Big Brother Watch has unearthed shocking documents revealing a deliberate deployment of the British Army to protect the Government’s pandemic response. Nobody was spared: even MPs and a former Supreme Court Justice were targeted.
Old News for Some
It is a shame that it has taken this long for general outrage to erupt. UK Column reported on “The British Military Information War Waged on Their Own Population” back in April 2020, with the Brigade’s role also being covered at the time by the UK Defence Journal. Both articles picked up on the bragging by the head of the British Army, General Sir Nick Carter, in a government livestream that up to 20,000 information warfare troops could be deployed against the British people. They were tasked with helping to “quash rumours from misinformation” and “countering disinformation”.
Gavin Robinson MP (DUP) then asked a written question to the Ministry of Defence on 27 April 2020 about whether 77th Brigade had been deployed as part of the response to the pandemic. James Heappey MP, Minister of State for the Armed Forces, answered on 4 May 2020 that they had indeed been deployed.
Previously known as the Security Assistance Group, 77th Brigade was stood up in 2015 and was provided with permanent funding by then-Prime Minister Theresa May in 2019. That very same year, concerns were raised by Douglas Chapman MSP (SNP), who claimed that 77th Brigade were “attacking and undermining” people in Scotland, engaging in operations online against British citizens.
Cyber work is also undertaken by 13 Signal Regiment, on which UK Column News reported from its inception (at the end of the 5 June 2020 episode).
Fortunately, England’s 1688 Bill of Rights and Scotland’s 1689 Claim of Right have constitutional clauses that require the Government to seek the consent of Parliament for any domestic standing army; this being not novel but declaratory of what then was already ancient laws and custom.
This constitutional requirement—which is not just a statute but the parliamentary transposition of a treaty unalterable by Parliament— provides potential remedies, because there does not seem to be any statute authorising these deployments. Also, well before the 1688 Glorious Revolution and even the mid-seventeenth-century civil wars, the 1627 Petition of Rights and the thirteenth-century Magna Carta confirmed that martial law is nonetheless unlawful.
Therefore, it must be contempt of Parliament for the Government to deploy, by Royal Prerogative alone, the British Army domestically without consent of Parliament; the more so because the Army is now confirmed to have interfered with Parliamentary Privilege by spying on MPs for conducting their lawful duty of holding the Government to account.
The House of Commons is therefore well within its rights to vote to issue a warrant for its Sergeant-at-Arms to arrest any person whom its Members have reason to believe is in contempt of Parliament. Perhaps they could arrest the Secretary of State, Prime Minister or even Army officers. They can then vote on whether to convict such a person of contempt and have the existing power imprison them in the Prison Room of the Great Clock of Westminster (Big Ben or the Elizabeth Tower).
77th Brigade’s deployment could also be considered to constitute the crime of misconduct in public office, on account of the troops having no lawful authority for their deployment and as a result of martial law being unlawful. This is an indictable crime that can result in life in prison. In the jurisdiction of England and Wales, the Crown Prosecution Service states that the offence is committed when (cumulatively):
- a public officer, acting as such,
- wilfully neglects to perform his duty and/or wilfully misconducts himself;
- to such a degree as to amount to an abuse of the public's trust in the office holder;
- without reasonable excuse or justification.
The Law Commission just happens to be calling for the common-law offence of misconduct in public office to be repealed.
Misfeasance in public office and malfeasance in public office are also torts (delicts in Scots law), and therefore anybody impacted can sue, with group litigation being available. Such proceedings would likely commence in a County Court, where a jury trial with eight jurors can be requested.
Claimants could seek an injunction from the court to halt unlawful activities, and damages can be sought. Normally, civil cases result only in compensatory damages: for instance, perhaps a person who discovered that 77th Brigade directed that they be removed or shadowbanned from Twitter for lawful speech could sue for loss of earnings if their suspension impacted their business.
In a case like this, exemplary (punitive) damages may be also available where the defendant was a ‘servant of the government’ at the time they committed their tort if they acted in an ‘oppressive, arbitrary or unconstitutional’ manner in committing that tort; see Rookes v Barnard  AC 1129.
Constitutional Protections against Domestic Military Deployment
The clause of the 1688 Bill of Rights that requires the consent of Parliament for what 77th Brigade has been doing to the British people is Article 6:
That the raising or keeping a standing Army within the Kingdome in time of Peace unlesse it be with Consent of Parlyament is against Law.
That stipulation flows from the prior enumeration (as Heads of Grievance) of the ways in which King James VII/II had breached his duty:
The late King James the Second [...] did endeavour to subvert and extirpate the Protestant Religion and the Lawes and Liberties of this Kingdome [...] By raising and keeping a Standing Army within this Kingdome in time of Peace without Consent of Parlyament and Quartering Soldiers contrary to Law.
That the Sending of ane army in ane hostile manner upon any pairt of the Kingdome in a peaceable tyme and Exacting of Locality and any manner of free quarters is Contrary to law.
Scotland’s 1689 Claim of Right gives us more detail about the constitutional limits of the armed forces than does the English Bill of Rights—unsurprising, given the savagery just previously of the Scottish Killing Times, when James had set his troops on dissidents:
King James VII [...] did Exerce that power to the subversion of the protestant Religion and to the violation of the lawes and liberties of the Kingdome [...] By levying or Keeping on foot a standing army in tyme of Peace without Consent of Parliament which army did exact localitie free and dry quarters.
King James VII [...] did Exerce that power to the subversion of the protestant Religion and to the violation of the lawes and liberties of the Kingdome [...] By Imploying the officers of the army as Judges through the Kingdome and Imposeing them wher ther were heretable offices and jurisdictiones by whom many of the leidges [subjects] were put to death summarly without legall tryall jury or record.
On the basis of those enumerated experiences of misrule, the actual stipulations of the Claim of Right prevent officers of the armed forces from being employed as judges:
That the Imploying the officers of the army as Judges through the Kingdome or imposeing them wher ther were heretable offices and Jurisdictiones and the putting the leidges to death summarly and without legall tryall jury or record are Contrary to Law.
Is that not what is taking place if Army officers issue surveillance orders that would normally require a warrant by one of His Majesty’s Principal Secretaries of State, accountable to Parliament; with cyber-attacks potentially launched domestically, and orders issued to tech companies, without lawful judgements or convictions by the courts?
The Scottish Claim of Right is abundantly clear that its grievances for all time to come ensue from the Crown’s having invaded “the fundamentall Constitution of this Kingdome and altered it from a legall limited monarchy to ane Arbitrary Despotick power”. Yet it is difficult to find more appropriate language than that to explain today’s deployment of the army against British subjects to enforce the “Good Health and Wellbeing” “sustainability goal” of the United Nations’ Agenda 2030. We should also be concerned about the steps that our Government is planning to take to impose the others of the seventeen Agenda 2030 Goals. This is why we should be calling for secession from the United Nations.
The 1688 Glorious Revolution has a textual history older than the Bill of Rights. Its little-studied first document is actually the Dutch Prince of Orange’s (the future King William III’s) Declaration of the Reasons inducing him to appear in Arms in the Kingdom of England, for preserving of the Protestant Religion, and for restoring the Laws and Liberties of England, Scotland, Ireland.
That Declaration should be read by anybody attempting to interpret the Bill of Rights and Claim of Right. It provides greater background about the experiences and concerns of the time: in this case, that “papists”—people who would not forswear a higher loyalty to the Pope abroad than to the King at home—had infiltrated society, taking positions in the army, navy, church, government and judiciary. This had subjected the people to a “despotick and arbitrary Power”, as a result of which tyrants
might be in a Capacity to maintain and executive their wicked Designs by the Assistance of the Army, and thereby to enslave the Nation.
These concerns about the Vatican were not fanciful. They stemmed in part from the Papacy’s excommunication of multiple monarchs over the previous centuries and its offer of an eternal reward for the assassination of Queen Elizabeth I by her own subjects. The English Bill of Rights expressed abhorrence and detest for that very real “Impious and Hereticall [...] damnable Doctrine and Position that Princes Excommunicated or Deprived by the Pope or any Authority of the See of Rome may be deposed or murdered by their Subjects or any other whatsoever”.
This was not a new concern with the Reformation, nor did it only affect the English Crown. Scotland’s Declaration of Arbroath (1320) was issued in response to King Robert I’s excommunication for disobeying the Pope’s demand that he enter into an unjust truce with England. A generation later, under Edward III, England codified the unlawfulness of seeking judicial rulings from anywhere outside the realm. This offence (præmunire) was signally repealed five years before Britain acceded to the European Economic Community, since the whole basis of supranationalism is that the Government does bind itself to obey foreign legal authorities over our own constitution.
Such political concerns about the Papacy as were rife in the late seventeenth century are now held only by a tiny minority in the United Kingdom. However, the World Economic Forum’s Penetration of the Cabinets—impelled by Professor Klaus Schwab on behalf of the WEF’s strategic partner, the United Nations—has eerie parallels: conclaves overseas are commanding the loyalty of what is supposed to be His Majesty’s Government.
The source of this current unconstitutional, arbitrary and despotic power is the United Nations’ World Health Organisation. The WHO has claimed that most civil and political rights could be suspended during a pandemic that it itself will have proclaimed. It pretends the ability to do so by virtue of Article 4.1 of the 1976 International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. See page 36 of the WHO’s 2008 discussion paper, Addressing ethical issues in pandemic influenza planning.
However, while many pundits have claimed that such treaties are binding on domestic law (and with our Government acting as if they are), the UK Supreme Court confirmed in R (Miller) v DExEU  UKSC 5—in Paragraph 277, citing the Bill of Rights—that the Crown can only enter into treaties for the purpose of regulating international relations. The Justices in this Brexit case thus confirmed the much older constitutional principle that treaties have no impact on domestic law and cannot therefore be binding on how we are governed at home. This is what it means to have a parliamentary democracy. Secretaries of State cannot undertake in meetings abroad to spy on us, override our legislature and ignore our courts simply because they and their foreign counterparts have signed some document to that effect.
The requirement for the consent of Parliament is not a mere post-hoc formality. It is not the case that Parliament can consent to any domestic military operation. The 1627 Petition of Rights states that martial law is “against the forme of the Great Charter and the Lawe of the Land”, with particular reference to Article 29 of the 1297 issuance of Magna Carta. The 1627 Petition demands:
that the aforesaid Comissions for proceeding by Martiall Lawe may be revoked and annulled. And that hereafter no Comissions of like nature may issue forth to any person or persons whatsoever to be executed as aforesaid, lest by colour of them any of your Majesties Subjects be destroyed or put to death contrary to the Lawes and Franchise of the Land.
Yet it appears that martial law has been unlawfully imposed.
Similar Constitutional Provision for Foreign Military Deployment
That in case the Crown and Imperiall Dignity of this Realm shall hereafter come to any Person not being a Native of this Kingdom of England this Nation be not obliged to ingage in any Warr for the Defence of any Dominions or Territories which do not belong to the Crown of England without the Consent of Parliament.
A similar unconstitutional crisis is also occurring in contempt of Parliament regarding military aid to Ukraine. This is because the Government appears to be using Royal Prerogative alone to arm Ukraine and to involve our armed forces in the conflict without the consent of Parliament. Yet the consent of Parliament is required by Article 3 of pre-Union England’s 1700 Act of Settlement—a key component of our written constitution.
Our International Common-Law Constitution
The Bill of Rights and Claim of Right were passed by the old English and Scottish Parliaments respectively. First and foremost, as set out in both documents themselves, both laws continue to apply as a result of their not having been repealed. Quite apart from that ground of validity, they reflect already-fundamental ancient laws and customs that arguably cannot be lawfully annulled.
Secondly, Article 4 of the 1706 Act of Union with Scotland of the old English Parliament and 1707 Act of Union with England of the old Scottish Parliament require that“there be a Communication of all other Rights Privileges and Advantages which do or may belong to the Subjects of either Kingdom”. A similar communication (sharing of fundamental rights between the realms) also occurred between Ireland and the by then politically united Great Britain, in the form of Article 6 of the 1800 Acts of Union. These constitutional statutes of England and Scotland therefore apply to the whole of the United Kingdom, now forming a British Constitution. Therefore, they should be read together and must be respected in all of the parts of our nation.
The articles of England’s 1688 Bill of Rights also still apply as fundamental citizens’ rights in the Republic of Ireland, as confirmed by the Republic’s 2007 Statute Law Revision Act. While the Republic of Ireland does not appear to have retained the 1627 Petition of Rights, the same principles must continue to apply regarding the unlawfulness of declaring martial law, because Dáil Éireann has expressly retained multiple issuances of Magna Carta in that 2007 Act.
These laws also apply to Canada, Australia and New Zealand, where they were inherited in the Dominion era and have not been repealed since the patriation of the constitution to these realms. They can also be cited in the USA, to augment similar constitutional provisions, by virtue of the Ninth Amendment to the US Constitution (forming part of what is not for nothing named the Bill of Rights), which confirms that “The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.”
Our ancestors suffered similar abuses in the past and we are fortunate that they fought and entered into The Association (Britain’s own Declaration of Independence from overreach by the executive). This heritage has provided us with a written constitution that we can now deploy to assert what in 1688 already constituted “the ancient Government, and Laws and Liberties of England [and Wales], Scotland, and Ireland”.