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Sunday, 20 July 2008

Oh for a modern Pitt!

The poorest man may in his cottage bid defiance to all the force of the Crown. It may be frail; its roof may shake; the wind may blow through it; the storms may enter; the rain may enter—but the King of England cannot enter; all his forces dare not cross the threshold of the ruined tenement.

So said William Pitt the Elder, speaking in Parliament in 1763.

Now, some 245 years later, Admiral Lord West has catalogued the 1,000 ways the State can break into your home.


Anonymous said...

According to the Times article, "The aim is to create a single law governing powers of entry for all state agencies except the police."

So what odds can I get on a bet that, by the time they have finished, there will only be one law granting the State access to everything I own, but none of the existing powers will be withdrawn, and a few more powers will "accidentally" be added while they are at it?

Toque said...

Samuel Tyler:

From first to last, through the courts at Westminster, the common law has resisted the introduction of the civil law into the jurisprudence of England . At the very time that the Tudors and the Stuarts were grasping at high prerogative the common law was maturing its vigor in the courts. Coke, one of their judges, did more to develop and organize it for protecting the individual against arbitrary power than any man who has appeared in the progress of English society. In him the professional instinct of the common law judge reached its sublimest sense of human right. He saw that the English constitution draws its whole life from the common law, and is but the framework of its living spirit. By the common law "every man's house is called his castle”. Why? Because it is surrounded by a moat or defended by a wall? NO! It may be a straw-built hut the wind may whistle through it, the rain may enter, but the king cannot."

Old Holborn said...

I wear glasses. The first "apparatchnik" over my boundary gets both barrels.

"Sorry, your honour, I thought it was a knife weilding hoodie intent on raping my daughters, ripping off my head and shitting down my throat"

"What makes you say that, OH?"

"He said he had a perfect legal right to be there your honour"