included student loans, but tuition fees then were £3,000 a year compared with up to £9,250 now.

(5) The Guardian – Storm ahead? Here’s how to prepare for a financial crisis

Every 10 years or so a financial crisis hits global markets – and it’s 10 years since the last one. This week the IMF warned that not only are the storm clouds of the next global financial crisis gathering, but also that the world financial system is unprepared for another downturn.

55 per cent, or why not to say #noto55

Much wailing and gnashing of teeth at the idea of the ConDem government installing a rule that means the government can survive a no-confidence vote in the Commons with only 45% support.

My maths may be a little awry, due to vagaries of the Commons (and the presently vacant seat), but it works out something like this:

  • Conservative MPs: 306
  • Lib Dem MPs: 57
  • -> Coalition MPs: 363
  • Labour MPs: 258
  • Others: 28
  • -> Non Coalition MPs: 286

Now, for 55% to support a dissolution of Parliament requires around 358 MPs.

Therefore, 72 coalition MPs need to support the motion for it to be successful. That’s all the LibDems plus 15 Tories. If the Tories stick together, the government cannot fall this way.

If only 50%+1 were required – 326 votes, only 40 coalition MPs need be involved – about 70% of Lib Dems, in other words, would be enough to force an election. (Note that a VoNC with 50%+1 would still be enough to bring a government down, forcing attempts to reconstruct a governing arrangement.)

So, in the context of this coalition, a 55% threshold sort of makes sense. I can see why it was proposed: to encourage a stable parliament, assuaging the fears of the markets.

I’ll explore more in a mo, but first, the gainsayers:

http://noto55.com/

Introducing an ‘enhanced majority’ for confidence votes in the Commons may be politically expedient, but it’s not democratic.

Conservatives make up 47% of our MPs. This change in the law would make it impossible for Parliament to hold the government to account through a confidence vote.

Tom Harris

The plan is to scrap the centuries-old convention that when any government loses the confidence of the Commons, it must resign and parliament must be dissolved. Instead, 55 per cent of the Commons must support a no-confidence motion. Which means that a minority government could continue in office until the end of what we must now assume is a five-year, fixed term parliament, without the ability to legislate.

Gerald Warner (Telegraph)

This measure would preserve in power governments that had lost the confidence of a majority in the House of Commons as large as 54 per cent. Since the first vote of no confidence brought down Lord North, on account of certain little local difficulties in the American colonies in 1782, a total of 11 Prime Ministers have been ejected from office in this way.

The most recent was James Callaghan, defeated by one vote in 1979.

So, the case against this move looks strong; almost unassailable.

If the new rules being proposed by Cameron and Clegg had applied, his rotten government could have staggered on for nearly six months more, delaying the advent of Margaret Thatcher and inflicting further damage on the economy.

Could have, perhaps. Would have? I’m firmly of the view that our last unelected Prime Minister stayed in government about 2 years (I’m being generous) longer than was good for the country or the economy.

If this nightmare scenario came to pass in this Parliament, I confidently predict that the electorate would wipe the Tories off the map, and rightly so. That’s not to say the Tories haven’t had their suicidal tendencies in the past, but they’ve paid the price before and they’d have to pay it again.

‘It’s undemocratic’ they cry. As if we had an unblemished electoral nirvana until yesterday.

A commission is being formed to address the West Lothian question. If they can resolve that, a far greater good will be done for our democracy than any damage done by this proposed move.

So, I’m prepared to give them the benefit of the doubt on this one, on one proviso: A sunset clause that requires this 55% piece of be voted upon at the start of each parliament. Likewise for the associated 5 year fixed term parliament. I see these as temporary measures for extraordinary times, and they should be put before the next parliament for renewal or removal.

And for what it’s worth, to hear the left bleating on about gerrymandering is just hilarious after 13 years of tampering with constituency boundaries, buying votes in the public sector and welfare sector, and relying on Scottish votes to pass English matters through the Commons.

AJ

UPDATE: Useful further commentary from Dizzy:

A number of people, following my earlier post today, have pointed out that the 55% "super majority" vote is not for confidence votes, but rather for dissolution votes within fixed-term Parliaments. The argument thus goes that because the Tories don’t have 55% of the vote they wouldn’t just be able to win a dissolution vote at a time of their own choosing.

Thus, as some have said, it’s not really that bad at all. However, if you take a closer look it might actually be worse than previously thought and, in fact, it may just be that the Lib Dems have totally conned the Tories with a ruse that boosts their power for years to come.

The quick and easy analysis was that the rule was a stitch-up by the Tories, however, perhaps it’s really a stitching-up of the Tories by the Lib Dems who are looking to future Parliaments, not this one?

As one person put it to me "this is what happens if an experienced Eurocrat negotiator sits down with a bunch of power-hungry poshboys who wrongly believe they have the upper hand."

None of which would be an issue if a sunset clause is included.

And from his commenters:

My take on it is this:

If we have fixed term parliaments, the government is no longer able to call elections at a time and place to suit themselves. Fair enough, I guess.

However, that ability transfers to the opposition, who could call votes of no-confidence in the government at strategic times to suit themsleves. Apart form the constitutional mess that could arise, it would leave a government (especially one with a small majority at best) always looking over its’ shoulder at opinion polls, and unable to make any hard, unpopular choices given the inevitable electoral fallout and then the subsequent vote of no confidence forced by the opposition.

Effectively, this rule evens outs the balance of power again when it comes to calling/forcing elections. Don’t forget also that this rule has a 66% barrier in Holyrood.
That all said, I’m not sure why we need fixed term parliaments at all.

Which makes sense. In terms of the fixed term, I think this is an appropriate temporary measure, under the current economic circumstances. Again with the sunset clause.

UPDATE: Alex Massie has an excellent post about this. To take an extract:

Unless I am hopelessly confused about all this, the provision has nothing to do with confidence votes. The government would still be brought down by losing a confidence motion on a simple majority. But, now that we have fixed-term parliaments, this wouln’t necessarily trigger a general election. That would only happen if it proved impossible to form a new government and, then, 55% of MPs voted in favour of dissolution and fresh elections. 

Iain Roberts has a good piece making the case for why this provision may be a little less irksome than many presume. He points out, correctly, that constitutionally-speaking new elections are not in fact triggered by the government losing a confidence vote. The Queen retains the power to ask someone else to try and form a government.

I assume that this new 55% rule is also designed to make it harder for the sitting government to engineer a dissolution of parliament at a time that suits them and, consequently, make a nonsense of the switch to fixed-term parliaments.

It’s worth pointing out, perhaps, that such provisions are common where there are a) fixed-terms and b) often coalition or minority goverments.

Read the whole thing here.

UPDATE: More salient points from Alan Travis in CiF here.

Bringing the law into disrepute

I’m becoming quite a follower of Henry Porter’s dispatches on liberty in The Graun.

It’s long been a bug bear of mine that most of the senior politicians involved in dismantling our liberty, our checks and balances and our civil protections have been lawyers.

Porter picks up the theme:

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It’s no coincidence that the four politicians who took us to war – Tony Blair, Jack Straw, Lord Falconer and Lord Goldsmith were all lawyers. Of course there were others involved, but let us be quite clear that each of these was in a position to stop the headlong rush to war by using the rule of law as an argument against the Bush regime.

Only Lord Goldsmith attempted such a course, but he was flattened by Lord Falconer and Baroness (formerly Sally) Morgan and sidelined by Number 10 until it was too late for Britain to withdraw. The point is that the same people who ignored the opinion of legal advisers Sir Michael Wood and Elizabeth Wilmshurst – in fact the entire legal team – also carried out the attack on liberty and the rule of law that has been the subject of columns in the Observer and this blog for the last four years.

To make the connection between the two may seem opportunistic, but I believe that it is fundamental to the understanding of New Labour to see that the attack on the international rule of law goes hand in hand with the steady erosion of rights and liberties in this country: both were carried out by people who were trained as lawyers and who should have been nourished by the law and its long traditions.

This is obviously not to say that all lawyers are bad: the people who fought for the rule of law inside the system, such as Wilmshurst and Wood, were lawyers, and many lawyers outside government, such as Philippe Sands QC and Clive Stafford Smith, have staunchly defended the international rule of law, particularly concerning British involvement in torture and rendition. Most lawyers I talk to are appalled at what has been done to the rule of law and to our own constitution.

One of the very basic tenets of the rule of law in Britain was expressed by AC Dicey in 1885: "In the first place, no man is punishable or can be lawfully made to suffer in body or goods except for a distinct breach of the law established in ordinary legal manner before the ordinary courts of the land." Blair, Straw and to a lesser extent Falconer were responsible for countless tiny cuts to this principle – and in other areas, as in the decision to go to war, the knowledge of rendition and MI5’s collusion in torture sessions – for instance in the interrogation of Binyam Mohamed – have outraged standards set in international conventions and charters.

My own belief is that Blair, Straw and Falconer should be disbarred from their professional organisations. There may be a case for Lord Goldsmith’s disbarment as well. Though I am not sure how this could be satisfactorily achieved, I believe that both barristers and solicitors will want to make a statement about the steady attack on all that the Bar and Law Society stand for. It would be a symbolic gesture but an important one, given that we are unlikely to see any of these individuals prosecuted for what they have done.

Each of them was fully aware of the damage they caused to the rule of law at home and abroad, and while we may wait for a proper analysis as to what gave New Labour lawyers the confidence to defy public opinion and the law, the action of disbarment, perhaps merely its consideration, could send out a signal that Britain is at last passing from this long and shoddy episode.

Another prominent lawyer who has been responsible for illiberal lunacy is, of course, Harriet Hormone.

AJ

All out of rant…

Well, I seem to have reached an impasse.

I’ve tried everything. I’ve consorted with a woman, I’ve stopped my medication, I’ve drunk Scottish beer, I’ve been in Tesco, I’ve read the newspapers. And a shit-load of purportedly infuriating blog posts, too.

But, I appear to be all ranted out. I’m sure it’s not a permanent condition – at least I hope not, or I could find myself leafing through the couture adverts in the back of the Mail on Sunday magazine. I have Dignitas on speed-dial, just on case.

Of course, this doesn’t mean that any of the people who I’ve called cunts on this blog have stopped being cunts. Quite the opposite. Just that, presently, I don’t seem to have a spare fuck to give.

Brown’s intent on leaving the country in a persistent vegetative state, as a matter of dogma. Rather than planning to reverse the poly-dimensional decline, Cameron is practicing his dribbling.

We are about to enter an election campaign period that will see the Labour left sink to previously un-plumbed depths of dirty campaigning, and still upwards of 7 million people are likely to vote for them. The Conservatives are all about winning the 3 million or so swing votes and will say any old nebulous weasel crap to do so.

There is, however, a glimmer of hope that radical and insightful conservative thought exists in the party. I’m not talking about Messrs Hannan and Carswell, who may have achieved cult status, but seem to have mainly succeeded in getting themselves painted as a pair of right-wing mentalists.

I’m talking about one Dominic Raab. Amongst other things he ran David Davis’ by-election campaign in 2008.

He wrote this:

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It is well worth reading.

I recently referred to reading “The Rotten State of Britain” by Eamonn Butler, head of the ASI. A valid criticism of that book, made by a punter on Amazon, is that it’s not much more than a catalogue of whinges, the like of which can be found by reading a handful of blogs. My main criticism, though, is that it isn’t referenced. At all. No way to go back and examine the author’s source material. For the kind of book this is, I find the omission unforgivable. The consequence is that Butler’s otherwise worthy book provides one with the sound basis for no argument whatsoever.

The Assault on Liberty suffers from none of the lack of focus that Butlers book seemed to. Nor does it suffer from the lack of references, which are provided at the back of the book, albeit rather informally done.

A further difference is that while Butler’s book, laudably enough, reminded me of things that have happened in the last twelve years, Raab actually managed to teach me a few things. Perhaps things that a lot of politics junkies take as read, but hey – I haven’t been paying enough attention, and it’s no comfort that I’ve been paying more attention than most of the populace.

For example, it may have been the Tories who took us into the common market on a false prospectus (the last time we had a referendum), but it was Labour who signed up to the European Convention on Human Rights in 1950, which they had a large part in crafting. In so doing they lost a key argument with the French about how the Convention should be framed.

Labour accepted the jurisdiction of the Strasbourg court (ECHR) in 1966. They also incorporated ECHR case law into British law when they passed the Human Rights Act in 1998.

Unsurprisingly, the ECHR grew arms and legs, becoming, by the late 70’s, an unelected & unaccountable body not of judges, but of law-makers. They were making law based on a trans-national socialist framework. They still are.

There is a big problem with the HRA, too. The ECHR doesn’t take past rulings to represent precedent. Each case is heard in isolation, with only reference to the Convention. This gives rise to apparently contrary rulings. Although this does not conflict with the nature of that court’s role, it means that when Labour came along and decided to bind ECHR case law into British law, they created a swill of perverse case law, resulting in unpredictable rulings.

The net result is that no-one, or company, or government agency knows where they stand with respect to the law. Such uncertainly gives rise to risk-averseness, and a proliferation of insurances, regulations and litigation that suffocate enterprise and civil society alike. More fundamentally, such uncertainty is bad for liberty, bad for democracy and bad for human well-being.

This is just one insight gleaned from what is, in my opinion, an excellent book. Although I don’t agree with all of the logic of every conclusion, and I’m skeptical about the worth and wisdom of instituting a new Bill of Rights, as Raab advocates, I commend the book to you.

Sadly, Mr Raab is about to be gelded: he is the Conservative candidate for the very safe seat of Esher and Walton in Surrrey. So, who does that leave in the party free to express a focus on the importance of retaining and regaining our liberty?

Tomorrow, I’ll be cunt-surfing on the M25, so expect the red mist to return.

AJ

Fakecharities = Government Sock Puppets

A most interesting observation from ConservativeHome’s Leftwatch section.

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At 0853am this morning the Today programme interviewed Katherine Rake of the Family and Parenting Institute. She used her three minute twenty second slot to attack the Tory idea that marriage should be recognised by the tax system. She avoided a question about the evidence that shows marriage is much more stable than cohabitation and continued her political talking points.

She was presented as an independent expert on family policy but who is she and what is the Family and Parenting institute?

Katherine Rake was until recently a very regular contributor to The Guardian and ran the Fawcett Society.  In a profile to mark her departure from seven years of running the Fawcett Society, she was described by The Guardian as "Feminism’s calm champion".

The Family and Parenting Institute is nearly entirely funded by the taxpayer.  In 2008/9 £9.5m of the Institute’s income of £11.8m came from the Department of Children, Schools and Families via the Parenting Fund.

Wait… I say it was an interesting observation because… err.. I made it 8 days ago.

Though, in fairness, I didn’t realise that:

5.45pm: I’m grateful to Mark Clarke in the comments for pointing out that Fiona Millar – Alastair Campbell’s partner – chairs the Family and Parenting Institute.

Epic nepotism and back-scratching.

AJ

December 1st 2009: Bye bye England…

Honestly. Is there now any reason left not the move to France?

Via CF, I see that Captain Ranty has a catalogue of ways in which we’re to be bent over and buttfucked at 00:01 Tuesday morning.

A direct lift from the Capn’s post:

Item 1.
Habeas corpus ad subjiciendum. Latin for "you may hold the body subject to examination". This undeniable right protects one from the state. Whilst it is in place, no-one can lock you away without having solid lawful reasons to do so. Today, if you believe that you have been incarcerated and no evidence supports that incarceration, you can demand a Writ of Habeas Corpus from the court. The court will then examine evidence that you should be gaoled, remanded, or sectioned. You might also be interested to learn that once habeas corpus is gone you can be incarcerated for up to eight months without charge. This item will be stolen just after midnight on Monday 30th November 2009.
Item 2.
Courts de jure. Latin for "courts by jury". Today we have some 70 courts in our land geared for jury trials. On Tuesday morning your right to be judged by a jury of your peers evaporates completely. All magistrates courts are now companies with limited liability. They are, for want of a better term, places of business. Justice is not dispensed. A negotiation takes place. Crown courts will now become de facto courts. Same stage, same actors, same anticipated outcome. You will part with money, or your freedom, based on the whim or the mood, of one man or one woman. This item will be stolen just after midnight on Monday 30th November 2009.
Item 3.
Innocent until proven guilty. On Tuesday morning we start playing a whole new game whereby you, the accused, are guilty until you can prove your innocence. Our age old method under Common Law is dumped without ceremony and we revert instead to a mix of Napoleonic and Roman Law. Instead of having to convince 12 good men and true (15 in Scotland) that you are innocent, you now have to prove to one man or one woman that you are not guilty. This item will be stolen just after midnight on Monday 30th November 2009.
Item 4.
Loss of sovereignty. We are an ancient civilisation. People inhabited this land thousands of years before the Egyptians issued the tenders for pyramid building. Countless lives have been lost defending our little island. It had been a mecca for those wanting to live unfettered lives. Until now. Those immigration gates were flung wide and we invited in that Trojan horse, not filled with soldiers but with people intent on taking, taking, taking for themselves. Hundreds of thousands, millions, arrived under Labours watch, not to better themselves per se, but to help themselves to benefits we pay for. As I have previously stated on this blog, all are welcome. If they are prepared to work. The plan, masterminded by those fools in parliament, appears now to have been a deliberate act to dilute us, to weaken us, to take away inalienable rights, and give the immigrants more rights than naturalised Britons. Under the EU our sovereignty is dead and buried. No more English, no more Scots, no more Irish, no more Welsh. We are all european now.  This item will be stolen just after midnight on Monday 30th November 2009.
Item 5.
Democracy. From the Greek demokratia-power to the people. The first democratically elected parliament was De Montforts in England in 1265. We shared this method of rule with others, and it spread. Many authoritarian systems have been toppled only to have democracy established. On Tuesday morning we give away this unique method of rule for an oligarchy. Mandarins in Europe are not elected. They are selected. No previous experience is required. Which is handy if you are a (well connected) imbecile. Fat salary, fat pension, fat chance of actually having to work for a living like the proles. Arguably, because of their vastly diminished responsibilities, we have no need for a parliament, no need of the traitorous monarch, and certainly no need to pay 646 goons and their back-room staff billions every year. Brussels will rule absolutely. They will waste our money with unimagined skill. Bye bye democracy. It was nice while it lasted. This item will be stolen just after midnight on Monday 30th November 2009.
I have to stop. This is far too depressing. I had another 15 or 20 items lined up that I had researched earlier today.

A total and utter betrayal. I feel truly sick.

AJ

Suicide watch…

Eamonn Butler is the head of the Adam Smith Institute – a free-market think-tank.

But I’d not be surprised to hear that the Dignitas marketing folk were keen to retain his services.

I say this because, ever since I started reading this:

image5

I’ve been increasingly curious about their services.

It’s an unceasing catalogue of the things that Gordon Brown and his coterie of bastards has done to our country.

Oh sure, there’s not much in there that you couldn’t find on most libertarian blogs, but the sheer scale of their destruction wrought upon the fabric of our economy, society, liberty, privacy, justice system and democratic protections is breath-taking.

I may, in fact, never finish this book, because I decide that I want to live. On the other hand, I may neck a fistful of vallium and get it over with. The book, I mean.

AJ

Ready for a masterclass in weasel words? Watch Dave…

So, the Lisbon Treaty has now been ratified by all 27 countries after the Czech Republic signed this afternoon. It could be law by 1st December 2009.

The BBC is sucking a big – huge blue – veined euroboner. I’m about to vomit in my pot-noodle.

Whatever Dave promises us tomorrow, it’ll boil it down to this: The Tories can’t do anything now. They won’t have a referendum (Hague confirmed this to the BBC earlier). They’ll not be able to repatriate any powers – and even if they did, we’d still be losing sovereignty, power, independence and democratic accountability on aggregate.

I mean. Whether it ends up being the BlairCunt or not, an APPOINTED PRESIDENT for fucks sake? Even Afghanistan puts on at least a charade of holding an election. As does Iran.

Can you say democratic deficit?

Nothing Cameron can offer us could even come close to holding a referendum – even if it is symbolic.

Tory strategists wail that in the midst of difficult cost-cutting measures, the referendum would be used by the public to kick the government in the teeth. Well perhaps. If they were to hold off for 12 months. They can’t swing the axe overnight, but they could hold a referendum within 30 days of coming to power, before the vote could be tainted by anti-government feeling.

But they won’t do it.

Not voting Conservative in 2010. May never vote for them again as things stand.

AJ

UPDATE: MEPs will get more powers from this. Perfect timing for Nazi Nick then…