Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Britain overturns its constitution in the course of a single generation

Britain's unwritten constitution was the pride of the Realm.  "An Englishman's home is is castle" was only one of many sayings that showed that the flame of Liberty burned bright.  Sadly, the light gutters and is being extinguished before our very eyes:
We are in the middle of a liberal berserker, one of those demented moments when "progressives" run riot and smash the liberties they are meant to defend. Inspired by Lord Justice Leveson, they are prepared in Parliament tomorrow to sacrifice freedom of speech, freedom of the press and fair trials. They are prepared to allow every oppressive dictatorship on the planet to say: "We're only following the British example" when outsiders and their own wretched citizens protest.
The motion for Her Majesty's Government to muzzle the Press passed by a vote of 530-13.  Press organizations and even bloggers (!) now will have to register with a Brit.Gov functionary or risk ruinous financial penalties.  Readers in the American Republic might consider the parallels with proposed firearms registration proposals.

Not even a quarter century ago, The Iron Lady was Prime Minister and the idea that British subjects could be stripped of their traditional right to free speech, to a fair trial, and to self defence would have been considered the ravings of a lunatic.
That which seems the height of absurdity in one generation often becomes the height of wisdom in the next.
- John Stuart Mill
On this side of the Pond we can thank the Mother Country one last time.  Here, too, principle is cast to the gutter as Realpolitik becomes the core driver of our miserable political class.  But things are not as far along here as in Europe which is falling apart:
After speaking recently in Belgium, I declared, in response to an audience member’s suggestion that the European Union’s purpose was the preservation of peace, that “Europe”—in the peculiar, Soviet-style usage of the word now so common—does not mean peace, but conflict, if not outright war. We are building in Europe not a United States, I said, but a Yugoslavia. We shall be lucky to escape violence when it breaks apart.
We can thank the Founding Fathers as well, who scrupled to write down our own Constitution.  The First and Second Amendments are under assault here, but yet stand.  For now.

The destruction of what was good and noble in Europe is fair complete, and shall not take the remainder of the decade.  That will put an end to the idea that a European Model is worthy of emulation on the shores of the New World, at least for a couple more generations.

To my readers and friends in the UK, I offer my condolences.  It's a shame what has happened to  your country.
We wonder,—and some Hunter may express
Wonder like ours, when thro' the wilderness
Where London stood, holding the Wolf in chace,
He meets some fragment huge, and stops to guess
What powerful but unrecorded race
Once dwelt in that annihilated place. 

 – Horace Smith, Ozymandias
Too bad about Britain.  It used to be great.

UPDATE 20 March 2013 12:05: Welcome visitors from Blazing Cat Fur!  Take a look around - lots of pondering the works of Statist Pricks here.


Old NFO said...

That is truly sad...

Graybeard said...

The whole world appears to be in the midst of a "liberal berserker". The endless procession of bubbles is ending, as the last asset to make bubbles out of, paper money itself, is inflating.

After the confiscation of depositors money in Cyprus, the same thing is openly being talked about in Italy, New Zealand, and MSNBC.

Could the whole world flip to communism/socialism? A new dark ages?

What did Orwell say, "Imagine a boot on a human face. Forever"?

kx59 said...

I've come to the conclusion that repelling the Nazis in WWII took such a heavy toll on the British gene pool that they were doomed to a slow decline from that point on.
Too many of the men that could see a clear threat to their liberty died defending their island.
Too many of them were unable to pass on their genes, or their ideology.

knottedprop said...

kx59 nice theory but wrong the losses of men in WW2 were quite low compared with WW1 which had a far more devastating impact on the best and brightest as they were officers leading from the front. In WW2 commanders like Montgomery were more cautious about sending troops into battle to be slaughtered without good cause or the right training and equipment. It's why he beat Rommel.

knottedprop said...

Borepatch you obviously have not been following events in the USA you are just as oppressed as those in the UK all in the name of defending the progressives from those redneck terrorists, your MSM does not have to be muzzled as it is owned entirely by the left and does it's bidding which is a whole lot worse as you have the pretense of free speech but it is really just a propaganda arm of the government. Also according to your own legislation you can be killed by your own government for criticizing them without due process of the law.

Chris said...

"So this is how liberty dies: with thunderous applause."

Douglas2 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Douglas2 said...

No double-jeapordy? well sometimes guilty people get off, so we need to be able to try them again: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/4406129.stm

No search without a warrant? but there might be bugs in your houseplants!:
...officials have been granted nearly 20 more powers to force their way into people's homes under the Coalition despite a pledge by ministers to curb them. The news came as ministers backtracked on plans to scrap existing up to 1,400 powers of entry without a warrant and said they would wait until a fresh Home Office review has finished in 2014. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/9155659/New-powers-of-entry-into-private-homes-created-by-Coalition.html

Trial by jury? But sometimes the criminals might be scary, and that would put off jurors:
First trial without jury approved. The new trial will be the first Crown Court case in England and Wales to be heard by a judge alone using powers under Sections 44 and 46 of the Criminal Justice Act 2003, which came into force in July 2007. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/8106590.stm

No stop and search without reasonable suspicion? Well, perhapsy we can allow it in areas of special risk, like all of London:
Under section 44 of the Terrorism Act 2000 any police officer could stop and search anyone or any vehicle that is in a specific area https://www.liberty-human-rights.org.uk/human-rights/justice/stop-and-search/section-44/index.php

This does not even include all of the prosecutions against people who freely expressed themselves on twitter or facebook in non-libellious, non-threatening, non-inciting speech that offended someone.

I think it is safe to say that civil-rights are on-the-decline in the UK. The US seems to have trouble remembering its written constitution. The unwritten one is supposed to be protected by the House of Lords, but after having his legislation defeated in the House of Lords some 38 times in his first year in office, Tony Blair succeeded in kicking out most of its hereditary members and replacing them with political appointees.