False arrest of victims


by D.J. Webb

As libertarians will be well aware, English Common Law confirms the right of Englishmen to use arms in their self-defence. I am one of those who would not accept the legality of purported laws to strip us of this right, but in any case, we have not been stripped of this right, at least in terms of statute law. The 1688 Bill of Rights, which has not been repealed and has been affirmed by higher courts as being a major constitutional law that cannot be impliedly repealed (i.e., can only be repealed by express language clearly repealing it), specifies our right to use weapons in our own defence.

It seems that on the ground the behaviour of the police overrides any Acts of Parliament or even the Common Law. We read today of householders in Melton Mowbray who shot at burglars who had broken into the cottage. The burglars have been arrested for “aggravated burglary”, but the householders have been arrested on suspicion of GBH!

A Conservative minister has indicated that the police should prosecute the burglars, not the householders defending themselves. The burglary was being undertaken around midnight. The house has been burgled several times previously, and none of the men injuried have life-threatening injuries. And the shotgun used was legally held.

On what grounds have the householders been arrested? Self-defence using a weapon, lawful under English Common Law and the Bill of Rights, cannot give rise to charges of GBH. Even if the burglars had been shot dead, no legitimate charges would arise – unless the police had reasonable grounds to suspect that the killings were not in self-defence. That would be for the police to show, and not for the householders to disprove in advance. The bar for proving that minor injuries inflicted by householders in their own homes on burglars in the dead of night were not self-defence must be placed very high indeed. After all, this was a home invasion.

It seems to me the police involved should be sued for false arrest. As far as I know, false arrest is considered by a civil wrong. I would appreciate more information on this point — as far as I am concerned it ought to be one of the more serious crimes.

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29 responses to “False arrest of victims

  1. DJ, surely this doesn’t come as news to you. It happens every time anyone harms an intruder or home invader. It’s the final proof that those who make and enforce our laws are not incompetent, as might seem to a more naive observer, but are deliberately working against the law-abiding people. The criminals are just useful tools in this demoralisation and enslavement of the citizens.

  2. Arrested under suspicion seems to be standard procedure now. It’s a phrase often heard following R.T.A. ‘arrested on suspicion of dangerous driving’ all before an investigation into the cause of the accident has even begun. As one blogger noted, the process of arrests has become a punishment ; they will be fingerprinted, have their D.N.A. taken and may find it difficult to get a clear C.R. B. in the future. It’s all very sinister.

  3. In Texas they would be having dinner with the Sheriff. The UK is broken beyond repair. In Pennsylvania we have an extension to the Castle Doctrine and also concealed carry permits. The UK is a dictatorship police state and the victims / prisoners cannot even defend themselves.

  4. I think the basic nitty-gritty of it is that the law means whatever the courts and police (and if you’re lucky, a jury) think it means.

    I think unfortunately this brings me back to something I was discussing in the various threads with Paul Marx, regarding philosophical subjectivism. Objectivists (in the general philsophical sense, not Randians) make this error of thinking that meaning is objective (and thus that anyone who disagrees with them is either a liar or a fool), in this specific case regarding language and the formal system we call “the law”. But the reality is that every individual interprets the words of a law in a personal manner; which is why people end up arguing about these things. There are all sorts of grey areas in law; what constitutes “reasonable” (as in “reasonable force for instance)? You are entitled to defend yourself. You are not entitled to execute others, even if they are aggressors. Where the line between those two things lies is what the legal system decides in each case, and is basically a subjective matter.

    My own view on this is rather “right wing” in the sense that if a burglar gets shot, well, here’s the world’s tiniest violin. But the fact is that the law doesn’t just entitle people to shoot burglars; it must be an act of self-defence, in that the shooter was seriously threatened and his only reasonable (there’s that word again) course of action was to fire the gun.

  5. I am reminded of the “troubles”.

    Not many people alive today know of the “troubles”: perhaps only libertarian historianists. These “troubles” existed between, sort of, about 1138 and, more or less, 1154. Pretty much any sort of crime, from wreckage to sackage to carnage to rape and murder, could be perpetrated then if you were “strong” enough. Kind of, this happened because the two “main” warlords were arguing – it’s a long story, and I will tell it to you sometime if you like, but I expect that most people will just sigh, go to another site, and click off.

    Remember: this was in the days of the Warlords, and before liberalism. With my historianist’s-hat on, I believe that liberalism and its child libertarianism could not have come into being without a strong “state” – albeit initially composed of bloodthirsty raping stealing warlords – which could then have been hijacked by “liberals”, which is to say, sort of: the “Barons” who forced KIng John to sign an agreement that his power was “limited” in certain ways – even if it was initially to the advantage of the “Barons”.

    The principle had to be established, at first, somehow, that the powers of a bloodcurdling warlord was not illimitable. I can’t think that any sensible historianists could really disagree here. Sean: you are a historianist – what would you say about this thesis?

    What then happens is that, because “A Man Must Be Able To Walk Through My Kingdom With A Basinful of Gold, Unmolested” (see Henry II) which of course leads to cheaper policing, and which therefore must be good, you end up with a civilisation in which everybody is functionally-disarmed except for the needs of raising armies, such as the archers of the later middle ages. The practization of “arms” begins to fall out of folk memory and local temporal wisdom. The State, then in the early 1920s being terrified by the rise of the murder-branch of the GramscoFabiaNazis, starts to actively disarm the folks, who don’t resist because, having achieved a non-violent civilisation which is of course what they desired all along, just go with the flow.

    So it became easy to remove weapons from the British People: the first people in the world, possibly, to achieve a civilisation in which actually they need not put weapons under their beds when they slept at nights.

    What a tragedy, eh?

  6. Most people would agree that to use force in self-defence is, on principle, acceptable.The debates arise over, as you point out, defining reasonable. However, there is a further issue which is no less important in my view to do with what is supposed to be the accepted principle of innocent till proven guilty. The case in question,and other’s like it in the past is eroding this.

  7. Patricia, if I get what you’re getting at, my own answer would be that in order to be acquitted of a crime, you first have to be charged with one. It’s basically standard procedure in our legal system that if the police think you did something, they arrest you, and then you’re treated like crap (e.g. put on remand) until acquitted, at which point everyone goes “oops, sorry, run along now”.

    So if the police think that the householders overstepped the definition of self defence, they have to arrest and charge them, then we all wait for a court to acquit them. You’re innocent until proven guilty only in the legal sense that when you get to court the State has to prove guilt[1], rather than you proving innocent.

    David: interesting. I also though have a historical suspicion that part of the reason for liberalism being a European thing is down to us having been barbarians when the “civilised world” in the orient were trying out various forms of absolutist despotism. The idea of “rule by consent”; that is, that Chiefs needed some form of consent of their populace, is inherited to some degree from our tribal ancestors. Their lack of civilisation made those societies violent, but also suspicious of the despotism that developed among more “cultured” peoples. Going out on a limb, it may be worth observing that as the Romans shifted from their European roots to an Oriental society- even moving their capital city and giving up their native Latin for foreign Greek- they sank from being a somwehat dodgy republic to an orient despotism. And the population were disarmed too, come to that, which is why the Saxons kicked their toga’ed rear ends here in Blighty.

    [1] Unless you’re accused of being one of the Three Ra’s (Rapist, Racist or Radical Muslim) in which case you’re guilty until you can prove your innocence).

  8. Ian, arresting on “suspicion” has always required reasonable grounds for suspicion. The fact that someone in this case was injured does not create reasonable grounds for anything – as it does not give a reason inference that what happened was not self-defence – and killing people in self-defence should not lead to an automatic “arrest on suspicion of murder” unless the police have separate reasonable grounds to suspect it was not self-defence. The mere dead body does not constitute those grounds – and it is for the police to show and not for the householder defending himself to disprove.

  9. I think Ian should explore his hypothesis deeper, because it may be sensible.

  10. Edward Spalton

    IanB,
    Jury trial is some sort of safeguard to those defending their homes,lives and property from criminals who are now frequently given preferential treatment by the state.

    Years ago, I knew a chap who lived in a rather isolated spot. He was frequently away on business and left the shotgun available for his wife just in case. In those days it did not have to be kept in a locked cabinet, separately from the cartridges. The local bobby advised her to give an intruder the first barrel and fire the second into the ceiling. That way, she could claim to have fired a warning shot which had been ignored and nobody would be able to prove differently. Changed days!

  11. Sadly it has long been the position of the British government (and courts) that Common Law and even the Bill of Rights can be trumped by an Act of Parliament.

    Blackstone taught this as long ago as the 18th century – of course he hoped that Parliament would not do such bad things, but he taught they had the right to do so. This is why the American Founding Fathers detested Blackstone so much.

    However, in more recent history a new doctrine has grown up – that the Executive (via “Statutory Instruments” and other such) has the power to trump both Common Law and such things as the Bill of Rights (and so on).

    The idea is that Parliament under vague “enabling Act” style legislation grants the Executive such powers.

    This is the view of the Executive power that the United States Supreme Court struck down in 1935 (the case that declared the National Recovery Administration, i.e. General Johnson’s jack booted Blue Eagle thugs, unconstitutional) – sadly Executive power crept back during World War II and has never really gone away (2013 will show if there is any modern limit to it at all – sadly Chief Justice Roberts has offered little hope).

    In Britian Chief Justice Hewart protested against the growh of Executive Power in his 1929 work “The New Despotism”.

    But I rather doubrt that citeing Hewart would do much good in a modern university or law court.

    I do know that citeing such things as the British Bill of Rights (over such things as the right to keep arms) will just get you laughed at – and would have done even back in the 1920s.

    Freedom of speech and of association (which must include the freedom not to associate) – Parliament (let alone the Executive) has shown utter contempt for these things since 1965.

    Some people put their hopes in World and European “declarations” and “conventions” on “human rights”.

    Such hope is radically misplaced – if one examines the documents with care.

    The British representatives to the international human rights thing were Harold Laski (the radical socialist) and E.H. Carr (the man who first covered up for Adolf Hitler and then for Joe Stalin) – one would not expect these gentlemen to help produce a libertarian document and they did not.

    They produced a document that SOUNDS libertarian – till one looks at the details (shades of the French declaration of the “Rights of Man” after the Revolution – it sounded wonderful, till one looked at the details….).

    The European Convention is similar.

    People who look to these things to defend freedom of speech, or freedom of association (let alone freedom to keep and bear arms) are looking in vain.

    Just as (sadly) people who look to the tradtion of English Common Law to defend these things are looking in vain.

    I woud be astonished to see it (Common Law trumping Acts of Parliament rather than the other way round) come back ( back from the days of Chief Justice Coke and so on).

    Indeed I would expect (next) to see a dodo come walking up the street.

    An interesting difference between British people and Americans is that at least most Americans know they have got a Bill of Rights. They may not understand it – but they know they have one.

    Most British people do not know they have a Bill of Rights.

    I am not saying that the British do not understand the British Bill of Rights – for example that my fellow countrymen do not underatand that the reference to “Protestants” in the Bill of Rights (in relation to the right to own weapons) did NOT exclude Catholics (Catholics were banned from owning weapons in Ireland – but Ireland was not part of the United Kingdom till 1801 some years after those laws against Catholics owning weapons had been repealed).

    What I am saying is more radical than that most British people have not even heard of the British Bill of Rights.

    And, as it can be “trumped” by any random Act of Parliament (or even by an European Union edict – based upon vague “Enabling Acts” passed by Parliament), one can see why not.

  12. Marx, I had to skim your comments due to their rambling nature, but the reference in the Bill of Rights to Protestants most certainly did exclude Roman Catholics. The reason was that Catholics were seen as a treasonable minority back in those days – although you could certain argue that if the Bill of Rights attempted to restore Common Law rights, it was wrong to specify that Catholics couldn’t bear arms, as the Common Law made no such stipulation.

    Lord Justice Lawes confirmed in the Metric Martys decision tht the Bill of Rights, as a constitutional act, cannot be impliedly repealed, and so remains fully in force. So it cannot be trumped by any random Act of Parliament or even an EU directive, unless it is repealed, using express language, by Parliament. Of course Lawes was talking about the status of the European Communities Act 1972 as a constitutional act that could not be impliedly repealed by the 1985 weights and measures act – he tied himself in knots, as he himself during the court process had said that there is no hierarchy of Acts of Parliament – but then it would have been awkward for him to rule that a 1985 Act partly repealed the ECA act of 1972.

    So he invented on the spot the doctrine of constitutional acts that cannot be impliedly repealed. He would have been on firmer ground had he said that the Common Law cannot be repealed, or not substantially repealed, only updated for modern circumstances, as the Common Law is our fundamental law, and Parliament’s right to pass Acts is only given in the Common Law in the first place. Yet he came up with this (spurious) theory that constitutional acts cannot be impliedly repealed, and he listed a number of acts that this covered, including the Bill of Rights of 1688!

    He didn’t even bother to question whether the ECA act of 1972 in itself “impliedly repealed” parts of the Bill of Rights 1688 and the Act of Settlement 1701 and Act of Union 1707 and a number of others. Take for example the establishment of a European Parliament that is sovereign and overrules our Parliament – yet the 1707 Act of Union specified that the UK woudl be ruled by a new Kingdom of GB Parliament – and pan-European sovereign bodies clearly erase earlier constitutional settlements. So he has opened a can of worms.

    Later, when the parking fines scam was queried in court, using his very same judgment that the Bill of Rights cannot be impliedly repealed, he was once again in difficulties, as making up constitutioinal legislation on the hoof tends to create difficulties. The Bill of Rights clearly says no fines or forfeitures can be handed down without a judicial process. And the number of these fatuous fines is proliferating, including on the spot fines by PCSOs, fines for littering by the man with a badge from the council, fines for not closing your bin properly etc – all without any discernible judicial process. Apparently, the parking fines case was dismissed in 2 minutes by him or some other judge (I think it was him) with some vague phrases that these aren’t fines, but “civil responsibilities”. As if the semantic wording removed our fundamental Common Law right to due process.

    Similarly, the right to bear arms – well, that has been appealed a few times, but never to the House of Lords (now abolished and replaced by an unconstitutional “Supreme Court”). If you want to challenge these things you need many millions and years in which to appeal and appeal and only the court of final instance – now called the Supreme Court – could really hand down the definitive ruling. The last time the right to bear arms was appealed, the judge waved it away with a stroke of his hands, saying social attitudes had changed (as if that made any difference at all to our major constitutional rights).

    We don’t have the rule of law in this country – and Marx, as a Conservative you give money to the party that has brought this situation about.

  13. DJ – I love you to sweetheart.

    First it is good to see someone who is as bad a speller as I am.

    Or are you making some sort of anti semitic point with the word “Marx”?

    Get the insult right my dear.

    My great grandfather’s family came from Russia – not Germany.

    “Marx” is how GERMAN Jews tend to spell their name.

    By the way Karl thought up better anti semitic insults than you could – for example a businessman is an “inwardly circumcised Jew” (Karl had a habit of forgetting what his own family had been in the previous generation).

    As for the Conservative Party.

    I oppose the Social Justice crowd within it – as well as outside of it.

    For example, I recently said that I would not vote for the Conservative Party candidate Police Commissioner for Northamptonshire on the grounds that he sent me a letter saying he wanted to “hard wire social justice” into police work (totalitarianism).

    What have you done to oppose Social Justice crowd lately?

    Please tell me.

    Have you denounced Kevin Carson or Roderick Long?

    If so PROVE you have.

    By the way Roman Catholics were allowed to own weapons in 18th century England.

  14. The “Marx” might be my fault as I inadavertently spelled your surname that way Paul, earlier in the thread. Not intentionally, probably because my brain finally fell into the trap of confusing your surname with Marx due to your expertise in the area. I’ve always wanted to run a newspaper just so I could give you a column called “Marks On Marx” :)

    On the general point, I still think that we have to accept, however sadly, that the law means whatever people enforcing it think it means. As DJ implies above, you can argue about the Bill Of Rights with Plod until you’re blue in the face, but unless you can get a court to agree with you, it means nothing. This is one of the reasons I am increasingly skeptical of the whole concept of judiciaries (whether State ones or the imaginary privatised ones of the Anarcho-Capitalist thought experiment). The whole idea of judges as “interpreters” of the Law seems to me flawed at best.

    The truth is, we just have too many laws by orders of magnitude, which provide sufficient leeway for the poweful to do pretty much anything they want. Which is the problem with having a standing legislature. If you appoint somebody as a “lawmaker”, they will make new laws. At least in the “bad old days” of monarchy, Kings had a more generalised job description, so they didn’t feel obligated to keep making new laws just to justify their job, if you see what I mean.

    I can’t think myself of a single law enacted during my lifetime that was necessary or of which I approve.

    Back with judges, I think the term “independent” applied to the judiciary is, at least these days, a farce. They are part of the same ruling class as the legislators.

  15. Ian B – I refer you to my post of earlier this year, or last year, in which I spoke of the good old days when England was ruled by a committee of hereditary landlords. It was much better than the scum who nowadays lie their way into office. As well as containing men of honour and learning, the old ruling class had an understanding of long term interest. Little problem then with worthless judges.

  16. Sean Gabb – you’re talking about the landlords who ruled up to the early 19th century, before the Reform Acts? They seem as good as anyone who’s ruled since. Even the rottenest borough smelt like roses compared with today’s putrid political system.

  17. The main problem is that, when the bluebottles call, everybody is pretty much on their own-ewe-oh. Isolated with nothing but the generally impotent sympathy of family members/friends while the pork can work you over (so far mostly metaphorically rather than literally) at their leisure.
    In the US a small movement is growing of people joining associations to look after each other. It is small and voluntary at the moment but I suspect there may be an opportunity here for a good business. See the writings of Jim (I think) Davisdson on the L Neil Smith site and his Dump DC blog/site.
    What happens is that with your one phone call you call the association and they jump into action on your behalf. The lawyers( –pre-set up–and enough people might get discounts etc-)-are set into action. The station is called to ask if you are there, what you are being held for/charged with etc. Yes, plod can say “piss off” but the very call lets them know you are not alone and if you make any complaints about your treatment you have help and other people to complain about being badly treated when they interacted with your captors. Another police tactic, moving a victim around various stations etc so their lawyer can’t find them has been defeated a number of times by using networks of people calling and visiting locations and tracking down where the police victim is.
    Of course they may refuse you your call–so you have a function on your mobile that you just press and the signal goes to the association all at once. Perhaps such a mechanism could be built into an ordinary item as well as a phone. Say a ring, you press in a certain way and the signal goes out to your association “HELP”.
    If the market can provide insurance and help against roadside breakdowns, I see no reason it can’t provide help against the calamity of victimisation by the scum of the state.

  18. Ian – actually I AGREE with DJ. Both on self defence and on freedom of speech (including the right of people to make anti semitic remarks if they want to) and so on.

    I was just pointing out that the people with the guns (and the people who control the universities – and the courts) do NOT agree – and have not for a very long time.

    I even (God help me) agree with SEAN GABB here.

    Of course there were always borough seats in Parliament where anyone who could bang a pot (i.e. had a home with a fire) had the vote – Preston springs to mind.

    And, on the county seat side, often the 40 shilling free holders could be quite independent.

    BUT – Sean Gabb is (basically) correct.

    Both most borough seats and most country seats were under the influence of landowners.

    Normally by force of example…..

    Contrary to Carson and co – the “landed interest” was mostly RIGHTLY respected in traditional society. If a local landowner said “I think so-and-so is the best man for Parliament” that was wildly respected (people tended to vote that way).

    And of course where they did NOT (such as the voters of Bristol – who kicked out Edmund Burke for a whole list of reasons, pro trade but anti slavery – and pro Ireland). a “rotten borough” could be found (i.e. a seat with hardly any people – which a landlord actually owned) so that Parliament would not be denied the voice of someone who did indeed talk using such blunt language as “cutting throats”.

    Before 1832 the “landed interest” (i.e. people who owned land) did indeed have a very big influence on politics.

    Of course the so called “landed interest” was split on some things – for example some landowners supporting the Corn Laws and others opposing them. But generally it is possible to talk of a “landed interest” – interested in an independent life and limiting the power of government.

    Indeed that is one of the great differences between Western and Islamic society.

    In the West even though land formally belonged to the King – in fact Feudal law protected DE FACTO private ownership far better than Roman law had done – or than Islamic law did.

    Such a thing as the Edict of Quierzy (877) restateing (as an old right) that even a King of France could not take the fief of land from one person and give it to another person….

    Such a thing would have been impossible as a limitation on the power of a Roman Emperor (essentially a miltary dictator – with a professional army to back him, and a civil population made of unarmed “citizens” whom the army despised), and the same is true under Islamic rule.

    British freedom (Western freedom) is essentially (at least in part) a FEUDAL thing (note – feudal does not mean serfdom) – as such American Founding Fathers as John Adams (although not Thomas Jefferson) understood.

    Of course the research of John Adams into the pro liberty aspects of the ancient German tribes, the Celtic peoples and (above all – in terms of the time he spent on it) the ancient Hebrews (before the time of King Saul at least) is much better known now than it was even a few years ago.

    In his historical research (respectful – but not uncriticallly so, never slave like in his devotion to the past) John Adams resembles Edmund Burke – of course he resembles Burke in many other ways also.

    The difference between the United Kingdom and the United States is not that one has declined and the other has not – on the contrary BOTH have declined in terms of freedom.

    The difference is a matter of historical MEMORY.

    Most Americans may not understand the Bill of Rights – but they know they have one and that it limits government power.

    Most British people do NOT know these things.

    Books on John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, Ben Franklin, and (of course) George Washington – fly off the shelves (they are best sellers).

    Here the people are just interested in buying porn books.

    Samual Adams (rather than John Adams) has the proper words to describe a population like that.

    I will not quote the sort of things Sam Adams would say about such people – because Sean will quote me (out of context) and I will be in trouble again. The language being a wee bit violent.

    By the way – I have nothing against people selling porn books. But if that is ALL the population want to read…..

    Moore (the American Moore – the teacher of T.S. Eliot, and friend of Irving Babbitt) visited Britain back in the 1930s.

    At first he loved it here.

    There was so much less ideological conflict – with cruelity and crimes on BOTH sides (Liberty League versus New Dealers) than there was in the United States.

    The British were kind and polite – not savage in word and deed.

    Then it hit Moore – the British did not CARE.

    The reason that politics was so much nicer here is that it was a GAME – people did not really believe it MATTERED.

    Politicians might make speeches against each other – but they went for a drink together afterwards (because it was just a game – it was not a serious matter).

    I think that Moore was unfair about Britain in the 1930s – some things did matter (really matter) to some politicians and people – for example resistance to Adolf Hitler and the Nazis.

    However, he was right about few people having any real committment to the ideas of a political tradition.

    The Constitutional Club network (so strong before the First World War) had turned into glorified social clubs.

    The National Rifle Association (bigger and at least as political as the American one before the First World War) had become a club of sportsman – with no real political faith at all.

    The utilitarians (with their doctrine that, really, there was no such thing as either “natural law” or “natural rights”) dominated intellectual life (in so far as there was any intellectual life).

    And legal thinking was all pure “Legal Positivism”.

    The line that “our rights come from nature and nature’s God – not from government”.

    A standard from George Washington (his “Sacred Fire”) to even a moderate like Paul Ryan – would have been mocked in Britain in the 1930s (if it had even been understood).

    And, if anything, intellectual life (and public ignorance) is WORSE in modern Britain than it was in the 1930s.

    The United States may well be a dying country – by all objective measures it is very sick (perhaps incureably so – death may be inevitable), But I fear that the United Kingdom (as an independent polity with a tradition of freedom) is already dead.

    I fear that if the trumpets sounded for people to fight for the rights of liberty – that hardly anyone would turn up.

    Not because the people are cowards (they are not) – but because the people would have no idea what you were talking about.

  19. Of course with Edmund Burke – I should have said pro free trade.

    The people of Bristol would have no problem with a pro trade M.P.

    But they hated someone who wanted to (for example) end the restrictions on their Irish competitors – and someone who was known to be hostile to the slave trade.

    Bristol was not a sensible seat to put Burke in.

    And his appeal to principles (as opposed to narrow special interests) went quite above the heads of the voters.

  20. Wait a minute: what happens when the police shoot burglars? Read this: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/law-and-order/9517244/Azelle-Rodney-shot-six-times-by-police-officer.html

    I think there is more justification for a householder killing a burglar than the police to do so – as the police may have other methods of apprehending suspects. But in any case, in this incident they were going to commit armed robbery, so I think there would no public interest in charging the officer with anything.

    So why the contrast when householders defend themselves? Has the Edgeware policeman been charged with murder? If not, why not – because if he were being treated like the householders, he would have been.

  21. You don’t need an answer to your question because its obvious: any population brave and belligerent enough to fight back against criminal scum might just decide to fight back against political scum.

  22. Mr Ecks the people do not have the means to “fight back against the political scum”.

    The people are not equipped philosophically – because the educated classes (who, once, people would have looked to for leadership) are corrupted either with doctrines of “legal positivism” (from Hobbes and others – basically “law” is just whatever the state says it is) or with doctrines of “rights” that are radically incompatible with traditional Common Law.

    For example, “social justice” rather than traditional justice.

    But it is not “just” a lack of a foundation for resistance in thought.

    There is also the lack of the PHYSICAL MEANS.

    The British people (unlike Texans or Swiss or….) are unarmed.

    Indeed they have been taught (carefully taught) that they never were armed – and that having firearms is an evil “American” thing.

    Not only has the present and the future been stolen from the British people – but their PAST has also been stolen from them.

    As the old Russian saying has it…..

    “First they smash your face in – and then they say you were always ugly”.

  23. My point was to say that householders who show spirit and fight are persecuted for exactly that reason–they have guts. It is that the political scum want to squash.
    As for your other points–even if the UK was well-armed physically the masses are mostly mentally disarmed anyway. Sadam H was a nasty tyrant but the Iraqis were quite well-armed compared to this country and there was no rising against him. Also you don’t need to convert everybody–5-10% of the populace is enough to bring about massive change by any means. The British state would have to get much worse before there is any will to stand against them in this country. However, there are enough people awake and more waking every day to form associations as my previous posting. The police in this country enjoy leaning on isolated little people who have a job/house/family they could lose as a result of state action. What they don’t enjoy is dealing with members of a large and well-prepared group who will be watching their every move and ready to bring lots of bad publicity there way if they transgress. At the moment, posters on here can say that the laws can do whatever they like regardless of legality but that is only true if they are dishing it out to an isolated indiividual who nobody cares about. On the bigger screen legal theatre still matters–they can’t (yet?) just say the law is whatever we say it is (as with the scummy Huhne–months of desperate attempts to find some way to get him off but they couldn’t–if matters were as bad as some commenters on here allege they would have just said “Mr Huhne is a member of the elite and as such is not bouind by laws that control little people like you”–that might be in their hearts–if they have such–but they durst not say it–even post Bliar et al.)

    • Mr Ecks – I can not argue with a lot of what you say (because it is true).

      As for Saddam – there were uprisings against him, but air power dealt with them.

      Of course the British can vote for a government committed to restoring the right of self defence (in practice – of course in morality government can neither give nor take away rights, but we are talking practicality not morality).

      But then that is exactly what people THOUGHT they had done.

      After all the Conservative Party (my tribe – has been for 40 years or so) was “committed” to restoring it…

      But my tribe seems to have bad chiefs.

      Well leave out the word “seems”.

  24. It’s worth noting that armed revolution has a poor track record. All of the true revolutions in modern times- the French, the Russian, the Iranian- have led to misery and the tyranny of a new elite. The French got the Terror and then Napoleon, the Russian got the Soviets, the Iranian got the Ayatollahs.

    I think part of the problem for Libertarians and American-style Conservatives is that they look to the American Revolution as a success. Except that it wasn’t really a revolution. By the time it occurred, Americans had a distinct national consciousness as Americans- they no longer saw themselves as British or French colonists- and so were actually throwing off rule by a foreign power, under the command of their new home-grown American ruling class. They did not overthrow “the American Government”. They ejected the foriegn British government and declared UDI.

    I cannot think of a successful revolution (violent overthrow of one’s own government) that has led to a state of freedom. Can anyone else?

    • 1688?

      But then even the GR had its dark side – especially in Ireland.

      Although William III’s victory was welcomed by the Pope (who understood that Louis XIV, whose pawn James II was, had to be stopped) – and the Blue Guard (the elite bodyguard of William) were mostly Catholic.

      One can really confuse people (on both sides) in Ulster by telling them the above – and get into fights (or worse). It is a bit like telling an Irish Nationalist that the leadership of the late 18th century Revolutionary “United Irishmen” were Protestant (which they were). – even though the same revolt (1798) had hundreds of Protestants burned alive in the south. The Catholics who did the burning (by shoving women and children into barns and then setting light to the places), did not seem to understand that they were allied with a regime (Revolutionary France) that had murdered Catholics by the tens of thousands (if not hundreds of thousands) only a couple of years previously,

      Anyway William III did not want the persecution of Catholics in Ireland (the Penal Laws and so on – that it tood Edmund Burke to destroy, although many years too late) – it happened in spite of him.

      But it happened.

      Of course if by “violent overthrow of the government increasing freedom” you are including military coups…..

      Better not go there – I will be in trouble again.

  25. Paul,

    The Glorious Revolution wasn’t a revolution either. It was at best a coup d’etat. The actual English Revolution gave us Cromwell and a fortunately abortive attempt to create rule by herditary dictatorship. We were lucky that young Richard had neither the skills nor, one suspects, the stomach, for continuing the rule of the Cromwell dynasty.

    • Not fair Ian.

      People are not allow to smash my lovely theories with their nasty facts……

      O.K. you win.

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