Over a century ago the then Italian Prime Minister, Signor Giovanni Giolitti, declared that “The Law is something we apply to our enemies; for our friends, we interpret it”. Judged by the much more recent case history of one Jacques Barrot, in the intervening 100 years, in terms of continental justice, nothing much has changed.
In 2000 M. Barrot had been convicted of embezzlement to the tune of two million £s worth of public money, for which he was given an eight month suspended prison sentence. That sentence was automatically erased by a French Presidential amnesty and Barrot went on to become (2008-2010) the EU’s Commissioner for Justice!
Bizarrely, when UKIP Leader Nigel Farage MEP drew attention in the European Parliament to Barrot’s ‘previous’, it was Nigel Farage who found himself in hot water for having broken the rule that gave Barrot immunity from having his past record revealed.
For his pains – doing what any free-born British subject would have regarded as being entirely legitimate and uncontroversial – Nigel Farage risked a criminal prosecution under French law and only avoided it thanks to his immunity as an MEP.
Millions of British voters would find it hard to believe that there is such an incredible difference between the justice system as practised in the UK and that extant in the majority of other EU member states, but there is no denying the facts. Many continentals, politicians and people alike, are resentful of what they see in the Anglo-Saxon world as a sort of unfair buccaneering style of doing business and it’s not difficult to see why they feel that way.
Within the UK jurisdiction and in other common-law countries we are allowed to do whatever we please, provided only that there is no law that forbids it. On the continent the boot is firmly on the other foot – one may do only that which the law expressly permits! This applies especially in terms of starting or running a business.
Said quickly, there may not appear to be much difference, but in reality there is a world of difference, accounting not only for the fact that prior to joining the EU we were a truly free people – the European Arrest Warrant changed that – but, significantly, that common-law countries have, generally speaking, proved to be more inventive, more industrious, more entrepreneurial and more successful than those countries in which the legal system is purposely designed to maintain the supremacy of the State rather than the liberty of its people.
That millions of British people do find it hard to believe that these fundamental differences exist is because they have not been told. Knowingly and deliberately our masters have kept us in complete ignorance of these differences. Not just during the course of the current Referendum campaign but ever since we first contemplated joining what is now called the European Union, the protagonists have conned us into believing that it’s all about trade and jobs. Had they ever let slip that with membership came an essential loss of sovereignty (infamously denied by Ted Heath of course) and the subordination of British common law to the EU’s corpus juris project, then the game would have been up! The British simply would not have bought into it!
But the subterfuge continues. For obvious reasons the ‘Remainians’, led by TIC (Traitor-in-Chief) Cameron, have a vested interest in keeping anything related to freedom and democracy firmly off the agenda, but where are the others?
Where are the voices warning that a vote to remain is a vote to kiss goodbye to British common-law safeguards against lengthy imprisonment on no evidence and with no public hearing? For the replacement of trial by jury with trial by a case-hardened career judiciary? Where are the voices warning that if we vote to remain we will thereby be waving farewell to representative parliamentary democracy?
If the sort of justice system we must in future live our lives under and the ultimate control over who makes the laws we must all obey are not the most important issues at stake in the Referendum, then I’m a Dutchman!
Without doubt the major factor in many people’s minds as they go to cast their ballot will be immigration, for others the predominant issues will be the prospects for trade and jobs, or maybe concerns about security in an increasingly uncertain world, but, notwithstanding those perfectly intelligible considerations, let us not forget the immortal words of a former American President, Benjamin Franklin, who, in stark contrast to the current holder of that great office, warned:
“Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.”