Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Government fails to protect Britons

The British people have a pretty highly developed idea of what's fair and what isn't. And it's nowhere near the idea of State-enforced inequality that Brown called 'fairness' and miles away from anything that Blair imagined, if his vacuous thought-process gave any attention to the thing at all. For it was Blair of course and his risible and narcissistic efforts to ingratiate himself with the US administration who signed the UK up to a grossly unequal extradition treaty with the US, intended to tackle terrorism but used in practice to extradite Britons running online betting sites or scamming UK banks. It was also Blair, of course, who signed us up to the European Arrest Warrant, which condemned Britons to automatic extradition on the writ of any semi-literate stubble-chinned Balkan police kapo

If you've accidentally driven away from an Italian filling station not knowing that Benzene theft carries a 12 month prison sentence in Perugia, no defence. If you've photographed a Greek military helicopter, an offence carrying a five year sentence in the home of democracy, no defence. If you've inadvertently received a stolen mobile phone from Poland, no defence. If you've given the gamblers of Arkansas and Kentucky the option of placing dollar bets on the geegees on your UK website, no defence. That ignorance of the law is no defence may be fair enough when it's only the UK's own laws involved; to avoid offending now, Britons have to be aware of the laws of twenty-eight other nations - and they don't even have to leave the UK to break them. And don't imagine that our tradition of free speech is any defence; several Euro nations have laws making it a criminal offence to be rude about their President or politicians, so something I write on this blog today about the Mayor of Transylvania may see me extradited within 90 days.

Cameron's government are in no hurry to remedy any of this, of course. What is antithetical to traditional Conservatism - constraints by foreign powers on the freedom of the British citizen - means nothing to the young Dave and his party HQ cabal. However, the case of Gary McKinnon has galvanised backbenchers into forcing a debate at least. The US-UK agreement may even be subject to change. But the EAW? Don't hold your breath. Implementation is a treaty obligation - and as long as we're ruled from Brussels, Britons are wholly subject to the whims and caprices of the many deeply corrupt and primitive legal systems of those lesser nations beyond the Pale.  


banned said...

Could you likewise be hauled off to Transylvania for blogging that 'Communism was not quite as bad as Nazism' which has become an illegal opinion in several formerly Communist States?

Edward Spalton said...


In terms of sheer numerical murderousness, communism overall was actually far worse than Nazism - but, of course, they had longer to do it and the support of all sorts of "useful idiots" in Western, democratic countries.

Greg Tingey said...

Sooner or later
(and I'm suprised it didn't happen with that student in Greece recently - in jug for over 2 years for a crime he could not possibly have commited, and after the police beat up "witnesses" to get fake "evidence") ...
Someone will sue the guvmint for false arrest and unlawful imprisonment, and ... I want £10 million right now!
That should get their attention.

banned said...

I suppose it might depend upon whether you measured atrocity pro rata, per annum or by the square kilometer but that is beyond the point. Could a Transylvanian Capo get you redacted to his dungeon for expressing view that is not illegal in Britain, yet, just because it is readable in what remains of his country?

Edward Spalton said...

An Australian holocaust denier was arrested in England under an EAW issued in (I think) Austria.

Holocaust denial is not a crime under British law. If historians hold perverse opinions here, that is their business. But the EAW can apply to crimes not committed on the territory of the accusing state.

In this case, the British authorities found some way of wriggling out of their obligation to deliver the man to "investigative custody" on the continent. I expect the Australian High Commissioner uttered some colourful Australian epithets.

Budgie said...

A really good post Raedwald, I agree completely with you.

Elby the Beserk said...

Arresting someone for Holocaust denial is the same as arresting someone for being stupid, in reality. Let them air their ridiculous views, and be ridiculed for them.

The Left's carnage rates are way beyond that of any other dogma. And a brief look at the German Workers Party manifesto (you may know them by another name) will show you some clearly Socialist dogma - nationalisation and a huge welfare state, for example.

That Pol Pot feller, he studied the theory of violent revolution at the feet of J.P. Sartre, arch Lefty. Mr. Pot then went home, and put theory to practise. Nice one, Jean-Paul

James Higham said...

several Euro nations have laws making it a criminal offence to be rude about their President or politicians

When it comes to this in the UK, then we have lost all.

Cascadian said...

Camorons crew will solve your problem, after they have reduced your discretionary spending to zero with extra taxes, more expensive energy, higher cost foodstuffs, you will be be living the 1950's lifestyle. Holidays in Margate and Southend.

So, quit worrying. Contintental travel is not in your future

rapscallion said...

Could one plead Magna Carta clause 39? You know the one that says
"No free man shall be arrested, or imprisoned, or deprived of his property, or outlawed, or exiled, or in any way destroyed, nor shall we go against him or send against him, unless by legal judgment of his peers, or by the law of the land."

Edward Spalton said...

As I have repeatedly pointed out to constitutional enthusiasts, Magna Carta can all be repealed instantly by an Act of Parliament, or even a statutory instrument under an Act of Parliament which provides that power.

Habeas corpus was suspended during the Napoleonic wars.

Such was the case of the wartime Regulation 18B which allowed the Home Secretary to lock up anybody indefinitely.

Sir Oswald Mosley had broken no law and did not advocate anybody doing so. He advocated making peace with Germany (which quite a few members of the government privately wished to do). That wasn't convenient, so Herbert Morrison locked him and his wife up.

Even under the codified constitution of the United States, President Lincoln could abolish habeas corpus. He even threatened to imprison the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court for not going along with it.

In the Second World War many thousands of US citizens of Japanese descent were expropriated and imprisoned without trial or appeal.

So Magna Carta lays down principles which have influenced the law since but they cease to be law the instant Parliament decides otherwise.

The way things have developed puts this power into the pocket of the prime minister who can command a majority in the House of Commons.

We might wish the law were different but to change it, we need a majority in Parliament, a New Model Army or both!

Otherwise, those claiming the law on their side would have surely got a judgement from the courts to uphold their view and someone to enforce it.

rapscallion said...


Magna Carta, like the Declaration of Rights is not an Act of Parliament, but an agreement between the Monarch and the People.

Edward Spalton said...

Yes Rapscallion, but like every other English law Magna Carta can, in practice, be made or unmade by Parliament. If that were not the case, you would be able to go to court to get your view upheld.

From quite early on, Magna Carta was altered. The creation of Justices of the Peace (which effectively abolished jury trial for lesser offences) is a case in point. Long before Henry VIII, the judges ruled that Parliament could not only make law but could "make what is law, no law".

You are confusing constitutional history with law. I agree with you that the principles in the Great Charter are right, true and good. I wish that they could be enforced but that will not happen until there is a revolution of some sort and that requires political not legal action.

Greg Tingey said...

FORGET "Magna Carta"
What is much more important, and relevant, and still on the statute books is
The Bill of Rights 1689-90.