Friday, 27 September 2019

A Revolution Indeed

Supreme Court? The title is fiction. It might as well be passing judgement on a bottle of wine

Peter Hitchens
Daily Mail

Actually, there is no such thing as the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom. They can call it that if they like, but the title is a fiction. There is nothing supreme about it.  Until we leave the EU, our actual Supreme Court is, as it has been for many years, the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg.

But if we ever manage to escape from the EU, then Parliament is a far higher court than this self-important assembly of lawyers in suits.

Keen observers of the ridiculous hearings of the past few days will have noticed the bare, almost republican room in which the court meets, less grand than some council committees I have attended.
The judges – and the lawyers appearing before them – do not wear the traditional robes and wigs which say so loudly that those who don them are serving the law, and are not just politicians or bureaucrats.

The nasty thing has been grafted on to our free constitution by Blairite revolutionaries – many of them Left-wing lawyers.   They had long planned a slow-motion putsch against conservative Britain. For this tiny, self-important group of men and women realised that they had an astonishing power.

They were allowed to decide what the law meant. And nobody could challenge them.  This was bad enough when they took advantage of the vague wording of ‘Human Rights’ charters. They used this to invent all kinds of rights for those members of society they favoured and wished to help.  In the same way, they abolished the former freedoms of those who had been in charge before.

Personally, I think Al Johnson’s action was a shabby trick (though it failed to work). But the idea that the courts should have anything to say about proroguing Parliament is absurd.  No need to storm the Bastille or capture the barracks and the railway station. Just issue a judgment, and abolish the morals and customs of ten generations in an afternoon.

For example, like it or not, state schools are going to teach children about homosexuality. This is now the law.

That use of the law to change our culture and morals was revolutionary enough. That brilliant mind, and former Supreme Court judge Lord Sumption, recently warned this would ‘entrench a broad range of liberal principles’ in the foundations of the State. Democracy would then be almost powerless to remove or limit them.  He then accused his fellow lawyers of being so sure they were right that they claimed a monopoly on deciding how the country should be governed.

He warned, with astonishing brutality, that such a belief is ‘no different from the claim of communism, fascism, monarchism, Catholicism, Islamism and all the other great isms that have historically claimed a monopoly of legitimate political discourse on the ground that its advocates considered themselves to be obviously right’. Crikey.

The readiness of the courts to hear legal actions against the Prime Minister’s suspension of Parliament is a whole new outrage.  Personally, I think Al Johnson’s action was a shabby trick (though it failed to work).  But the idea that the courts should have anything to say about proroguing Parliament is absurd.

There is no law, no precedent. Within our constitution, Prime Ministers can do this sort of thing and often it will be right and necessary.  You might as well get the Supreme Court to rule on whether the red wines of Burgundy are better than those of Bordeaux.   The judges could have a lot of fun examining the matter. But their opinion, at the end, would be worth nothing.

And so we see from the ‘evidence’ presented at this gathering of learned kangaroos. It’s all opinions.  I’m all in favour of opinions. I express lots of them. I wish my opinions influenced politicians and judges, and the people. But opinions are not laws, and they are not facts.

Ten thousand brilliant legal brains could not read Mr Johnson’s mind or prove that he misled the Queen, and Her Majesty is certainly not going to give them any evidence on that score.  I just hope the ‘Supreme Court’ will have the sense to recognise this and throw the whole thing out. But in such frightening times as these, I can’t be sure.  Our whole tradition of fair, wise government is tottering, and I am not convinced it can survive these games.

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