Daniel Hannan: Tax is not the answer

He mentioned Regan and Thatcher and lowering taxes in ‘the big EU room’:  I suspect that the only reason he did not get lynched by the socialists there is because the room was, as usual, almost empty!

Daniel Hannan: When does tax ever get harmonized down?

Of course, some of us believe that a coercive tax system is fundamentally in breech of the principle of self ownership and, as such, an unreasonable breech of our civil liberties.  Having individual control over taxation is the only way to keep governments responsive to the wishes of its citizenry.

Daniel Hannan: I prefer the rights of Englishmen

 

 

Daniel Hannan: ‘Kosovo: the essence of Europe’

 

Daniel Hannan: Energy Crisis? What Energy Crises?

Daniel Hannan: honest words about Turkey’s EU chances

 

The Last Tyranny in Europe

The mainstream media is not really shouting loudly about the horrible tyranny in Belarus – which does not mean that we should simply sweep what is going on there under the rug.  We must stand up for human rights of all people – even far away in a forgotten corner of Europe…

Like Mr. Hannan, I think we should stand up and condemn what is going on there and lend moral – if not more – support to those who are actively working to improve civil liberties in Belarus.

First step, of course, is education.

If you live in Ottawa or its environs, you will soon have an excellent opportunity for educating yourself about the situation in Belarus.  On th 25th of April, 2012, at 7 pm,  the Freethinking Film Society is going to host an information evening about Belarus at the National Archives Library in Ottawa, where they will be screening ‘Europe’s Last Tyrant’:

For those on the other side of the pond, it will also be screened at the London Film Festival on April 15, 2012 in Shortwave (10 Bermondsey Square, London SE1 3UN).  For ticket info, see here. (Sorry about the late notice – just found this out myself).

For the rest:  keep your eyes open for a screening in your area. This is not something we should remain ignorant about!

Daniel Hannan: Why Iceland won’t join the EU

 

Dan Hannan: Common law, not EU law

This is something very important – something we do not pay sufficient attention to:  common law.

It is the basis of our freedoms:  the legislature with all its lawmakers are not the source of our rights and freedoms – they do not grant them to us from above.  Rather, core rights and freedoms are something we are born with, not something that comes from the state.

Yes, we recognize that in order to co-exist with others, we may agree to put some restrictions on our freedoms:  that is the role of our elected representatives.

In common law, there is the explicit recognition that rights come from within each individual and that governments – all governments – are there to restrict these freedoms.  The less (smaller) the government, the fewer restrictions on our rights and the more free we will be.  The bigger th government, the more restrictions and the fewer freedoms….

This is a philosophy which views each human being as an individual, full of potential and free to fulfill this potential or not.

It is in sharp contrast to the view that every person is born as a cog in a machine, a member of a society which has the ultimate power over her or him.  Under this philosophy, it is the society which is the source of right in as much as it permits each member of the society to fulfil a role it deems most beneficial for the society.  In this type of a set up, one only has the options that the society opens for them, no freedoms to choose things or actions outside of what the group would benefit from.  This is called the civil law…

We must never forget the distinction between the two – and we must never give up our heritage of freedom for the gilded cage of civil law.

Just last night, I was reading to my son a 19th century traveller’s description of the Magna Carta Island – and the writer had permitted his imagination to float back across the centuries to that unforgettable June morning in 1215 when King John was brought there and forced to acknowledge this principle – already old then, but in danger of being eroded…

Sure, the Magna Carta is an imperfect document – as all human products are.  But, it is the source of – and vastly superior to – all further re-tellings of it, from the US Constitution to the Canadian one, and so on.  Along the way, the documents have become more and more cumbersome and less and less perfected…so we can trace just how much of our birthright we are permitting ourselves to give up in order to live in ‘civilized’ society.

But, do not lose heart!

Precisely because from Magna Carta on, all these documents are mere affirmations of our pre-existing rights, it is our rights that are supreme should there ever be a disagreement.  Precisely because it was the rights that were pre-existing!

Now, if we could only have judges who see it as clearly as this!

Daniel Hannan’s speech to the Manning Networking Conference in Ottawa