“King James the VI of Scotland … was proclaimed King James I of England without opposition and in April 1603 began a leisurely journey from Holyrood to London. He was a stranger and an alien, and his qualifications for governing England were yet to be tested. So ignorant … was James of England and her laws that at Newark he ordered a cut-purse caught in the act to be hanged without a trial at a word from his royal mouth. The execution did not take place.”

So wrote Winston Churchill in chapter 1 of Book 5, volume 2 of his ‘History of the English Speaking Peoples’.

You will remember that James was the first of the Stuart kings with authoritarian ideas about the rights of the Executive Power. Their thinking contradicted Magna Carta and their insistence on authoritarianism resulted in a Civil War with Charles the First and a ‘Glorious Revolution’ against the tyrannical James II.

At 4pm on Friday 29th November 2019, I heard the first bulletin about the knife attack on London Bridge about 2 hours earlier. At 5pm I heard that a terrorist had been shot dead by police. Just before 6pm I heard Prime Minister Boris Johnson talking about “British values” and how we will never allow terrorism to undermine our democracy.

The main evening news bulletin I saw led with the London attack, and  screened the film of the incident. The attacker had been overwhelmed by concerned bystanders and even disarmed of a knife. But those holding down the attacker were obliged by the police to get away from the suspect.

The police made no attempt to handcuff the suspect even though he had been contained, nor did they use a taser. Instead they stood back momentarily before one officer then fired at the suspect, killing him. The officer presumably regarded the items strapped around the suspect’s body as explosives – yet the concerned bystanders who had intervened saw no reason to distance themselves from the suspect.

At that point, none of the victims of the knife attacker had died – two subsequently did and 3 other people were injured.

This morning I heard a former police officer with the Metropolitan Police firearms unit say that officers are trained to assess the situation and act according to their perception of the event. It is their individual decision to shoot or not.

The result of this training is that a police officer summarily executed a suspect who had actually been overwhelmed and contained, and who was therefore in a position to be arrested and brought to trial according to law and according to due process.  Remember, at this point, the suspect had not killed anyone.

Therefore, a police officer appointed himself Prosecution, Judge and Jury in a matter of moments, with no consideration for the Defence. He then proceeded to impose the ultimate penalty – that penalty which  the Establishment and all Enlightened people are desperate to keep abolished: The Death Penalty.

Now let me be clear. I believe in the death penalty. But the death penalty should only ever be applied in accordance with the law, and with due process of administration of that law, in accordance with the established and proven tradition of English Law.

Seen in this context, the officer who killed Usman Khan should never carry a firearm again.

But this individual officer is not the root problem or issue. The root problem is this.

This individual officer’s thinking and training are the product of a new culture and a new philosophy driving decision making in our society – and it is this new culture and philosophy which needs serious rectification.  

This new culture and philosophy are antagonistic to our traditional English culture and approach to law and order.

A police officer in England summarily executed a criminal suspect who had been incapacitated. The suspect was on the floor, covered by armed police: he was going nowhere and was no longer a threat to anyone. At this point, the suspect had killed no-one.

Yet the officer did what James I was restrained from doing in defiance of English custom and law. He summarily executed the suspect.

The issue here is not the culpability of the suspect himself or his identity. That is the problem with judicial and legal thinking today: it regards the identity of perpetrators or victims. A politically inspired value judgement is now placed on both perpetrators and on victims. That is a false perspective and leads to this sort of serious transgression.

The issue I am raising here is the manner of response by the Authorities in a free country which is free because in 1215 it recognised the danger of Executive Power acting arbitrarily according to its own instincts. And the threat that poses to everyone’s liberty in their person and their property. 

That was why James II was pushed off the throne in 1688. He acted arbitrarily in accordance with an ideological agenda. He had no respect or regard for traditional English norms in constitutional, political or legal culture. He therefore bent the mechanisms of procedure to his own agenda, appointing sycophantic judges and army officers of a minority religion which he actively promoted. He had the prerogative right, but he acted contrary to all other cultural and legal constraints. [notice any parallel here with the politically correct appointment of our Supreme court judges, and the pc appointment of minorities to positions of power on the basis of diversity and equality ?].

Usman Khan,  was let out on licence after being convicted of terrorist conspiracy in 2012. That is a crucial issue and needs addressing. But that issue is not the fundamental problem. The fundamental problem is the philosophical inspiration behind official thinking and decision making today.  

The problem is the godless, politically correct, materialist philosophy dictating official thinking. Because we are all fundamentally good, Khan was let out. This underlying belief in the goodness of humanity over-ruled the prior need for RESPONSIBILITY  to society at large. The system and those operating the system are predisposed to believe in the innate goodness of Khan, contrary to the evidence and contrary to the need to protect society.

The framers of the 1689 constitutional settlement which framed the political, judicial and economic system of the UK thereafter [before the revolutionary imposition of the European system in 1972] – those framers were steeped in the culture and thinking of protestant Christianity. 

In that mindset, we are all answerable to God – including kings, judges and anyone exercising power. In that paradigm, we are all sinners capable of serious wrongdoing, and yet we are all made in God’s image. Human life is therefore sacrosanct. We are at one and the same time godlike, yet fundamentally self-centred and self deceiving.

Before God, it is the duty of the state to punish wrongdoing. Sin in the individual heart is the central issue to be addressed because that is the fundamental cause of all social problem. And we are all sinners – which is why we must constrain the State’s officers in their conduct because they are sinners too. 

But God has no profile in the modern state, and the police officer who killed Khan undoubtedly had no idea of accounting to God for his action. What the officer undoubtedly did have in mind was the knowledge of previous such attacks. The knowledge that innocent people are attacked and killed by religious fanatics of this type.

This filled his mind, and the actual evidence of the situation before him was patently screened out. 

This is not justice in accordance with the evidence and with the law. It used to be the case that the police in England approached a situation calmly and dispassionately; that they assessed the situation before taking appropriate and proportionate actions.

Not now !

Now, Preconception and a predetermined reaction rule over the reality and requirements of any particular set of events.

This is happening at every level and on every front with officialdom today. They are not looking at the evidence and drawing conclusions from that evidence. No, they are approaching situations with predetermined notions of what is happening and of what is needed in response. [Invariably entailing expenditure of more public money and more State intrusion].

And at every level and on every front we are reaping the consequences of inappropriate and preformed responses. Because back of everything today is the religious orthodoxy of political correctness requiring that all responses conform to its particular interpretation of reality, regardless of the truth.

Ray Catlin







By Conservatism Institute

The profile photograph displayed on this site is a portrait of Edmund Burke [1729 - 1797] whose book, Reflections on the Revolution in France, articulates the perspective and principles associated with a conservative view of politics in the English tradition. The photograph is supplied courtesy of

%d bloggers like this: