Friday, June 13, 2008

The Rule of Law and Other Things

While generally wishing to join in the near-ubiquitous and almost ritualistic praise of David Davis from the rest of the libertarian blogosphere, Rachel and the ukcrypto list (but with Trixy providing some balance?), I would like to make the following points:
  • Important though Magna Carta and habeas corpus are, constitutionally, historically and in demonstrating the utter disregard nu-Lab have for anything that doesn't fit in with their micro-managerial accretion of power to the central state, they are probably less relevant in terms of its constitutional impact on modern Britain than the Lisbon treaty.
  • For a politician to make a stand on a matter of principle is rare. For a high-flyer with, I suspect, a guaranteed seat in the Cabinet if (when, please, when) the Tories win the next election, is amazing.
  • But, you would also have to say and although I disagree with her violently on this, Anne Widdecombe also made a principled stand for 42 days. This is much the same as respecting the Dennises (Canavan and Skinner, not Denis MacShane - Ed notes: interesting google cache of his wikipedia entry: "Denis MacShane (born 21 May 1948) is a politician in the United Kingdom. He is Labour Race Traitor for Rotherham, and was the Minister of State for Europe ...") for standing by their principles whilst disagreeing wholeheartedly with them for being blithering socialist prats.
  • I don't think Davis is taking too much of a risk - a 5000 majority at the last election and the stunning unpopularity of Gordon's cronies?
  • It has let the spin machine distract the press from dumping on Gordon and Jacqui.
  • UKIP need to do something about Bob Spink.
This (h/t Harry Haddock) really makes me think:

Prosecutor Alex Mann said the police went to ensure everything was all right and spoke to Cocker who was 'co-operative and relaxed' and he assured the officers everything was fine.

'He only became worked up when the police asked for his details,' said Mrs Mann.

'The police tried to explain they just needed the name for the report but he became aggressive and started swearing at the officer.'

After the hearing Joan Codling, 57, who lives in the flat below and made the call to police, said she contacted officers after being concerned that he may have fallen ill.

She said: 'I was worried in case he was having an epileptic fit. There was a lot of noise and I didn't know what to do so I called the police.'

A police spokesman said Cocker became 'aggressive' towards the officers who feared for their own safety.

The spokesman said: 'Parva spray was used to stop any confrontation and was necessary to protect the officers and any members of the public who were around at the time.

'Within the circumstances, we feel we used reasonable force.'
So many things to say, although this is the Daily Hate report not a list of facts but as I don't actually have access to those ...
  • It is a sad reflection on the isolation of our communities that when a neighbour thinks that somebody may be in medical difficulties, they call the police rather than going and knocking on their door.
  • I suspect that Cocker was technically wrong in refusing to give his name (and that this is why he was convicted). Even PCSOs, I believe, can require you to identify yourself (one of their few statutory powers.)
  • If the guy was trying to shut his door, how on earth could the police fear for their safety? Surely they are safer on other side of a door from somebody they have unnecessarily pissed off than with no barrier between them.
  • Pelargonic Acid Vanillylamide - "primarily affects the eyes causing closure and severe pain." Lovely stuff.
And, finally, this. One of the problems we have in the UK is that we generally assume that rules have been put there for a sensible reason so, unlike the Italians or the French, will normally comply (hence our usual polite queuing - unless you live in Merton). Companies are scared to disobey the rules of the nanny state because the punishments are arbitrarily severe (and fighting them legally costs so much more than just avoiding the problem.) But, it has to be said, Tescos (corporately) are, as has been said here before, a bunch of prats.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Your good work lives on.

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