Rees-Mogg hears echoes of the tumbrils
The issue is more than a matter of a show-off mayor or a silly sub-committee of an unelected quango abusing its inappropriate powers. It concerns the ancient issue of “due process of law” that underlies Magna Carta, the English common law and the Constitution of the United States. Without due process, there is no law. A merely subjective judgment, lacking judicial safeguards, by an unelected tribunal, does not constitute due process. It is no better than the process by which Robespierre sent aristos to the guillotine, though one must admit that Ken makes a comic aristo and a four-week suspension is a milder penalty..
The Prime Minister knows what the issue is. He is against due process as such. He has written a most extraordinary attack on the whole concept in yesterday’s Observer. The article is so incautious that he must have written it himself.
“In theory,” Tony Blair writes, “traditional court processes and attitudes to civil liberties could work. But the modern world is different from the world for which these court processes were designed.” This view that due process is obsolete explains the Prime Minister’s conduct; it explains the connection between extradition without safeguards, detention without trial, Asbos without criminal offences, subjective and discretionary judgments, police powers to arrest, and increasing ministerial powers. They are all characteristic of Blair legislation; they all avoid due process of law.
Keep in mind that Rees-Mogg is writing about the guy that Ann Coulter says she would vote for if he could only run for office in the USA. With conservatives like these, who needs liberals? And take particular note how the left-wing Labour leader’s actions to confer extralegal power on the central state are almost precisely the same as those of the supposedly right-wing George Bush… and both are walking the limitless path of the Jacobins.