January 03, 2010
Three politicians involved in last years ExpenseGate are using an ancient law to protect themselves. They claim that the Bill of Rights 1689 provides them with immunity.
Blogger Tim Worstall likes the defence and wants the three MPs to succeed.
So do I.
If they win their case, it validates the BoR and opens the floodgates. Every single fixed penalty notice ever issued has to be repaid to the people who were fined before being convicted. This is no more than highway robbery. Even Dick Turpin had the decency to wear a mask. Modern highwaymen, aka the bobbies, are slightly more affable when they collect revenues for the Chancellor. It is still theft, but it is done with a cheery smile.
I have embedded a link to the Bill of Rights in my title, above, and you should read it, but the line we are most interested in is this one:
That all grants and promises of fines and forfeitures of particular persons before conviction are illegal and void
Fixed Penalty Notices (FPNs) were introduced in the 1960's and they are a huge source of income for our pathetic government. The right decision in this case will correct a shameful era of money-grabbing without the benefit of any legal/lawful protection. No more on-the-spot fines, which are illegal according to the Bill of Rights.
Penalty Notices for Disorder (PNDs) were introduced in 2001. Since that time, the government has taken in hundreds of millions, and again, this is theft on a colossal scale. They don't call it theft of course, they have a nice, pretty name for it: out of court disposals. They were brought in to relieve the workload of the 650 courts and tribunal bodies we have in the UK.
I never thought I would be thanking politicians for being greedy. I do so now.
All are equal under the law, so if they win, we win.
Naturally, if they lose, we all lose, because it means that the Bill of Rights signed by good old King Billy back in 1689, is worthless.
Please join me as I get kneebound to pray for their success.