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Friday, 17 November 2017

Sorry, Europe, but our ways are simply better

The WEF, the World Economic Forum, has recently published its global competitiveness index. The overall rankings are pretty approximate - due to a misuse and misunderstanding of components such as productivity. No-one actually believes the UK is less productive than France. Their productivity measure doesn't include development or use of the world's biggest web platforms or apps, predominantly in English, nor many new IT driven services, just stuff like making widgets. EU nations with high productivity scores are generally late web and IT adopters with workforces poorly adapted to the coming AI challenges. No one will be re-writing software manuals in Czech or Hungarian, probably not even in French or German, so our EU chums had better either up their English classes or adopt AI translators to do the job for them. 

The real meat of the WEF report is in components such as the world ranking of Judicial Independence. Take a look yourself. We are 6th - Rwanda is 23rd, Germany 24th, France 28th, Saudi Arabia 30th, India 53rd, Spain 58th and Italy 65th. Telling us what we already knew - that the EU operate a system of political courts, where there is no real justice, just the judicial arm of the State. If the State is benign and acts in the interests of the people, the argument goes, there is no need for the courts to be independent. We have the Common Law and Equity - they have versions of the Code Napoleon. 

Likewise our constitution. We don't have one. We're not the nth Republic. We settled on our flag in 1703, not five minutes ago when their constitution was also written on a word processor. Fraser Nelson makes the point in the Telegraph - quoting a fatuous comment from the Dutcher Rutte, proving he, too, has no idea how the UK actually works.  

So when, as the Telegraph also reports, David Davis caught the heel of the jackboot in Germany yesterday, it doesn't mean what they think. David told his audience "Shared values are more important than our membership of particular institutions. Values of democracy, of the rule of law, of human rights", perhaps not quite meaning that the sharing was equal, implying perhaps that the EU had more to learn from the UK's shared values than we have from theirs. The German dogs barked. "If you are so committed to our common values, our common interests, our common approach, then why are you leaving the European Union?" demanded the moderator, Herr Krach. 

Because, Herr Krach, we're a mature and stable democracy whose people are committed to freedom of thought, to independent justice, to self-determination and to accountable government. Because when we uphold the idea of one man one vote we don't mean that the one man is Herr Juncker. Because, simply, our ways are better than yours but you don't realise it.


Poisonedchalice said...

Judicial independence. Very interesting. I had never really thought about this until now. It really is a stand-alone reason to leave the EU.

L fairfax said...

I agree although I would say that the Swiss values are better than ours, their politicians are servants ours are masters trying to pretend they are servants.

Cuffleyburgers said...

Radders - productivity numbers in places like France are skewed by labour laws which work to overprice labour and hence stimulate unemployment, which means that the least productive workers don't actually work whereas they do in the UK.

Raedwald said...

Yep - EU nations with 40% - 50% youth unemployment just cannot be more 'productive' than UK.

Also, products such as browsers, iplayer, and so on which are distributed free have no 'income' to match 'expenditure' hence appear as negative value added products with zero productivity.

It's the index that's skewed.

rapscallion said...

Actually Radders we do have a constitution, it's just not all in one natty little document like all the others. Our constitution is both written and unwritten in the sense that we have actual Acts of Parliament like the 1689 Bill of Right, Acts of Union and various Acts of Succession, but also certain traditions and ways of doing things. If fact the 1689 Bill of Rights is the basis of the American Constitution, and of course there is always Magna Carta which gives us limitation of power and freedom under law.

As for our legal system, it is so utterly different from Napoleonic law where you are guilty until you can prove your innocence, where you can be held indefinitely whilst the powers that be gather the evidence (if any), and where there is no jury.

Anonymous said...

rapscallion: "Actually Radders we do have a constitution .."

Did have, until 1973 and will have in 2019

Anonymous said...

rapscallion: "always Magna Carta which gives us limitation of power and freedom under law."

'Magna Carta is simply a historical document' -- John Redwood. (Tory)

Dave_G said...

Typical Jonny foreigner - rather than rise to meet (or exceed) OUR standards they are happier to drag everyone down to THEIR level instead.

They call this 'progress'.

Anonymous said...

Raedwald said:

'Because, simply, our ways are better than yours but you don't realise it.'

Indeed they are, now. It wasn't always that way though, take women's rights before the Conquest:

Women’s legal rights under King Ælfred the Great (King of Wessex 844-899 AD) were far greater than under Queen Victoria (reigned 1837-1901). (Indeed, the Victorian era was the nadir of women’s rights in Britain, as women were reduced to the state of near-complete legal dependence on fathers and husbands, and divorce required an act of Parliament until 1857. The most powerful woman in the world repeatedly claimed her own sex unfit to win suffrage.

The fact is that women enjoyed legal rights under Anglo-Saxon law that they were to lose after the Battle of Hastings (1066) and for many hundreds of years afterwards.

Ælfred’s 9th century law code has survived, and provides a valuable insight into women’s legal status. His laws were predicated upon those of earlier kings, particularly Ine, King of the West Saxons (688-726). In his preface, Ælfred explains that he examined many existing law codes from the Old Testament to those of previous Anglo-Saxon kings in neighbouring kingdoms:

Then I, King Ælfred, gathered them together and ordered to be written many of the ones that our forefathers observed – those that pleased me; and many of the ones that did not please me I rejected with the advice of my councillors, and commanded them to be observed in a different way. For I dared not presume to set down in writing at all many of my own, since it was unknown to me what would please those who should come after us. But those which I found either in the days of Ine, my kinsman, or of Offa, king of the Mercians, or of Ælthelberht (who first among the English people received baptism), and which seemed to me most just, I collected herein, and omitted the others.

Rights that Anglo-Saxon women enjoyed were the right to own land in her own name, and to sell such land or give it away without her father’s or husband’s consent; the right to defend herself in court; the right to act as compurgator in law suits; that is, to testify to another’s truthfulness. She could also freely manumit her slaves. Her morgen-gifu, or morning-gift, that gift of land, jewellery, livestock or such that a bride received from her new husband the morning after their wedding, was hers to keep for life. (Compare these rights to those of your great grandmother, the chattel of her father until marriage and then the legal “property” of her husband afterward.)

Early divorce laws granted the wife half the household goods, including any goods she had brought into the union, and full custody of the children. As only women’s wills from the era mention the disposition of things such as linens, furniture, plate, and so on, there is reason to assume that the majority of household furnishings by default followed the woman in case of divorce. Instead of impoverishing women, divorce laws ensured an equitable sharing of goods and property.

In the 9th century daughters inherited goods or land from either parent, or both, and these bequests were theirs without challenge or question. One exception was that of heathens: in the opening of The Circle of Ceridwen the eponymous character is denied her inheritance from her uncle because as a heathen she had no standing in the eyes of the law. Her rightful lands were given to a nearby priory for its maintenance, and she became their ward.

The relative liberality of women’s rights came to a crushing end after the catastrophe of October 1066. The Normans (“northmen”) carried across the Channel with them the vestiges of their earlier mores towards property and women. A legal “golden age” for English women had come to an end.


anon 2 said...

Well said Steve -- and "Dark Ages" is indeed a misnomer for Anglo-Saxon times. You aptly support Rædders's :) point "our ways are better than yours but you don't realise it."

The trouble is that every time the Franco-germanic types invade us and take over, they destroy our ways. Then it takes us a few hundred years to get back into shape; and then "WHOPPO" --- here they come again and tangle all our work into dirty rags.
Thus we had Billy Bastard's stuff (1066); whatever frogulastic guff Charles II brought back with him at the Restoration (one precursor to the Victorian problem you cite); and now we must redress their latest predation: the euSSR. (Marx, Engels, the Fabians, and the 'Frankfurt School' having set the stage for them for 'hwæt': this many years).

Thanks also for dealing with the feminazi's 'poor beaten-up women' syndrome. I've long maintained that Yorkshire women can take pride in 'being strong' precisely because (along with their speech) "them lads and lasses" have retained A-S standards. After all, when Barnsley wives and mothers waited near the pit-head to take charge of their husbands' pay packets -- they did so to prevent carefree spending at the pub, and so to help the family by saving the money. The men in those families were wont to admonish: "Respect your mother" - so they were hardly beating women down with hatchets and axes and mining clogs.

Me þyncð the problem is that the franco-germans never really grow up. Like teenage boys who reject learning to think and write (in any language) - they're too busy asserting their power and imposing their right to supervise everyone else. That way they arrest development worldwide.

G. Tingey said...

Almost enough to make me change my mind (again)

However, I note that you are still "setzen im Osterreich" whilst encouraging all the rest of us to eff off out of the EU

sorry, but that remark about the jackboot was unfunny, untrue & unjustified in 1967, never mind now .....

Anonymous said...

"the jackboot was unfunny"

Just goes to show, even people who disagree on most things can agree on this.

That sort of rhetoric is just, .. boring.

Unknown said...

The EU's desire for closer union is understandable as they suffered 41 dictators across 23 European countries in 20C. The UK's desire to return to self-determination is understandable as the last dictator was Cromwell >400 yrs ago