About this Magna Carter thingy

After my peregrinations about the ticking constitutional time bomb created by the Lisbon, Maastricht, Nice, and Rome treaties with the EU, I found myself wondering what there is a dissenting private citizen can do. Within the law of course.

After a brief comment conversation over at Orphans of Liberty with the erudite legal blogger Tom Paine on a related matter, I elected to do a little digging.   In doing so, I took time out to read the full English text of the Magna Carta, a key constitutional document which Queen Elizabeth swore to uphold in her coronation speech, as have so many of her forbears.  In amongst all the anachronistic stuff about Fish Weirs, etc, and the still valid rights of widows and right to a trial by your peers (Not by what is effectively a foreign power), I came across this little gem.

(61) SINCE WE HAVE GRANTED ALL THESE THINGS for God, for the better ordering of our kingdom, and to allay the discord that has arisen between us and our barons, and since we desire that they shall be enjoyed in their entirety, with lasting strength, for ever, we give and grant to the barons the following security:
     The barons shall elect twenty-five of their number to keep, and cause to be observed with all their might, the peace and liberties granted and confirmed to them by this charter.
     If we, our chief justice, our officials, or any of our servants offend in any respect against any man, or transgress any of the articles of the peace or of this security, and the offence is made known to four of the said twenty-five barons, they shall come to us – or in our absence from the kingdom to the chief justice – to declare it and claim immediate redress. If we, or in our absence abroad the chiefjustice, make no redress within forty days, reckoning from the day on which the offence was declared to us or to him, the four barons shall refer the matter to the rest of the twenty-five barons, who may distrain upon and assail us in every way possible, with the support of the whole community of the land, by seizing our castles, lands, possessions, or anything else saving only our own person and those of the queen and our children, until they have secured such redress as they have determined upon. Having secured the redress, they may then resume their normal obedience to us.
    Any man who so desires may take an oath to obey the commands of the twenty-five barons for the achievement of these ends, and to join with them in assailing us to the utmost of his power. We give public and free permission to take this oath to any man who so desires, and at no time will we prohibit any man from taking it. Indeed, we will compel any of our subjects who are unwilling to take it to swear it at our command.
    If-one of the twenty-five barons dies or leaves the country, or is prevented in any other way from discharging his duties, the rest of them shall choose another baron in his place, at their discretion, who shall be duly sworn in as they were.
    In the event of disagreement among the twenty-five barons on any matter referred to them for decision, the verdict of the majority present shall have the same validity as a unanimous verdict of the whole twenty-five, whether these were all present or some of those summoned were unwilling or unable to appear.
    The twenty-five barons shall swear to obey all the above articles faithfully, and shall cause them to be obeyed by others to the best of their power.
   We will not seek to procure from anyone, either by our own efforts or those of a third party, anything by which any part of these concessions or liberties might be revoked or diminished.   Should such a thing be procured, it shall be null and void and we will at no time make use of it, either ourselves or through a third party.

Now even though this was signed almost eight hundred years ago in 1215 (As Tom rightly pointed out) at virtual sword point; because the reigning Monarch has sworn at her coronation to uphold the document, it remains valid. As with the Common Law in force before that date.

What I get from article 61 is the following;

  1. Although ‘Parliament is sovereign’ MP’s, their staff, and the Civil Service they direct are effective officers of the Crown, having sworn an oath to the reigning Monarch, and therefore legally bound to uphold the principles enshrined in Magna Carta
  2. If any such officer does not, there are clearly outlined procedures for a private individual to obtain redress, to begin with; taking an oath of allegiance to the committee of Barons.  Funnily enough, if you don’t, then the Crown can ‘compel’ you to. Not that I’ve ever heard of this happening. Nor is it likely.
  3. Taking such a binding oath is apparently not a ‘right’ or ‘entitlement’, but a duty of everyone who doesn’t agree with an English Governments actions in respect of the rest of the document, like ceding powers to a foreign authority

Then I came across this article where a committee of Barons had actually submitted such a petition on 7th February 2001. It seems the complaint was largely ignored, as the Treaty of Nice, and the Treaty of Lisbon were later signed and ratified. Yet according to the provisions of Magna Carta, these treaty signings were not legally valid. Unless of course the document is a complete anachronism, in which case the English Monarch is no longer the Monarch, and therefore all related constitutional bets (Including Government) are off. Because all of their power is devolved from the reigning Monarch. But wait a minute, that would mean… Oh dear.

There appear to be so many paradoxes floating around the current constitutional situation underpinning the UK that it violates the rules of causality. As well as blowing the basic rule of contracts and other formal agreements out of the water. An agreement (or Oath) between ruler and ruled is only an agreement so long as no one violates the terms and conditions, of which Magna Carta forms one. If the terms and conditions are ignored, such as in any contract, any stakeholder can be said to be no longer bound by it. Rather like with a contract of employment; you break the terms and conditions, you get disciplined or fired, or your Boss violates those terms, then you walk and claim ‘constructive dismissal’.

A broken oath cannot be considered valid. No valid oath means no agreement, which means no Monarch or Sovereign, so how can the UK Parliament (Which derives devolved power from the institution of Monarchy) have any sovereignty at all? Or any of the treaties and arrangements it makes any validity? This is the can of worms the ceding of authority to the European Union has opened up, as it is a clear violation of the Monarchs oath of office, as laid out in the basic documents.

From where I stand, the only real rule seems to be “Sed quoniam inquam sic.” (Because I say so). To which the answer is; “Vos quod cuius exercitus.” (You and whose army?) Usually quickly followed by; “Ut exercitus illac.” (That Army over there). Which rather makes a nonsense of the oft repeated claims by politicians about living in a Democracy. In a real democracy, the threat of coercive force would not be an option. However, this is the real world.

I may be wrong, but on the other hand……..

Might as well say “Hang ’em all” and go do my own sweet thing.

After the fact…

Sometimes when I read the legal news I find my credulity stretched past its elastic limit. One such item pitched up on Out-law today. Apparently UK web sites will have to ask for their users permission to collect traffic information via tracking cookies in line with the latest EU directive.

Okay, so what’s wrong with that? You might quite reasonably ask. Well, some dozy item calling himself the culture secretary says that it’s okay to request said users permission after the data has been collected.

Forgive me for being terribly dense here, but doesn’t ‘permission’ have to be granted before an act takes place? Or it’s almost like someone nicking your drivers licence, selling the data on, before handing your licence back with a smile and a “You didn’t mind, did you?”


Don’t rush though. All you UK web site owners who use tracking cookies have a year to comply.

A quick constitutional ramble

I’ve been following a tiny news item via Captain Ranty’s site about a matter of constitutional import. Now just about every country in the Anglosphere has a legal system based on what is known as Common Law, which derives from the Magna Carta, signed in 1215 by the then Monarch and his Barons. The key words here being the Monarch and his (or her) Barons.

Common law forms the basis of the legal system on a globe spanning basis, apart from in countries where the authorities routinely rape young women just to make it okay to put them to death, that is. Wherever the British Empire touched, there is common law. Generally speaking. Mostly. Kind of. Sometimes.

Now there’s a problem in the offing which may come as close to a Casus Belli as any since the English Civil war. It’s mostly New Labour’s fault of course, with their usual less than competent approach to framing legislation. Although the mission creep of the European Union has grown since Edward Heath signed the Treaty of Rome and told everyone it was all about free trade between European Nations, the lying toad.

Here goes; a Baron Mereworth, whose family has held Letters Patent from the crown for centuries, was and is miffed at not being summoned to the House of Lords following his succession to the title. He tried to take the Ministry of Justice to the High Court over the matter, only to be dismissed with a brusque “We can’t deal with this.” response. In essence, they gave him the brush off. Go ‘way son, you bother me patronizing style of thing.

This little High Court tiff is a direct result of the New Labour 2005 Constitutional ‘reform’ act. With a stroke of the pen there was an effective coup d’etat in England. No wonder the penalty for Treason was scaled back to a maximum of life imprisonment. Those New Labour shits knew exactly what they were going to do, and like much of their other legislation, it has left a steaming, barnyard smothering pile of legal poo behind.

All right, so what, you might say. All these Lords and stuff is soo old hat. Weren’t they abolished in 2005 or something? Like that Magner Carter thingy. Load of old bollocks. It’s History right? Doesn’t apply any more. We’re all equal Europeans now, yeah?

You might say that, and in some ways you’d be perfectly right, and in others so terribly, awfully wrong. In effect ceding sovereignty to the European Union, Parliament has essentially given up the last of HM Queens powers of state. Which leaves the rest of the Commonwealth, Canada, New Zealand, Australia in a bit of a cleft stick. Who appoints their Governor Generals? More to the point, as the Governor General of each Commonwealth Nation is effectively powerless, it begs the question of who pays his / her wages? The Crown? Who dat den? Without an effective Monarch there can be no Crown offices. There is also the question of legality, as, to quote this article;

Given that the last Labour government was in the habit of not obtaining assent from the Queen, when placing their laws onto the Statute Books, the hope is that Hereditary Peers will challenge the government in High Court and restore their access to the House of Lords. They can then take on the difficult task of bringing Blair’s government to account for its treachery and treason.

WTF! Hang on. I was always taught that a bill passed by Parliament cannot become law unless it receives Royal Assent. You mean to tell me that there are laws being enforced that are not actually laws at all because they have not got the official Royal signature on them? Well fuck me rigid.

Confused? Well I certainly am. Although I have the distinct feeling that under this legal mess is a number of political grenades with pins pulled. Whoever manages to penetrate the steaming heaps of obfuscation and confusion may see the whole lot go up in a constitutional detonation causing all sorts of casualties.

To quote Lord Neuberger of Abbotsbury, a High Court Judge most recently involved with ’super’ injunctions; “The danger is you muck around with a constitution like the British Constitution at your peril because you do not know what the consequences of any change will be.”

Watch this space. This might get really interesting. From a distance that is.

This post might appear at Orphans of Liberty shortly. Possibly.

He’s a what?

I’m sorry, but if you believe some people you need to have had a quadruple credibility bypass. Such it is that I feel parts of the current US Presidents Irish tour have taken on elements of high farce. Well it’s making me laugh. From the Presidential limo getting stuck before it can even get out of the US embassy, to the claims of Irish descent (Yeah, right). Bullshit detector on overload.

As one who is genuinely descended from Irish migrants, at least on one side of my family, this whole business is arse squirmingly embarrassing. ” Jaysus, so he’s a bhoy is he now?” as one of my forbears might have vouchsafed in that curiously disbelieving way country Irish have of expressing scepticism about a Yanks claimed Irish heritage. I mean, six degrees of separation and all that, but really. All these claims have the flavour of a naked attempt at vote grabbing aimed at the notoriously partisan east coast US Irish population.

The more of these spurious declarations I hear, the more convinced I am that the current incumbent of the US Presidency is a construct, a front man shaped from his early days for a specific purpose. His progress seems too charmed, protected by hidden hands. Kind of from a ‘let’s build a president’ set. Sure he’s a great talker, he’s great at delivering speeches, very convincing. Yet, even if you discount all the ‘birther’ stuff etc, he still comes out looking like the product of a polished political machine. There is an air of artificiality, of a carefully crafted image that hangs around him, like a vaguely unpleasant smell you can never quite get rid of.

As for being Irish, maybe that’s one claim too many.

Comments policy

I’ve had to delete a comment. Not something I take lightly unless it’s one of those lame brained trollish personal attacks that generally pollute the stream of discourse. In which case I hit the ‘delete’ key with a small superior smile playing around my lips.

Spamming in the links, for everyone’s future reference, is not looked upon kindly. The policy on comment links is, keep it on topic and relevant; and your comment, whether pro or anti the matter in hand, will be published. Play the ball not the man, and your opinion will be given airtime. Sneaking in adverts on links however, will be treated with a richly deserved flushing down the digital toilet. Unless of course it’s funny and / or apposite. In which case publication is guaranteed.

These are the comment rules. ‘Nuff said.

Privacy vs. The right to know

It’s a contentious issue, these gagging orders. Apparently some witless footballer (No names, no injunctions; but everybody knows who the idiot is) who couldn’t keep his trousers zipped up and had an extra marital affair, is taking legal action against Twitter. Now this guy didn’t come to court with ‘clean hands’ as Raedwald so pithily observes, yet said ‘sports personality’ is taking a metaphorical dive outside the penalty box and yelling “foul!”, even though he committed the first bad tackle with his tackle. I suppose we owe him a grudging gift of thanks, because without his lawyers heavy handed tactics, maybe his story wouldn’t be breaking so hard it’s shattering, and likewise a number of other illiberal gagging orders.

See Sky news discussion below.

Now the courts might try and identify the person who blew the lid off the super injunction scandal on Twitter, but I have the feeling they might just get the following response;

BTW: For those interested in the super injunction preventing Ex Model and Trainer Vicky Haigh currently in Ireland hiding from UK Social Services who apparently want to take her new born baby, she has her own WordPress blog. She links to a number of other blogs telling similar, untold stories. Dispiriting reading for those who believe in freedom and the rights of the individual.

It all just begs the question; Just what on Earth are the courts up to in the UK? Never mind the Internet being ‘out of control’, in the words of one Judge. At least the Internet doesn’t threaten anyone with incarceration for speaking out against injustice.

Grímsvötn erupts

Grimsvotn eruption tremor map screengrab

Spotted in advance by Jon Frimann over at his blog. He flagged up the tremor harmonics in advance of the Icelandic Met Office confirmation. Well spotted that man.

Ash plume has been confirmed at 2-3000 Metres and rising, although Grímsvötn has a history of short lived eruptions, the last one to get through the ice was in 2004. Constantly updated details, and perhaps webcams can be found via the excellent ‘Eruptions’ blog. Icelandic air traffic is being disrupted, although the plume seems to be heading North on the satellite images available. The plume is also said to be not likely to interrupt European air traffic like the April 2010 eruption of Mt Unpronounceable.

Volcano and seismic links will have their own sidebar shortly.

End of the world countdown

Now this is was supposed to be a running post. Based on the prediction that today is the end of the world, or rather the beginning of the end. At 6pm PST, we are told, the first massive Earthquake will hit here on the Wet Coast, and work it’s way round the time zones. Prior to that at 6am around the world, followers of a particular religious proselytiser will be eagerly awaiting the Nirvana express and their feel their earthly shells drift up into the air to then watch the rest of us poor zeebs catch it in the neck. Superior bastards.

Now according to prediction, the true believers will have started to drift off in New Zealand at 6am Local time May 21st. Hold on a minute! It’s already the early hours of the Morning on Sunday the 22nd of May over there. No rapture reports. Oops.


Prediction FAIL

The only reasonable conclusion to draw here is that God doesn’t do apocalypses. Religions and cults do because it gives their believers something to look forward to, if looking forward to the violent demise of billions is an acceptable form of optimism that is. The cultists promise their followers heaven beyond which actually gives them (The cult leaders) physical power. Whereas if we say that we could do stuff to make life better while we’re actually breathing, said cultists will be often violently opposed because it undermines their control over their congregation. In short; the cults and cultists are the problem.

Various means have been tried down the ages to wean people off these ridiculous beliefs, from persuasion and ridicule to physical restraint and even execution. Nothing works. Because for all intents and purposes these people are insane, out of touch with reality and frothingly so. Like the ‘Green’ cultists and all the dietary doomsayers, they predict mayhem and disaster because it gives them power over the perennially petrified.

What I would say to anyone ever concerned about the ‘end of the world’ is; look guys, we’re all going to die of something, someday, and all we can hope for is relief from the pain. What’s the point of worrying about it? It’s a waste of life. Your life. Got a real personal problem? Grow a pair and deal with it.

Expatriate expostulations from Canada; a.k.a. A Sarcastic man abroad trying to stay in the middle of the road without getting run over.

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