How should government operate ?
Plato believed in government by an elite; he regarded totalitarianism as desirable, and he believed in “the noble lie”. Let’s just note that Boris Johnson, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, studied classics at Oxford. He will therefore be well acquainted with Plato’s thought.
Today, of course, western society generally assumes that government should be of the people, by the people, for the people, whatever the particular constitutional arrangements in any particular democratic country.
But we understand too that government cannot be subject to popular whim. Justice is not dispensed by the mob acting as prosecution, judge and jury. Democracies therefore have institutions to ensure that popular consent and concern are translated into workable laws; and that justice is carried out according to civilised standards and procedures – not dispensed summarily by vigilantes !
Just as the popular will is tempered and channelled to good effect by institutions and procedures, so too governments themselves are constrained by law and custom, by a free press and free speech, and by regular elections to decide their fate.
So, we can conclude that there is a legitimate liberty for both people and for government; and there is a legitimate constraint for both government and people.
France and the United States of America have written Constitutions while the United Kingdom has a constitutional heritage founded on Magna Carta 1215 and the 1689 Bill of Rights.
Restraints are vital. As Edmund Burke, wrote perceptively in his Reflections on the Revolution in France:
the restraints on men, as well as their liberties, are to be reckoned among their rights
Government means constraint and control, of course. But Governments themselves must also be constrained. The English Magna Carta of 1215 is the supreme example of this. Governments are run by fallible human beings; human beings with failings and agendas of their own.
But a year ago, western governments began taking drastic powers to curtail the spread of Covid 19, powers which were unthinkable even in January 2020. Initially, the United Kingdom held back but soon followed the totalitarian example of the Chinese.
In this climate of totalitarian type control demanded by a partisan scientific elite, a new law has just been passed in the United Kingdom.
Although a formal Government proposal, this new law was not mentioned in their last election manifesto. It is often referred to as “CHIS”. It’s full title is the Covert Human Intelligence Sources (Criminal Conduct) Act 2021.
Mr Johnson’s so called Conservative MPs have now granted government agencies extensive power to grant immunity to government spies, informers and agents. They have gone ahead with such a contentious and drastic measure despite an imminent Constitutional Review – a review which was promised in their election manifesto.
Such extreme law is resorted to because successive British governments have failed to deploy sufficient resources to combat serious crime. Conservatives actually cut 20,000 police officers after 2010 despite serious crime levels. That was part of an austerity programme to reduce the annual deficit in government spending. But all the benefits of that austerity programme were wiped out in just 6 months last summer by this government’s spending to finance their totalitarian measures to combat Covid 19.
Their failure to employ sufficient police came after decades of moral degeneration as UK governments pursued policies which eradicated the Christian religion and its paradigm from our national consciousness, culture, laws and philosophy of government.
The measures I will outline in just a moment were totally unthinkable in a nation which once adhered to the Christian religion in its constitution and culture. But people who believe that are now rare – people who fundamentally believe, and act on the belief, that their every action is seen and assessed by God their Maker. That not only every individual must account to God, but so too must governments – note Psalm 2 – and especially also Proverbs 14,34 which says:
Righteousness exalteth a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people
Embedded organised crime is the result of decades of Materialism corrupting the very soul of the nation – a creed characterised by consumerism, atheism, internationalism and social engineering.
Our young people are now brought up with no eternal hope and no belief that there is an Ultimate Judge and True source of Justice operating in the here and now.
So government now resorts to a perverse, superficial and shortsighted law which gives a range of government departments the power to grant immunity to spies for any crime whatsoever, including murder. Such powers are not even to be confined to the dedicated specialist Security Service [MI5].
The immunity certificates can be issued for any reason whatsoever because the criteria required by the Act are so vague and comprehensive. Indeed they are disturbing. The criteria are listed as 3 but are in fact 4. They are – and I quote:
(a) in the interests of national security; (b) for the purpose of preventing or detecting crime, or of preventing disorder; or (c) in the interests of the economic well-being of the United Kingdom
Now, there are constraints within the Act. They provide supervision for children and vulnerable adults; require criminal conduct to be proportionate to what is sought to be achieved; that arrangements exist to ensure that the Secretary of State’s guideliness are met; that other action could not be taken to achieve the same result; time limits are placed on authorisations; and the existence of such authorisations must be notified to the Investigatory Powers Commissioner who has certain review responsibilities. And, yes, the government has insisted that the Human Rights Act will apply to constrain excesses.
The Solicitor General hailed it as “a good piece of legislation” in a final debate in parliament on February 24th this year. Yet civilised Judicial process is effectively abolished.
Former Cabinet Minister, David Davis, has knowledge and insight into the world of espionage. He commented “it could well end up with this country being in the International Criminal Court”.
This the land of Magna Carta.
To no-one will we sell, to no-one will we deny or delay right or justice