Allegiance is a two-way street: we owe it to the government, and in return the government owes us protection from external and internal enemies.
This simple arrangement has been around for a while. In a 1608 case it was stated that “[A]s the subject oweth to the King his true and faithful ligeance and obedience, so the Sovereign is to govern and protect his subjects…. Therefore it is truly said that protectio trahit subjectionem, et subjectio protectionem.”
This principle lies at the foundation of the state – each side has to hold its end of the arrangement, for otherwise it’s unclear why we need a state at all. It follows that any state that fails to protect us can no longer expect our loyalty.
Protection in this context means that the main – some will say the only truly legitimate – function of our government is to defend British subjects from foreign enemies and to protect each subject’s person and property from domestic criminals.
Enter the modern British government that clearly sees its role in merely extracting taxes from us without offering anything in return (at least to the taxpayers). This means the state is taking our money on false pretences. Put a simpler way, the state is a crook.
Two legal cases have put this point beyond much doubt this week. In one, Andrew Young, a man driven by civic responsibility, told a young chap not to ride his bicycle on the pavement.
Lewis Gill, the cyclist’s friend currently on parole for robbery, punched Mr Young without the slightest provocation and killed him. What do you think this pugilistic feat is worth in years of imprisonment (keep in mind we no longer have the death penalty, it’s just too awful for our delicate sensibilities even to contemplate)?
Life without parole? Life with a 40-year tariff? Sounds about fair? Not to the presiding Judge Cutler it didn’t.
“I bear in mind your early guilty plea,” he said to the murderer in his concluding statement. “I accept there is no pre-meditated element and provocation does exist,” he added.
Cutler then sentenced the murderous thug to four years. Counting the time already served, he’ll be out in two years – suitably pumped up in the prison gym and no doubt ready to kill someone else.
That’s it then. A mild reproach qualifies as provocation to murder. And a 20-year-old man throwing a punch strong enough to kill a victim didn’t pre-meditate to kill. Presumably this means he didn’t mount his bike fully intent to murder someone in passing. It just happened. We’d call it an act of God, except that Richard Dawkins has explained to us that no God exists.
It’s pure conjecture, but Judge Cutler may have seen other extenuating circumstances in his mind, clearly informed by another religion, that of political correctness.
The murderer was black and he was riding a bicycle. The former entitles him to compensation for all the wrongs done to his race by the victim’s, albeit in a rather distant past. The latter means he was interrupted in the act of saving our planet.
Though no explicit law exists yet spelling these out as mitigation, Judge Cutler must have been attuned to the osmotic emanations of the modern ethos. If you have another explanation for this gross miscarriage of justice, I’d like to hear it.
In a parallel development, the IRA murderer John Downey was arrested last year for the July 1982 nail bomb atrocity that killed four and injured 31 others.
But convicted terrorist Downey was told yesterday that he wouldn’t face prosecution because of a letter mistakenly sent to him in 2007 saying he wasn’t wanted by police – despite a warrant for his arrest existing since 1983.
This wasn’t a one-off error. Nearly 200 suspected IRA terrorists on the run have received similar letters, effectively granting them an amnesty under a deal struck by Tony Blair and Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams.
The deal meant surrender to terrorists, but hey – all those horrible things Oliver Cromwell wrought in Ireland in 1649 must entitle nail bombers to lenience in 2014.
On the one hand it’s good to see that HMG is capable of keeping its word, no matter how criminally obscene. On the other hand, one can’t help noticing that our leaders’ commitment to honesty isn’t always as manifest as in letting murderers go.
Why, we can safely assume that Tony-Dave et al lie whenever their lips are moving. I could keep you awake into wee hours of the morning just listing campaign promises they not only broke, but issued in the full knowledge they’d break them.
We don’t seem to hold this against them – that’s how the game is played, and only a naïve man will expect veracity from today’s lot. But by the same token we wouldn’t have held it against them had they broken the promise not to prosecute mass murderers.
If someone did blame them, they could justifiably plead insanity (I don’t think craven spivery is recognised as a valid legal plea). We’d happily let them off without as much as a warning.
Protectio trahit subjectionem, et subjectio protectionem. Protection entails allegiance and allegiance, protection. They clearly knew something in the reign of James I we’ve forgotten in the reign of Elizabeth II.
Such amnesia notwithstanding, the government, Tory, Labour, hybrid, whatever, has forfeited any moral right to our allegiance. A few more cases like these, and it’ll forfeit the legal right as well.