Friday, October 7

History not hype

By Sarah-Jane Hollands, radio correspondant.

Earlier in the week our esteemed editor, Peter Troy, telephoned the BBC Radio Comments Line, in response to a legal constitutional expert on the Radio 4 You & Yours Programme.

The "expert" asserted that if a challenge were mounted to the practice of imposition of arbitary fines by organisations such as the Inland Revenue, local authorities and motoring fixed penalty fines etc, it would fail.

The Beeb's expert was rubbishing the campaign orchestrated by North East based Neil Herron (of Metric Martyrs fame). Herron asserts that the Bill of Rights (enacted December 1689) prohibits the modern practice of government agencies forcing compliance, in true Orwellian style.

When Peter Troy heard the London lawyer advise Radio 4 listeners that because the Bill of Rights was written during the days of the Divine Right of Kings and before the Englich Civil War, 306 years ago, he took less than 306 seconds to contact the BBC with a sharp lesson in history.

At 12.45 today, Peter's recorded piece was precise and to the point. The concept of the Divine Right of Kings ended on the chopping block outside the Banqueting Hall in Whitehall, on a cold morning in January 1649, 40 years prior to the Bill of Rights.

Troy thundered across the airwaves that the assumption that the Bill of Rights wouldn't stack up to modern legal scrutiny was nonsense since our forebearers were clearly intolerant of the concept of devious taxation by any other name.
One does of course wonder at the quality of constitutional experts who obviously have no comprehension of the historical background to one of the cornerstones of the British Constitution.

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