I’m not quite sure how my train of thought progressed to get to that heading* but there it is. Not only are there too many laws, there are too many conflicting laws which provide loopholes; loosely-worded law is the worst law of all and nobody knows better than the Labour govt between 1997 – 2010 and the Opposition (now the government).
The Laws of God and the Laws of Man.
Once upon a time the laws of God were taken as read, except by certain individuals we wouldn’t want as neighbours. They seemed to work alright at the time:
I’m the only God
No graven images
Keep Sunday special
Love & respect your mum and dad
Don’t sleep around
Don’t be envious
I don’t know about you but I can lay claim to at least 70% of those. Actually, looking at them again it’s more like 80% – perhaps I’m a nutter after all. The only problem is that they don’t seem too difficult to adhere to – on my part it’s mostly been involuntary because, by nature, I don’t want icons of dead men hanging on my walls, I love my mum and dad, I’ve never killed anyone or stolen from them, I don’t sleep around, I haven’t lied and I wish my neighbours good luck. Add to that the fact that I won’t shop on a Sunday out of sheer contrariness (fruitcake alert!) and I think that almost makes me an involuntary or unknowing Christian by default.
On the other hand, we elected friends, neighbours and countrymen to speak for us:
There’s no codification of English Law so nobody actually knows how many laws, statutes, regulations or directives there are that now seek to control and limit our everyday life but you’ll know it when you walk down your High Street and you’ll recognise it when you receive a fixed penalty notice from your local authority or a knowing wink from your Community Support Officer who licks the tip of his pencil and flips open his notebook as he approaches you. Round and round and round we go, without meaningful change.
These are the laws of William the Conqueror:
One God to be revered throughout the whole realm; peace and security to be preserved between English and Normans
Oath of loyalty
Protection of the King’s Peace
Frenchmen to pay “scot and lot” *
Live cattle to be sold in cities
Defence of French allegations of offences
Hold the law of King Edward
Freeman’s pledge and surety
Prohibition on the sale of any man by another outside the country
Forbidding killings and hangings
So, laws to repress the population aren’t a new Nu-Labour or Tory-Lite innovation by any means – it’s just been a progressive subjugation of the workers, by which I mean taxpayers, over the centuries. The question today is, when is enough enough? When is ignorance, deliberately inculcated by the State, going to implode?
While we’re talking about ‘the law’, have a look at this:
EU law is a part of English law. The European Union consists mainly of countries which use civil law and so the civil law system is also in England in this form. The European Court of Justice can direct English and Welsh courts on the meaning of areas of law in which the EU has passed legislation.
Since the English Civil War, the bedrock of the British constitution has traditionally been the doctrine of parliamentary sovereignty, according to which the statutes passed by Parliament are the UK’s supreme and final source of law. It follows that Parliament can change the constitution simply by passing new Acts of Parliament. There is some debate about whether this principle remains entirely valid today, in part due to the UK’s membership of the EU.
I think there’s quite a bit of debate going on behind the scenes and if I were given a choice, which I’m not, I’d rather be governed by the laws of Aethelberht of Kent than Anointed of Brussels. Labels and laws will be the death of us. The authoritarianism of the State is choking us, not just as businesses and independent charities, but as people, as individuals in our own right. I hope for a Happy Ending but know that, as with all fairy-tales, it will only come by our own endeavour.
* Scot & lot (from Old French escot, Old English sceot, a payment; lot, a portion or share) is a phrase common in the records of English medieval boroughs, applied to householders who were assessed for a tax (such as tallage) paid to the borough for local or national purposes. They were usually members of a merchant guild. Before the Reform Act 1832, those who paid scot and bore lot were often entitled to the franchise. The expression used today originated from this time period. Members that did not pay their taxes “got off ‘scot-free'”.
* I remember now. It’s been a