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Thursday, April 29, 2010

The political landscape is changing

The political landscape is changing

Call a bigot a bigot and it is big news.

Call homosexuality abnormal and it is big news.

Deny 75,000 potential voters their human right to vote and where is the MSM?

Why is Frodl v Austria, 8 April 2010, not being reported?

Notes for editors:

The political landscape is changing.

The Lisbon Treaty has entered into force which opened up for EU accession to the Convention on Human Rights and the European Court of European Rights.

Frodl v Austria explains what the Hirst v UK(No2) decision means for the UK and other Member States in the Council of Europe. When the Court has to explain in another judgment what the first judgment is saying, it means that the UK has got the wrong end of the stick.

Charles Falconer, formerly Lord Chancellor, misinterpreted Hirst v UK(No2) either because he was totally incompetent or because he wished to mislead the people and Parliament. He claimed that the judgment did not mean that all convicted prisoners would get the vote in future. On the contrary said the Court in Frodl v Austria, it does mean that all convicted prisoners must get the vote. Therefore, whichever party gets into power (even allowing for a hung Parliament) this subject must be addressed promptly.

Subliminally hidden within the Hirst v UK(No2) case, picked up by Europe but missed by the UK State, was the accusation that within the UK there existed a totalitarian state. Our prisons are not democratic institutions, prisoners are not politically equal to citizens in the community being subject to the total control of the Secretary of State for Justice. In effect, it is claimed that he has extra-legal powers, i.e. he is above the law. This flies in the face of Democracy, Rule of Law and Human Rights.

"George F. Kennan once said that there is a little bit of totalitarian buried somewhere, way down deep, in each and everyone of us.

The Council of Europe must confront any resurgence of such totalitarian tendencies. The Council of Europe must be the lighthouse of Europe, a house for early warning.

I should also like to remind you of the words of the theologian Reinhold Niebuhr who said that man’s capacity for justice makes democracy possible, but man’s inclination to injustice makes democracy necessary".

Europe makes it quite plain that the UK has failed to pass the Hirst test. The relevant law being Article 3 of the First Protocol of the Convention. The Court tested s.3 of RPA 1983 and found it could not withstand the challenge set by John Hirst. Wriggle as the UK did for 5 years, it failed to successfully evade being in his sights. Incoming missile. Countdown to impact on 1 June 2010. On that day the new powers given under the Lisbon Treaty come into force.

Mr Thorbjørn Jagland is Secretary General of the Council of Europe "We now have a unique opportunity to create a continent-wide area of human rights, in which 47 governments and the institutions of the European Union will be bound by the same set of human rights standards and scrutinised by the same human rights court".

The UK was dragged screaming and shouting into the European arena. The UK brought its rule book in an attempt to lay down the UK law to Europe. Only thing is, in Europe its European law which is supreme. And Europe judges with European law. With the Lisbon Treaty the EU accedes to the Convention and thereby makes it higher law. It gives the Council of Europe and the Court supremacy over the EU and ECJ in relation to matters relating to the Convention. National statutes must comply with the Convention and Court case law. The Executive must comply with the Convention. Parliament must comply with the Convention. In other words, "A united Europe". In this context, the United Kingdom is rendered powerless. A limp State in a willy waving contest where the European Union flag pole stands to attention.

The UK has the option of not playing and taking its political football home. Isolated in Europe. A bleak prospect. The playing field is in Europe and not Eton. Europe does not need the UK's ball. If a new player is needed there is always Turkey stood on the sidelines waiting for the referee to indicate to come and play. Russia realised its future stability lay within Europe. Isolating the UK even more. Perhaps, the UK would prefer to join the United States of America than remain a part of the United States of Europe?

In Europe and internationally, this country is a laughing stock. The toothless British Bulldog reduced to nodding on the rear shelf "Oh, yes!". Rule Britannia is shipwrecked on the rocks of the lighthouse of Europe.

The UK lacks legitimacy in Europe. A pariah or rogue State. An outlaw. The UK can of course, subject to close supervision from Europe, decide to accept the reforms demanded by Europe. Democracy must be in keeping with the principle of universal suffrage. Rule of Law as laid down by Europe, and the UK interpretation if it offends against the European standard will not prevail. For example, if the Tory party came into power on 6 May 2010 and Dominic Grieve became the Secretary of State for Justice his idea for dealing with Hirst v UK(No2) is for Parliament to have a free vote. He still thinks that Parliament is supreme. However, it has been taken hostage by John Hirst. So, the idea that Parliament can decide not to give all convicted prisoners the vote is a non starter because it fails the Hirst test founded on Democracy, Rule of Law and Human Rights. Europe has already decided this issue of Hirst v the UK(No2) in Europe, all that remains for Parliament to do is pass the necessary primary legislation to comply with the judgment and Convention. This is Blair's Legacy.

Rule of Law also means that the Human Rights Act 1998 must be amended to comply with the European Convention, for example, Article 1 and 13 of the Convention must be incorporated into domestic law. It also means that for the first time there will have to be a written constitution, and a true separation of powers between the Executive, Judiciary and Parliament. It also means that the Judiciary must have the jurisdiction to strike down offending sections within or whole statutes which are not Convention compliant. Charles Falconer, Jack Straw and David Miliband have left this legacy. Misleading the public and Parliament. It would be interesting to hear what David Davis has to say about all this?

Human Rights in the UK are not in accordance with the Convention. Europe sees the UK as Sir Humphrey in "Yes Minister". Europe has moved forward and whilst Yes Minister is a source of amusement, if the UK is to be taken seriously by Europe hen it must understand international and European law. How international and European law are interpreted is not by traditional UK law teaching methods. In Europe there is the principle of subsidiarity. And direct application. The Court case law must be followed by the Supreme Court, precedent is dictated by Europe. In Europe, citizens come first and their human rights override any national law or policy which is not Convention compatible. Europe gives Member States a wide margin of appreciation, like a shark in a fish tank, and the principles of legitimate aim and proportionality fetter this discretion even further. Hobson's choice.

On the bright side, it's a future fair for all. Not Labour's ideal which excludes prisoners within the all. In Europe the prisoner is a political equal. The Actius Popularis principle is designed to protect vulnerable groups within society from society as a whole, or the State. Prisoners are entitled to the same protection as Roma, homosexuals, etc.

The Lib Dems are more Europe orientated, but even there things have moved on since Nick Clegg was in Europe. It is no good him just saying the words Democracy, Rule of Law and Human Rights in his last televised debate speech. Under European law, they must be fully respected. There is no scope for a government view which does not accord with the Council of Europe. Whereas Labour said one thing in Europe and then did another thing in the UK, this kind of approach cannot satisfy the Treaty of Lisbon, in particular, Proyocol 14.

Europe then, is for pro-Europeans. Those who still think there is a British Empire can reflect on history. Europe invaded without even stepping a foot on Hastings beach. The European sceptics can mumble and grumble all they like as they eat humble pie made in Europe with ingredients supplied by the UK. I am not Labour, Tory or Lib Dem, English or British, I am European and will leave the UK if the UK decides to leave Europe.

UPDATE: It goes without saying that Labour, Conservative, and Lib Dem policies and manifestos are incompatible with the European Convention.

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