Guilty Before Proven Innocent In Ireland

by Dick Puddlecote

Guilty Before Proven Innocent In IrelandSimon Clark reports on the ‘next logical step’ (© every professional prohibitionist organisation, everywhere) on the never-ending path of smoker bullying. This month, it is banning smoking in cars.

But this part should be worrying to anyone who is interested in personal liberties and the proper application of judicial process.

A stumbling block for the planned legislation was the issue of how gardaí would enforce it, matters around proof of age for children as well as the rights of a driver.

Existing legislation will allow gardaí to judge if a child is underage without the need for identification. Enforcers will also be able to rely solely on their recall of visually seeing a cigarette lit in the car if called on to give evidence in court.

This, of course, relates to the fact that Irish police will have one hell of a job deciding whether an individual is below the age set by the legislation, which would make the law tricky – and therefore costly – to enforce.

Ireland’s answer is to say that police don’t need to bother finding out before levying a €3,000 penalty. Just fine the bastards anyway. ‘Visually’ appears to means that it’s not even required to leave the comfy armchair in front of a CCTV monitor.

If it gets to court, just say that it was believed they were underage and it’s sorted. The accused will be guilty and have to prove their innocence. No recourse for damages or costs if the copper is an eejit – because he was only doing his job, so he was.

They’ve obviously learned a lesson from the equally stupid EU-led legislation on £500 car seat fines which was a laughable disaster back in 2006.

Three police forces in England are choosing not to issue fines to drivers who break new laws on child car seats.

The rules, which came in last September, state children aged under 13 and less than 4ft 5in (1.35m) tall must use booster seats.

But forces in North and South Yorkshire and Greater Manchester said they would not be fining offenders.

A spokesman for North Yorkshire Police said no fixed penalty tickets had been issued since the legislation’s introduction, partly because it was impractical to gauge youngsters’ height at the roadside.

He said: “We don’t have the powers to measure children and request dates of birth. It was particularly aimed at minors, and that was the sticking point.”

And that was about the last we heard of that. This will, of course, not do when it comes to smokers. They must be punished however preposterous the rule may be.

There is also no reason to even prove the person has actually been, you know, smoking. Which means Ireland is going to see quite a lot of cases such as this one now e-cigs are increasingly popular.

He claims a council enforcement officer mistook the fake cigarette for a real one when she spotted Mr Minihan during his rest-break at a picnic area.

Mr Minihan, 52, was initially issued with fixed penalty notices for £125 but elected to go to court and try to persuade magistrates he was ‘smoking’ his £38 Gamucci microelectronic cigarette.

And the court said?

Brian Howells, chairman of the bench, said his story was “consistent” but described the enforcement officer as a credible witness and found in favour of the council.

Of course he did.

No proof; no ‘beyond reasonable doubt’; nothing. Just the say-so of the state-appointed official. Now Ireland has officially proposed a €3,000 fine under the same terms but without even the need to ensure that a law has been broken. So, in Ireland soon, gardaí will not only not have to prove that a passenger is under the age stated within the law but also won’t have to prove that any tobacco was involved.

There is so much about Ireland’s proposed law which is terrifying, or should be to a rational mind. Firstly, the entire premise is based on a flawed and hysterical theory which relies on religious adherence to one of the biggest lies ever told. But now this has fostered a bastard child in the form of an abandonment of any kind of rigorous legal process. Finally, egregious abuse of policing and judicial principles we have held dear for hundreds of years – hard evidence and innocence before guilt – is being actively encouraged in order for the state to ban legal products in private property!

After this, future possibilities are endless since we know how politicians like to employ a precedent, don’t we?.

I don’t care whether you are a libertarian, are indifferent to tobacco policies, or are rabidly anti-smoking – Ireland’s law, as it stands, should scare the bejaybus out of you.

So, if you’re Irish, refuse a lift to any midgets or short teens you know, and don’t breathe out before your car heater has taken the chill out of the air – just to be absolutely safe (well, unless there’s a copper who simply has it in for you).

Oh yeah, and don’t believe the state will leave you to quiet possession of your home either. That’s now merely a work in progress.OPWJ6FRBoig

10 responses to “Guilty Before Proven Innocent In Ireland

  1. It was under Blair that the words ‘suspected’ and ‘convicted’ became interchangeable, viz when he threatened to seize the assets of ‘suspected’ drug dealers and ‘Mr Big’ criminals whom the courts could not convict. In other words innocent men and women.

  2. This reply is a strategic one, not necessarily very useful to the topic of this special posting, but it might be.

    Broadly speaking, what we as libertarians are doing, or right now trying to do, is of no use. Is it? is it really? Are we winning anything right now, that matters?

    The way was shown to people by people such as the (I can’t say who they were/are here, as this is public and we might get in trouble for advocating something we are not advocating.)

    What (those fellas there) did was to “publicly target”, by saying that they would (and because they had learned Stalin’s words to them in the 1930s, about “being serious”), the people who helped the people who helped the people who tried to rein them in, with punishments reserved by Dante in his “Inferno” for the utterly damned.

    We’ve never stooped to do such a thing, or even say it, because we believe that’d be wrong.
    The ultimate strategic problem that liberalism has is that it faces an EnemyClass, designed in particular for liberalism’s destruction and for no other objective – which has captured more-or-less all the main high-points of liberalism’s own civilisation and means of transmitting its own discourse – and which (although wrong and totally out-of-line-with how Man functions) will never give in, never give up and never say sorry even when temporarily worsted.

    I have been going on and on, and on and on, and on and on, and on and on and on, and have kept on keeping on and on, and on and on, boringly and relentlessly and without ceasing, to the point that I am bored with my own words about these bastard GramscoFabiaNazis, and have nothing new to say about their iniquities by now, for at least six and a half years on this blog alone: and perhaps fifteen more before that on other forums. I even invented a word for them in the Leninist tradition of catchily-pejoratizing your enemy so that mud sticks to the spines on his carapace (you know what it is: mumble groan whinge rhubarb knickers…) and it is a word that googles thousands of hits every time. And we are still nowhere.

    The “Smoking thing” really now is irrelevant. It’s like saying to the Nazis in 1939 and 1940 – “Stop persecuting the Jews in Germany and, oh er the other places you’ve just occupied”. It’d be nice to be able to say that “when we finally come to power, everybody who helped “ASH” in some way as an “employee” will be “investigated”. This is no good. They’ll think we are ” -‘avvin-a-luff”.

    If we were “really serious”, then we would be saying publicly and cheerfully, the following:-
    “Any employees, directors, staff, suppliers to (and their staffs, directors, shareholders etc), or civil servants in ministries that were “concerned with”, or “made recommendations about”, or “staff” in “universities” (whether at Home or Abroad – anywhere at all especially in Australia) who fabricated “research” about “smoking” and its social/political dangers, will be “targetted” after a retrun to human normality. Any and all of these people, including their families and children and descendents not yet born, will, if “caught”, be “resettled”. We will also add:-
    “Anyone in any of the above categories pre-named, will also have been “deemed to have committed an offence and will be resettled” if he/she has been in any way involved in daughter-organizations, such as “Alcohol Concern”, the “RSPCA” and so on (you get the mumble-groan-whinge-rhubarb-knickers-picture.)

    I expect that all of you by now have read, here and elsewhere, what the War Secretariat of the Libertarian Movement means by “resettlement”.

    The places in view are exciting.

    They are uniformly (a) very cold, and (b) very windy, and (c) often very very dry or very very wet, and sometimes both at the same time. They are also not very big, so the thousands and thousands and thousands and thousands of people to be “resettled” will become friends very fast. The temperature will rarely rize above 2C, and will often be rather well below that. There will be “rather little tree cover”. (In fact things such as these will have been pre-cleared, if previously present.)
    The “resettlement periods” will be really rather long and mostly undetermined, but may each last a century or more. Satellites will monitor how fast each population begins to butcher and eat itself, and the only airdropped supplies will be tobacco products, and copies of the Guardian, every few months. (Their previous and now ongoing “defence cuts” will have ensured the infrequent availability of suitable overflights.)

    No pyrotechnic materials will be allowed: the “resettled pioneers” will have to find out how to light either the tobacco or the newspapers themselves. Not wanting to “add CO2” to the planet they worship, they will have to find out how to begin and then, subsequently, permanently-nurture fires without doing this.

    You see, your trouble is that all you nice libertarians don’t “hate” hard enough. You want to be seen to be “not like them”. I have decided that it won’t work. The controlNazis won’t start to take us seriously, as an ideological force, until they physically, physically fear libertarians and liberals, and hold us in dread and terror.

    I am sure that this submission will be very, very very badly received. But still “I pause for a reply”, as Brutus said.

    • My reply is that we need a list of names for our Great Bill of Attainder. Some are to be hanged, others to be punished in lesser ways. I will say more about this when I have the time. It could be another Candidlist.

  3. Doesn’t spund very libertarian to me.


  4. Doesn’t sound very libertarian to me.


  5. No but what fun!

  6. Yes, I think you’re right Hugo, good way for a despotic state to seal peoples proerty, of course the court case described is fairly typical, we have plenty like that here, it appears to be the norm now, that many of these bent magistates alway’s uphold the word of one woodentop or enforcement officer, what happened to one against one evidence, and the benefit of the doubt, we get this old argument the woodentop is a more reliable witness, like hell indeed, what they never tell you is the woodentop has already been subject to six complaints of alleged perjury, but his good old inspectors have deleted this from the system under local resolution complaints proceedure., We have to be realistic, the justice sytem now is no longer about the safegard of justice, it has become a collection agency for the government in new forms of tax, and industrial prison exploitation. It’s like back to the day’s of the story of Robbin Hood, stealing from the poor to keep the rich, rich, being a woodentop is now a high payed profession, seen the size of some their bank accounts and property port folios, like many in government now, been paid to much!

  7. Julie near Chicago

    Someone might like to plaster Irish newspapers and weblogs and bulletin trees and so forth with the very well-established fact that “eye-witness” testimony is highly unreliable, counter-intuitive as that may be.

    It seems to me that a law was recently passed, or at least discussed, someplace out East (Connecticut? New Jersey? New York City?) that would indeed outlaw smoking in cars. In any case, there’s a piece from the Connecticut Department of Health (complete with Official Connecticut State Seal on the masthead) proclaiming,

    “Children are most often exposed to secondhand and thirdhand smoke in two places: the home and the car.”

    If you feel like slumming, you can read it, what there is of it, at

  8. I think that Tony does not realise the extent of anger-frustration and ire, now resident in the breasts of all Normal Men, but not in the breasts of the guilty, on account of the hurt done to what we might have called “our precious things”.

    “Our precious things” are not of this world, but social and political here.

    I’m referring to the angry woman who threw wine over Sir Terrence Conran at a store-opening of his in the early 1980s. She shouted, in the hearin of all:- “YOU took…ALL OUR precious THINGS…AND…YOU…GAVE THEM…to EVERYONE..”

  9. Well yes, you have a point but common sense should tell you not to smoke
    with children in car’s, the courts seem to want a killing on the basis of a
    person being thick, they concluded this idea, if a working person can afford
    to smoke, they can afford fines, one of the first questions the DWP ask at
    medicals now is do you smoke, people should just reply no, cannot afford