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


‘Occupy Phoenix with AR-15’s’

If only more of the #occupy folks were like this…

With the Harper Conservatives poised to scrap the long-gun registry, this is a timely message:  freedom of speech can only be exercised as long as we have the means to defend ourselves from any government that would usurp onto themselves the power to muzzle us.

Our right to be armed at all times, in all places, is essential for us to retain the most core of our innate and unalienable rights, the very cornerstone of our society:  the freedom of speech!

(And, yes, I AM one of the proponents of the idea that ALL teachers ought to be required by law to be fully gun-certified and armed at all times while we entrust our children to their care:  it is of little consolation that the best 9-1-1 response times to schools are at under 10 minutes….a lot of kids can be shot by an intruder in 10 minutes!  If we entrust our children to their care, each teacher  MUST be personally responsible for their protection – even from an armed attack.)

The government’s right to possess and use arms derives from us, the citizens:  we may, if we choose to, confer upon the government the right to carry arms and, as our proxy, use violence in our defense as we, the citizens, have the responsibility to.  This does not, in any way, abrogate our right – or diminish our responsibility – to do so ourselves at all times.

Any attempt at arms regulation – and I DO mean ANY regulation – by the governmenonly weakens the government’s own power to arm its agents and use violence on out behalf!

As someone somewhere put it:

Armed, we are citizens.

Disarmed, we are subjects!

Video H/T:  CodeSlinger

It’s not about left-wing or right-wing: it’s about individualism vs. collectivism

I know I have posted these videos before, but…

…over time, some of the links got broken.

Plus, we cannot be remided often enough that the ‘LEFT-WING’ vs. ‘RIGHT-WING’ labels are woefully inadequate. Even the ‘Libertarian vs. Totalitarian’ distinction is not as useful as some may think….

Personally, the one political label that most closely describes me (if I HAD TO pick one) would be ‘individualist’.


Because the smallest ‘group’ that can potentially exist, the minimum number of members it can have is: ‘one’.

Because if the rights of each and every member of any given group are protected equally, then the rights of the group as a whole cannot possibly be violated.

The converse, however, is not true!

Therefore, in my never-humble-opinion, the default position MUST be to protect the rights of the individuals – this way, nobody is left out in the cold, with their rights stripped away simply because they do not happen to be members of he currently favoured ‘group’….

Without further fuss, here are the videos (sorry about the annoying background music – the alternative ones don’t work so well any more…)


Part 1:

Part 2:

Part 3:

Part 4:

Part 5:

After all, as John Robson says:  we ARE the children of the Magna Carta and any constitution imposed upon us muxt be interpreted in that context, as an imperfect re-statement of the Magna Carta – and as subordinate to it:

Two Englishmen arrested – for posting videos on the internet

Read it and weep!

A police spokesman said: ‘‘We have investigated a number of incidents across the internet after they were brought to our attention last year. ‘We have yet to analyse what has been seized and will then be in a better to look at what, if any, offences have been committed.’‘


H/T:  The Religion of Peace

Correct me if I am wrong, but the way I read this is:

  • Somebody complained about the videos these guys posted
  • the cops arrested them and took their stuff
  • only now will they try to look at the evidence to see IF a crime had been committed

Where to start…

Well, perhaps with my yesterday’s post – where, in his speech, John Robson explains the meaning of English common law and how it had been affirmed by the Magna Carta.  It looks like the proud Englishmen have turned their back on their heritage…

How corrupt has the system of common law and the liberties it is supposed to guarantee become that something a person says causes him to be arbitrarily deprived of liberty and property?

But, this is even worse…

What about the police officers – how come they are obeying this obviously illegal order?

Because arresting a person and siezing their property first, and only then trying to figure out IF there has even been a crime commited, is contrary to everything the English common law stands for!

What to do?


I don’t know.

Sure, we can all work to post on other people’s behalf and mirror videos and all that, but that is just trying to stick a band-aid over a severed jugular.

But, I have been giving this a lot of thought.

What we need to do, in my never-humble-opinion, is to hold each and every individual police officer criminally and civilly responsible for carrying out orders which are obviously contrary to English common law.  And not just in Joly old England, or even the whole Commonwealth:  we must do this everywhere where the heritage of English Common Law exists.

Because it is only by making individuals within ‘the system’ accountable can we affect change of the system as a whole!

No, it is not easy.

But is just may be doable.

Let’s try!



John Robson: We come from the Magna Carta!

“One of my little pet causes is to get a statue of Alfred the Great on Parliament Hill…”

Yes, the video is long – but well worth listening to: