Arrant Knavery and Absolute Despotism
August 17, 2015 13 Comments
A short history of British rights
Article 39 of Magna Charta, dictated to King John 800 years ago says this:
No free man shall be taken or imprisoned, or dispossessed or outlawed or exiled or in any way ruined, nor will we go or send against him except by the lawful judgment of his peers or by the law of the land.
A few weeks ago, David Cameron said this.
For too long, we have been a passively tolerant society, saying to our citizens ‘as long as you obey the law, we will leave you alone’
Which is, of course, the very sort of knavery that led to the Barons standing under arms, under the leadership of Stephen Langton, Archbishop of Canterbury, on the field at Runnymede, in the first place.
It is a feature of Administrative Law, or ‘The Prerogative’ gone awry. There are other instances, one of them was 239 years ago. it led a famous Briton to write this:
That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.
And in making it so, Thomas Jefferson and others ceased to be Britons and became Americans.
This is our common heritage, and the reason underlying the modern world. For more than 800 years, because it was the law of the land long before the Barons wrote it, indeed before ‘1066 and all that’ as well. It is the one cause our people have always felt worth dying, and therefore, worth living, for.
In England and in America