February 28, 2013

Crisis: End of the rule of law in Great Britain?

"The bedrock of our democracy is the rule of law and that means we have to have an independent judiciary, judges who can make decisions independent of the political winds that are blowing."  
-- Caroline Kennedy

1. The components of the crisis
2. The rule of law in Great Britain
About ME/CFS


This is just a brief piece in the crisis series, to keep things documented in that series - and in case you were to think so: No, I do not pretend or believe that the crisis series does properly document the things that happened since 2008, but it does currently consist of 152 Nederlogs since September 1, 2008, and I do not know anything like it on the subject, that I also attempt to briefly delineate in the first section.

1. The components of the crisis

I started with the crisis series in September 2008, when I concluded there was an economic crisis in the US and Europe. I was certainly not the first to do so, but at the time this was denied by the Dutch goverment and the leading Dutch papers.

Initially, in 2008 and 2009, with 80 entries in the series for these two years, all in Dutch, I limited the sense of crisis to the economy.

In 2010 and 2011, being preoccupied with ME/CFS and XMRV, also in Nederlog, there were only 15 entries in those two years, but my sense of crisis grew to include politics and the phony "war on terrorism", especially because it turned out that Obama mostly continued the politics of George Bush Jr. while the "war on terrorism" was used to undermine the rule of law and the foundations of Western societies in various ways.

In december 2010 I also published the first Nederlog in the crisis series that was written in English, in which I wrote: 

--- quote

I started in september 2008 a series that I soon called "Crisis:". It is all in Dutch, with an index here:

The first file in that index is of September 1, 2009 and the last of January 8, 2010, after which most of NL turned to ME + me and to English.

Altogether, there are over 80 files, quite a few of which can be declared to be, after the facts, quite perceptive - as indeed I was the first in Holland to mention either Keynes or Marx to my knowledge, for by the beginning of September 2008 everything was still supposed and said to be hunky-dory in the Dutch economy, and neither the politicians, nor the bureaucrats nor the journalists seemed to see anything coming, and indeed lampooned anyone who said there might.

I did see something going on and coming that looked a lot like a major economical crisis and started writing about it then and today will write a little more - after noting that

  • by now the crisis is deeper than ever;
  • it extends to the whole Western world;
  • it has not at all been solved by the Obama-government;
  • it has by now extended to the political plane (e.g. with the Teaparty in the US and with Wilders' group - that is: the xenophobic freak with the Aryan hairdo - in the Netherlands; the influence of hardly sane rabblerousers like Beck and Limbaugh in the US, whose backers are probably also behind the Teaparty and Wilders, and more);
  • and it shows no real signs of abating at all,
  • while the national debts keep rising and rising in all Western states;
  • and the bankers still are being paid insane sums of money for merely having the good grace of being bankers, and
  • hardly anything has been done to limit the abilities of banks and bankmanagers to fuck up whole national economies for satisfying their private greed - again.
  • So: Regulate, regulate, regulate - before the whole ship of fools goes down from the greed of the financial conmen no parliament and no government seems to want to tie to such regulations as have worked under capitalism for decades on end.

--- unquote

Since I wrote that, there were over 2 more years of the same, and it got worse and worse, and the same policies continue:

The crisis was not attacked and has deepened, while the banks and bankmanagers, and indeed also other managerial types, continue to receive grossly indecent insane  amounts of money for what is clearly either criminal or incompetent management; the rule of law is broken down on the pretext of "the war on terrorism"; politicians act as if most of them are paid by banks or by large corporations to look after the interests if the banks, the large corporations, the rich, and politicians who serve these interests; and the population gets poorer and poorer because they are forced to pay the enormous debts generated by the banks and their managers, while their legal rights get less and less.

I summarized the components in 2012 by this diagram


My sense of crisis at present comprises at least these items:

  • The economy is in crisis, mostly - it would seem - because of deregulation based on false economical theories
  • Politics, politicians, political parties and political institutions are in crisis, mostly - it would seem - because they serve the interests of the banks and the corporations at the costs of public interests
  • The rule of law is in crisis, mostly - it would seem - because it is being broken down with false appeals to "the war on terror"

The following is an example of the crisis in the rule of law, this time exemplified by events in Great Britain

2. The rule of law in Great Britain

My source is an article in The Guardian of today, by Nicolas Watt:
I quote:
Controversial government plans to introduce a new generation of secret courts have been dealt a major blow after hundreds of lawyers attacked them as "contrary to the rule of law".

As Kenneth Clarke prepares to table final amendments, in an effort to win over critics, the group of lawyers called for the "dangerous and unnecessary" justice and security bill to be scrapped.

The intervention in the Daily Mail by the 702 lawyers, who include the army's most senior legal officer during the Iraq war, comes as Clarke insists that judges will play a key role in deciding whether the courts will sit in secret.

Clarke, who retained responsibility for the bill after losing his job as justice secretary last year, has been involved in a lengthy battle over plans for secret court hearings that would block the public disclosure of sensitive intelligence material.

Here are two elementary points about this very dangerous proposal: First, there is no justice if what purports to be justice is not done in public, and second, once things are being made secret, there is no assurance whasoever that the reasons why they are being made secret are not lies, since one cannot test such assurances.

What the English government seems to want to have, like the American government, are lettres de cachet - which is to say that it seems as if these nominal democratic governments want the powers of authoritarian regimes, on the pretext of defending the population against al Qaeda, that is either fictional or if real not with a millionth part of the powers of the Soviet Union and China during the Cold War, for these had vast armies, vast territories, and atomic weapons.

Here is more from the article:

Civil rights groups have warned that extending the secret hearings, known as closed material procedures (CMPs), into the main civil courts in England and Wales would threaten open justice. The bill would restrict access to some sensitive intelligence to the trial judge and special advocates cleared for security who would represent claimants.

In a letter to the Daily Mail, the 702 lawyers say the special sittings would "fatally undermine" the fairness of court hearings and would "erode core principles of our civil justice system".

The Rev Nicholas Mercer, a lieutenant colonel who was the army's most senior lawyer during the last Iraq war, told the Daily Mail: "The justice and security bill has one principal aim and that is to cover up UK complicity in rendition and torture. The bill is an affront to the open justice on which this country rightly prides itself and, above all, it is an affront to human dignity.

"The fact that some of those individuals who are complicit in rendition and torture can not only assist in the drafting of the bill but also vote to cover their tracks is a constitutional scandal. It is little wonder that the bill has been heavily criticised by the UN Rapporteur on Torture and condemned by the vast majority of lawyers and human rights organisations in this country."

Quite so! I hope this law gets ditched, but I take no bets.

About ME/CF (that I prefer to call M.E.: The "/CFS" is added to facilitate search machines) which is a disease I have since 1.1.1979:
1. Anthony Komaroff

Ten discoveries about the biology of CFS(pdf)

3. Hillary Johnson

The Why  (currently not available)

4. Consensus (many M.D.s) Canadian Consensus Government Report on ME (pdf - version 2003)
5. Consensus (many M.D.s) Canadian Consensus Government Report on ME (pdf - version 2011)
6. Eleanor Stein

Clinical Guidelines for Psychiatrists (pdf)

7. William Clifford The Ethics of Belief
8. Malcolm Hooper Magical Medicine (pdf)
Maarten Maartensz
Resources about ME/CFS
(more resources, by many)

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