Sunday, November 06, 2005

Reasonable Farce

For a proposal that is supposedly meaningless, the L3 aren’t half working themselves into a rage about Anne McIntosh’s eminently sensible bill to change the law on self-defence. Apparently, it won’t change anything and they’ll use any means necessary to block it. Is it just me or is anybody else seeing a contradiction here ?

When it comes to m’learned friends, it’s amazing how fast a bunch of Liberal activists can convince themselves of the benefits of social conservatism. Of course, some of us would say that the judicial activism was all on the side of those who stripped the public of the right to self-defence in the first place, but OK, for the sake of domestic tranquillity let’s pretend that these people genuinely believe the McIntosh proposal is a new and dangerous innovation. After all, who wants to see this country split between Left and Right ? We need to reach out to each other, build bridges and come together as a community, and I know just how to do it. It’s really simple: we’ll stick with the concept of ‘reasonable force’ if m’lordships will accept the concept of ‘reasonable judicial independence’. After all, if the danger of householders 'taking the law into their own hands' is so acute, how much more so the danger from judges who ignore the law of the land.

Fair's fair - if we’re going to have Chief Inspector Plod whipping out the fine toothcomb every time Mr Householder fights off the Mad Axeman, then surely we need a mechanism to check that judges aren’t overstepping the mark. Mr Householder was woken at 4 AM by the sound of breaking glass, whereas Mr Justice Liberal makes his decisions after hours of consideration in perfect safety – clearly, if jail is appropriate for unreasonable householders, then that must surely apply double to judges who show utter contempt for the law as passed by Parliament.

Of course, we’ll need a structure to investigate allegations of unreasonable independence. Fortunately, we have a perfect model set up for dealing with self-defence cases. What I envisage is something like this: first up, judges will be arrested just as soon as there’s the slightest suggestion that they have acted improperly - don't worry, most of them will get bail after about 72 hours. The investigation will be carried out by members of an organisation whose top brass constantly claim publicly that there's no reason why a judge would need to be independent anyway. The decision to proceed will be made by members of a second organisation with a record of unremitting hostility to judicial independence and a history of trying to define it down. Finally, the case will be arbitrated by people who think all this talk of ‘seperation of powers’, ‘tyranny’ and the like is all tabloid nonsense.

I’m thinking this sort of arrangement would be perfectly acceptable to the Left. After all, they keep telling us that having the same arrangements in place in respect to self-defence is no bar to people protecting themselves. Right ?

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