36 3 mins 14 yrs

200611_europa_1.gifTHESE ARE dark days for patriots. Our monarch has been effectively deposed by her own hand, the laws of our puppet parliament are the orders of foreign powers and, on Thursday of this week, the prime minister will incriminate himself by giving most of what little sovereignty we have over our own lives to the usurpers of Brussels. When the British people again insist on their laws being obeyed, revenge will be sweet.

So let’s remember then why we fight on. It is not because of any abstract notions or ideas, nor because we have been a free, independent people for a thousand years with a unique way of life shaped by our own customs. We fight on for our very freedom:

– Under our law we can do virtually anything we wish providing there is no law against it. In Europe you can only do what the law says you can.

– In the United Kingdom the state is the servant of the people. In Europe the people are subjects of the state.

– In the United Kingdom we have inalienable common law rights that the state cannot deny us or take away from us. In Europe rights are awarded by the state and can be withdrawn at the state’s discretion.

– In the United Kingdom the people control the state, for the sovereignty rests with the people. In Europe the state controls the people for it is the state which is sovereign.

– In the United Kingdom we do not have a state police force; we have county police forces accountable to the Crown which represents the people. In Europe they have state police forces whose job it is to enforce state policy.

These freedoms are ours by right. They do not belong to the Crown, Parliament or any individual. Our ancestors fought at home and abroad to preserve them. The prime minister will, this week, treat our liberties as his plaything and bargain them away in the promise of an authoritarian state controlling the lives of 400 million slaves. Let his name be added to the list. 

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36 thoughts on “Remembering Why We Fight

  1. Pete,

    "In Europe you can only do what the law says you can."

    Are you sure you don’t wish to recast that sentence? The vast proportion of laws—anywhere—are proscriptions not prescriptions.

    Even the Ten Commandments contain only three prescriptions.

  2. Nope, Pete may have put it a tad clumsily but he has it right. European Law (and particularly the provisions in the Treaties) is framed in such a way that there is a delineated body of things which people are allowed to do with all else rendered illegal, rather than the British system where an act is legal unless specifically proscribed.

  3. DSD,

    I wonder if this is truly so. Space forbids my going into law at length but certainly two recent Acts passed by Parliament are largely prescriptive in character. They are the Human Rights Act (1998) and the Freedom of Information Act (2000).

  4. The problem with much prescriptive legislation is it often morphs into proscriptive ‘special pleading’ as in the case of politicians trying to exclude themselves from the freedom of information act.
    This is why the EU stinks. Non of it’s laws are based on a consensus, but rather a clique.

  5. The written US constitution is closer to the unwritten English. Our 10th Amendment states:

    "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."

  6. "Under our law we can do virtually anything we wish providing there is no law against it. In Europe you can only do what the law says you can."

    It’s really hard to believe thatanyone could be so seriously misinformed as to write this. What a load of hopeless Europhobic twaddle. Pathetic, inane, childish and absurd. Article 7 of the EUROPEAN Convention on Human Rights, as interpreted by the EUROPEAN Court of Human Rights enshrines just such freedom throughout it’s signatory states.

    "In the United Kingdom the state is the servant of the people. In Europe the people are subjects of the state."

    Astonishingly, an even more exceptionally ridiculous statement than the last one. Asinine, meaningless, errant nonsense.

    "In the United Kingdom we have inalienable common law rights that the state cannot deny us or take away from us. In Europe rights are awarded by the state and can be withdrawn at the state’s discretion."

    Actually, rights are effectively unknown to common law. Lord Wilberforce said as much in Davy v Spelthorne: "typically, English law fastens, not upon principles but upon remedies". Rights exist under English law ONLY by operation of EUROPEAN law. Dumbest, least informed comment yet.

    "In the United Kingdom the people control the state, for the sovereignty rests with the people. In Europe the state controls the people for it is the state which is sovereign."

    Batting 1000. In the United Kingdom, sovereignty rests with the State. The people have damn all to do with it. Europe’s no better, but let’s not pretend that the UK sets some Olympian standard of demcracy. It doesn’t. To quote another Lord (Halsham) it operates, at best, as an "elective dictatorship".

    "In the United Kingdom we do not have a state police force; we have county police forces accountable to the Crown which represents the people. In Europe they have state police forces whose job it is to enforce state policy."

    Do you elect your local Chief Constable? Are the police forces independent from the state? Do the local constabularies refuse to enforce state laws which they consider corrupt or unjust? Do the Ertzaintza and the Mossos d’Escuadra not exist? Are you talking nonsense again?

  7. Dear ‘Europe isn’t evil, it’s just Europe’,

    and you’re just a …, no, David doesn’t like that kind of language. Pete may overegg the pudding on occasion, but that’s because he speaks from the heart and loves this country, which is not something you’d understand.

  8. p.s.

    if the arguments are so ‘pathetic, inane, childish and absurd’, why don’t you gutless chickenshit Euromonkeys let us have a democratic say on the matter?

  9. Charles in Texas –

    That is a common law principle. The common law dates back to Anglo Saxon England and is based on our morals and customs because it is not prescriptive and relies so heavily on judicial precedent.

    The EU is developing the EU Civil Code, based on the Code Napoleon. It is wholly prescriptive, relies on its the entire code of man to be written for its functioning and doesn’t allow for judicial precedent.

    Incidentally, under the Code Napoleon one is guilty until proven innocent, the opposite of our common law principle. You will not be judged by your peers but by a state-appointed judge.

    The right to trial by jury is under serious threat from our government. It has made repeated attempts to curtail these rights. The importance, of course, of jury trial is that while the state may interrogate, accuse and try you, only your peers may condemn you.

    1000 years of liberty under the common law is under serious threat here.

  10. Europe –

    Stripped of your childish language, you only contradict me on two points.

    First, the British people are sovereign, vested in the Crown. Parliament may only sit when the monarch opens Parliament – when members swear allegiance to the Crown – and is dissolved by the Crown. No-one swear allegiance to Parliament because Parliament is not sovereign. This, the Crown in Parliament, gives it its law making powers and takes them away when it’s dissolved.

    Chief Constables are heads of Her Majesty’s Contabularies. They report, via the Home Office, to Parliament because these powers are devolved from the Crown. This is the same parliament which is sitting only because of the Crown in Parliament. Chief Constables, like all police officers, swear the Oath of Allegiance to the Crown, not to Parliament.

  11. Pete

    What exactly does the concept of the British people’s sovereignty being invested in the Crown mean. Cant he people take that sovereignty away from the Crown if they feel it is being abused (which if they own it they must be able to do) – and how do they go about deciding that they have decided to remove that vestment of their sovereignty. ?

  12. Pete,

    "[T]he British people are sovereign, vested in the Crown. Parliament may only sit when the monarch opens Parliament – when members swear allegiance to the Crown – and is dissolved by the Crown … Chief Constables are heads of Her Majesty’s Constabularies. … Chief Constables, like all police officers, swear the Oath of Allegiance to the Crown…"

    Lord God, one would swear you were writing in 1507 not 2007! It’s only when I see this stuff written down and conveyed without the slightest trace of irony that I appreciate how completely ridiculous it is.

  13. Dawkins

    In the strictest constitutional sense , Peter is right in his descriptions of the power construct of the UK, but in reality like all Sovereign set ups it is a conceit manipulated by politicians. Pete talks about the ‘illegality’ of all our recent European political integrationist treaties , but it’s just whistling in the wind. Politicians decide the limitations of power not the people. The people can cause a scare every now and then but the political classes – of all persuasions – soon sieze control back again.

  14. Dawkins, First principles are very important.Here in the United States sovereinty lies with the people, as in "We the People."

    In Britian right now all this seems to be quite muddled indeed. And Pete is right about the Code Napolean. A trial judge there is judge, prosecutor, and jury. Wellington must be spinning right about now!

  15. It’s strange that, in view of this vast superiority of the English judicial system compared to the European, the greatest miscarriages of justices in Europe – cases where so-called neutral juries were hoodwinked and intimidated by judges into giving a wrong verdict, where information was falsified, valid evidence ignored, where witnesses (including policemen) were seen by the court to have lied under oath, where suspects were tortured into making unbelievable "confessions" and where all this was accepted by the sagacious judge as being incontestable evidence – have all been in this England with its "inalienable common law rights"!

  16. "In the strictest constitutional sense , Peter is right in his descriptions of the power construct of the UK"

    Except that, no, he’s entirely incorrect, as I’ve pointed out above. Tell you what. Show me some legal, political or other authority for your and Peters’ constitutional conceits and we can have a conversation. Mere (mis-)statement of consitutional (un)reality is just daft, jingoistic nonsense.

    Pete

    In fact, I contradict you on all your points. Wilful blindness will enable you not to see that, but it hardly makes for interesting debate. As Dawkins points out above, your responses are, like your initial points, ridiculous. Even RC can see it, and is trying to defend you using the fool’s pardon gambit – ah, leave him be, sure he only loves his country.

    Europe is not some nascent dictatorship. It is an experiment in democracy and capitalism, two concepts routinely paid lip-service on this site. It involves a certain pooling sovereignty by nations sufficiently confident to be prepared to enter such an enterprise. Personally, I think it’s run badly – but show me a political confection which is run well. I think it’s remote from the people, but even teh NI Assembly can be criticised on that ground. Fundamentally, it brings more good than bad – higher living standards, competition, effective regulation, environmental protection, underpinning of all public decision-making by requirements of proportionality and transparency, humane proportionate equality legislation, effective workers’ rights, but mst of all freedom for the brave and ambitious to pursue their dreams. You’d think that those concepts would be respected on this site, of all places. It’s the greatest collaboration between nations since the allied war effort. You guys should try to look without the hate-tinted spectacles and see Europe for what it is.

  17. Noel

    The idea of a "common law right" is like the idea of a talkative fish or an agile pineapple.

  18. Noel Cunningham,,

    [T]he greatest miscarriages of justices in Europe … have all been in this England with its "inalienable common law rights"!

    Uh huh, and I give you the singular case of Roy Meadows, "expert" witness whose outright lies sent an innocent, grieving woman to jail.

    He was struck off the register by the General Medical Council, but reinstated on appeal.

    The court ruled that "all expert witnesses should be immune from disciplinary action and that Sir Roy was not guilty of serious professional misconduct and that his striking off should be quashed."

    I repeat: "all expert witnesses should be immune from disciplinary action."

    Wow. Carte blanche to lie then. Only in England.

  19. Pete, do any of the three main political parties in the UK offer protection of our sovereignty? If none, for which party would you recommend that patriots support – even as an expediency?

  20. "It involves a certain pooling sovereignty by nations sufficiently confident to be prepared to enter such an enterprise."

    Exactly.

    "Personally, I think it’s run badly – but show me a political confection which is run well. I think it’s remote from the people, but even teh NI Assembly can be criticised on that ground."

    I would criticise it further. The EU has many flaws and it is important they are addressed.

    However, this isn’t the first time that Pete has completely exaggerated and, in some cases, misrepresented entirely, the workings of the EU to make his Euro-sceptic points.

    "The idea of a "common law right" is like the idea of a talkative fish or an agile pineapple."

    Yes. I didn’t understand that point either.

  21. Europe etc,

    firstly, with regard your witty moniker, the EU is not the same as Europe. I know supporters of ‘the project’ like to pretend it is. But it ain’t. Norway is in Europe. It is not in the EU. So when you want to shill for the EU, have the courage to name it.

    "[The EU] is an experiment in democracy and capitalism"

    An experiment it may be, but the people of this country have not consented to be guinea pigs in an experiment. Is this not important? Or should our political class pay us no more mind than a vivesectionist pays to an animal? In a democracy, the people (demos=people) decide. However, we were promised this by the Government in 2005 and now it refuses to hold the referendum. Thus, your claim that the EU has anything to do with democracy is exposed.

    "but mst of all [the EU gives] freedom for the brave and ambitious to pursue their dreams"

    What twaddle. That may work with a class of brainwashed children, but doesn’t cut much ice elsewhere.

    "The idea of a "common law right" is like the idea of a talkative fish or an agile pineapple"

    Again, your slip is showing. A common law right is well established in English Law, it is not a mystery what it means. Your disdain for our traditions no doubt adds to your enthusiasm for ‘the project.’

    Noel,

    miscarriages of justice take place under all systems, as do the crimes that precede them.

    "Colm" – anyone familiar with this site immediately knows that this insult is not from Colm, but from a yellow-belly troll without the guts to identify himself.

  22. "A common law right is well established in English Law, it is not a mystery what it means."

    RC,

    Tell us what you think it means.

  23. >1000 years of liberty under the common law is under serious threat here.

    No, it was destroyed by English lawyers pricing justice out of the grasp of the common man. If you seek to enforce any remaining common law right, you will have to be a millionaire, or an illegal immigrant. Only then would you have the resources to pay for the army of lawyers and barristers needed to match the resources of ‘Her Majesty’s’ Government.

    Try it sometime.

    And juries only apply to criminal trials, or some High Court cases. So, dream on my little English chum. You already have a continental justice system, but without the independent investigating judiciary.

    Cos remember, in our ‘adversarial’ system, the job of the police and prosecutors is to get you in jail, not look for the truth. (Unlike , and opposite, to Europe which is based on Roman law )

  24. Reg,

    "Tell us what you think it means"

    err… I think it means a right that is established and upheld by the common law, hence the term ‘common law right’.

  25. Colm,

    "The people can cause a scare every now and then but the political classes – of all persuasions – soon sieze control back again"

    So what do you conclude? That the people should shut up and allow themselves to be screwed over in perpetuity? Rather the people must be ever vigilant to fight against the political class and their masters. That is the price of freedom.

  26. Er…good man, RC.

    Pete said…

    "In the United Kingdom we have inalienable common law rights that the state cannot deny us or take away from us."

    Why are these rights inalienable? Why do you think they cannot be taken away by the UK legislature?

  27. Reg,

    they come from God, who, as everyone knows, is an Englishman, though I doubt this will satisfy you.

    I would say the idea of inalienable rights is based on natural law. Many people cannot accept the premise that natural law should be the basis of a system, because it cannot rationally be proven. But this misses the point, that it is the basis for a rational system, and reason itself cannot rationally be proven.

    Natural law allows us to move on from an arrid discussion, better left to philosophers in caves.

  28. "I would say the idea of inalienable rights is based on natural law. Many people cannot accept the premise that natural law should be the basis of a system, because it cannot rationally be proven."

    RC,

    I’m a believer in natural law as well and inalienable rights have been "interpreted" into the Irish Constitution by Irish Courts.

    I just take issue with the idea that these inalienable rights have something to do with the UK’s common law system. I don’t think they do. The UK has no written constitution so any common law decisions or statutes can be replaced or repealed by Parliament.

  29. Reg,

    you could be getting close to the problem. Unlike the USA, England doesn’t have a proper written constitution, and this is why people like myself, who oppose the continuing ‘European Project’, find ourselves fighting on quicksand, because the ideals that I believe in, and that I believe are represented in the principles of English Law, have never been properly established, and thus it has been a constant fight over the centuries to claim our rights, against the same kind of authoritarian elite that exist everywhere and always.

    So, where I differ from Pete is that he seems to think that there was a status quo in this country (and here’s another confounding factor – I speak of England as my country and not Britain, which has never had a uniform legal structure) that is worth preserving against the EU takeover, but I see the status quo in this country as – at best – unfinished business. I oppose the EU takeover most certainly, but not to protect the status quo.

    The pro-EU people can always point to problems in this country, and claim that the EU is the solution to all of these, but to me this is pie in the sky.

  30. Wow

    I feel honoured. Someone decided to impersonate me – First time that’s happened to me on ATW unless it was a genuine new person also called Colm. What did my namesake say that was so offensive ?

  31. RC

    So now your "common law rights" are actually "natural law rights". Those two concepts share something, in hat they are utterly unknown to English law. You may as well talk about "Rice Krispies law rights" or "killer whale law rights". It’s all a farrago of nonsense.

    The only sources of "rights" under English law are those deriving from European law – EU law and the ECHR.

    "the EU is not the same as Europe. I know supporters of ‘the project’ like to pretend it is. But it ain’t. Norway is in Europe. It is not in the EU. So when you want to shill for the EU, have the courage to name it."

    Actually, you’re right, the distinctions are important. I commend you on your most sensible contribution to date. My understanding from observing this site for a while is that you people despise the EU, the CoE, the ECHR, the EFTA and the EEA in equal measure. Perhaps you’re that rare Europhobe whose mind is at least partially open to new thoughts so long as twelve stars appear nowhere on the branding. If you like Norway, fabulous. But let’s not pretend that Norway is somehow more representative of Europe than the vast majority of States which are EU members or are trying to become EU members.

    Personally, I’m more of a shill for the ECHR than for the EU, but I do enjoy deriding the uninformed and prejudiced.

    "the people of this country have not consented to be guinea pigs in an experiment."

    Yes they have. They have consistently elected pro-EU membership governments since 1973. Stop lying.

    "In a democracy, the people (demos=people) decide."

    The History of Political Thought by RC. Point is, in the UK, they have decided. And as a result, the UK remains in the EU.

    "However, we were promised this by the Government in 2005 and now it refuses to hold the referendum. Thus, your claim that the EU has anything to do with democracy is exposed."

    So a failure by the BRITISH GOVERNMENT, and by implication, the British Constitution, exposes the undemocratic nature of the EU!?!?! Run that one by me again? That’s just howl-at-the-moon bonkers.

    Is there anyone on this site who can do better than RC’s doing?

    Btw, I know you take issue with my regard for the free movement of workers, but it is a legal reality and is enabling ambitious Europeans to improve their lives throughout our Union.

    "Your disdain for our traditions no doubt adds to your enthusiasm for ‘the project.’"

    That’s deeply unfair, especially as I know and understand "your traditions" demonstrably better than you do. The biggest disdain for the common law on this site is yours, in mis-stating it.

  32. Euronut,

    your haughty attitude doesn’t impress me. Nor do your piss-poor arguments.

    The idea that the people have democratically supported our participation in the EU is not the case, and the reason that we are denied a referendum is because the Government knows we will reject it. You can’t claim consent simply by refusing to ask the question.

    The political class supports the EU project, the people do not. The fact that this has not translated to a victory for UKIP in a general election does not mean consent is given. At the last election the people voted for a referendum.

    This is indeed a failure of the British Government, but your implication that this is therefore a failure of the British Constitution is nonsense. That would be to suggest that a crime is a failure of the law that makes it a crime.

    To say democracy means the people decide is a mere statement straight from the dictionary, no history lesson required. The meaning is contained in the word to anyone with a rudimentary understanding of Greek, or failing that… a dictionary.

    As for your championing of the ECHR, bully for you. I wouldn’t wipe my arse on it for fear of catching something.

  33. And by the way, what horseshit is this?

    ‘"So now your "common law rights" are actually "natural law rights". Those two concepts share something, in hat they are utterly unknown to English law. ‘

    Here’s just one for you: Self defence. Okay? This is a common law right. It’s not in your filthy ECHR, is it?

  34. Europe isn’t evil, it’s just Europe: "So a failure by the BRITISH GOVERNMENT, and by implication, the British Constitution.."

    Wrong, the british executive is not the british constitution, no more than the American government is the American constitution. A failure of the british government to observe the british constitution is a failure of the british government. That is all.

    Europe isn’t evil, it’s just Europe: " exposes the undemocratic nature of the EU!?!?!"

    No, what does expose the undemocratic nature of the EU is that organisations’ attitude to democracy, which in turn is illustrated by its use of referenda in its member states to rachet its agenda up a notch.

    Don’t you think if the EU was an organisation that pays anything other than lipservice to democracy, you might expect to have another referendum in France or Holland on the new constitutional treaty?

    Since the Irish can get multiple votes on the treaties so long as they do not vote the correct way, whereupon, when they do, the treaty is never again put to the vote. If the European Union was really a democratic organisation, don’t you agree the Irish ought to get another chance to vote on the treaty of Niece? or Amsterdam? Or do you only believe in Democracy when you get the decision you want?

    I will dip a toe into the discussion about the constitutional arrangements of the United Kingdom. The doctrine that no parliament may bind its successor, is as clear a statement of democracy as you could wish for.

    Restricting the freedom of action of the british Parliament in regard to its internal domestic arrangements by treaty agreements with foriegn powers is not ‘pooling of sovereignty’ but the abrogration of soveriengty. The European Union is an attempt to abrograte the lawful authority of the United Kingdom government. In so far as it has been successful, it is a reflection of the success of the enemies within the body politic in the United Kingdom, rather than any weakness of the British constitution.

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