In a stunning rebuttal to those who suggest near-monopoly control of Britain's institutions is having a negative effect on Liberal debating skill, Charles Falconer warned that the people who oppose the Human Rights Act support "the legal values of the dark ages". So that's us Conservatives - no longer just Nazis, but also Vikings. Viking Nazis, like in the well-known Wolfgang Peterson film Das Langboot.
Not that anyone would support going back to the dark ages. Just think what that would mean - we'd have a King appointing barely-competent cronies to top jobs and wasting public money on huge vanity projects. Let's hope that never happens. Then again, of all the many things wrong with the dark ages, the lack of town cryers shouting 'Oh yeah! Oh yeah! Hast thou been injured by means of witchcraft ? Call upon Jack D'Weasel and partners this very morn for no win, no levy legal advice!' probably wasn't one of them.
In actuality, the main objection to the Human Rights Act was illustrated perfectly by the self-same conference Fatty was attending in the first place:
A research fellow from the thinktank Frances Butler said: "It's hardly known that the Human Rights Act can be applied outside the courtroom to help vulnerable and socially excluded people. Voluntary organisations are well placed to seek changes from public authorities on behalf of vulnerable people without necessarily having to go to court.
The Human Rights Act is a misnomer - it should be the Human Entitlements Act. You might be entitled to something, under some arrangement or other, but to assert a fundamental 'right' to coerce someone else into buying you something is to destroy the whole meaning of the word. Or to put it another way, the right to press freedom doesn't mean the newsagent has to pay for your newspaper.
The HRA is an attempt to outflank democracy. There are a whole raft of policies the L3 support but know they would never be able to achieve via the ballot box. By asserting these things as rights, the Left manages to move the issue under the aegis of, reliably Liberal, judges. PC victim groups get to assert their supply of free money as a right, while those less favoured get to pay for it.
Of course, this sort of thing is hardly limited to the HRA. There is a whole raft of laws which would be radioactive at the ballot box, yet have been foisted on Joe Public by activist judges. Which brings me onto self-defence.
Liberals can have no illusions about public support for the current law, otherwise why else have such Liberal face cards as Sir John 'Sock Puppet' Stevens at the Met and the DPP claimed to have had road to Damascus conversions on this issue. Gosh! The Liberal Establishment aren't a bunch of effete snobs after all.
But wait…. What's this ? Attorney General Goldsmith must not have got the memo. Here he is frankly admitting that HMG's review of the law is a farce:
Goldsmith, the Prime Minister's chief legal adviser, said he was obliged to carry out the review, but remained unconvinced of the need for new legislation.
Newsflash! - member of Liberal Establishment finds that Liberal Establishment approach to home invasions is perfect already. There's a certain irony here, of course. The slightest suggestion that the courts may like to restrict their rulings to stuff that's actually on the statute books, rather than what they think should be, provokes the lawyers into a hissy fit about the sanctity of judicial independence. Similarly, these weasels justify the ever-expanding reach of the courts with a load of sub-Marxian drivel about 'standing up for the little guy', 'protecting people from big corporations' and other emetic phrases. The courts, they scream, provide an independent tribunal where justice can be pursued free of vested interests. Well, there are few corporations or bodies which are richer or more powerful than the legal establishment, yet when questions are raised about whether they are truly serving the public interest their response is to appoint one of their own to oversee the review.
That's the bottom line. Our system of checks and balances is broken. Our hyperactive courts are supposedly checking the power of Parliament, but who checks them ? No one. The power of the courts is growing like turvy and with less oversight than is required for an ordinary citizen to obtain a shotgun licence. We can't do anything about the judges, but we can do something about the people who acted as a deaf-blind watchman while the judges carted away the store. Why do we pay for 650+ MPs when they just sit there like lemons ? Actually, it's because most of them are all in favour of outsourcing imposition of the Liberal agenda, but what of the Conservatives ? Do they really intend that a future Conservative government should acquiesce in a situation in which it is, once again, in office but not in power ? And why exactly would anyone want to vote for them if they did ?
The issue of judicial activism is a perfect litmus test for the modern Conservative Party. As long as they refuse to address this issue, they refuse to seriously confront one of the major - even the major ? - issue which a future Conservative government would face. The Conservatives can babble on all they like about policy, but the refusal to take on these people betrays either a chronic lack of vision or a lack of courage. Either explanation speaks badly of the modern Party.