flowing motion

Laws are to control governments, not us

Posted on: November 21, 2009

Everything is allowed unless it is expressly prohibited

It is my understanding that this is the basis of English law.  We will do what we want unless it is not allowed and the law prohibiting the action has been passed by Parliament.

Having said that, Britain is full of laws.  There can be 10 or 20 road signs in 100 meters.  Not surprisingly, they contradict each other.  It is not unusual to have “slow” within seconds of 50 mph.

Something has gone wrong but it is my understanding that the law is there to protect us from the State, not to protect the State from us.

English people seem to have a different idea

I was surprised by a question on Any Questions (BBC Radio 4) today.  The questioner asked how we can have a Bill that requires the national debt to be paid off in 4 years.  “Who would we prosecute if it wasn’t done?”, she asked.

The audience and panel agreed this Bill was a silly idea.

But why?  It rightly limits the role of the State. The law should limit what the State is able to do to us.

And who should we prosecute if the Act were not followed?  Any citizen could seek an administrative order instructing an official to act in terms of the Act.  Should the official not comply with a judicial order, they would go to jail for contempt of court.

When did law become a matter of telling us what to do?

When did law in the UK become a matter of punishing citizens?

The law tells officials what they may or may not do.  It leaves us alone!  And if you don’t get it, please walk down to your local bridge and look at the inevitable plaque commemorating the Civil War.  We fought for this.  Why are we giving it up?


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