Contrary to government claims, it has no power to define, alter, restrict or otherwise control our rights. In point of fact, no-one does.
All government can do is deceive us into imagining that it has this supernatural ability. Whether government establishes a Modern Bill of Rights or not, it will make no difference to our rights. They remain entirely intact, regardless of the whims of government.
Unfortunately, millions of people don't know this and continue to imagine that government can limit their rights. In order for the con to work, all that is required is that the people concede a fallacy: namely, that rights are bestowed upon the people by governments. They are not.
If we accept the Government's assertion that it does create rights, we also have to accept the consequences. The Government's claim, then, does have an impact upon our "perceived" rights, and consequently our lives—but only if we believe that government is magic.
As the majority does maintain this belief in magical government, many are led to argue that our real rights are materially irrelevant. Government uses force to compel us to act or desist; therefore, they say, to all intents and purposes, rights are effectively granted by government.
This view holds sway. It is commonly expressed as the widely-held delusion that so-called human rights are rights. Human rights are not rights but rather government permits, authorised by self-declared superheroes.
If we continue to reject the existence of our real rights, preferring to believe in the fiction of human rights, then the inevitable consequence is oppression and tyranny. And that is precisely what the UK Government's Modern Bill of Rights is intended to deliver.
What Are Rights?
In 1882, Lysander Spooner wrote Natural Law; or the Science of Natural Justice. He explained how rights operate in nature. The key to understanding rights is that they are not dependent upon the laws of men and women. No human being defines our individual rights. They are inherent to natural law.
Natural law is the universal law of all human interactions that precedes and supersedes all positive law created by kings and queens, courts and legislatures. Natural law prevails independently of our existence on earth, and we neither control nor influence it. Nor, by extension, do we have any ability to determine natural justice or inalienable rights. (The adjective unalienable is historically of very similar meaning to the adjective inalienable.)
Natural law, natural justice, [. . .] a principle that is naturally applicable and adequate to the rightful settlement of every possible controversy that can arise among men; [. . .] the only standard by which any controversy whatever, between man and man, can be rightfully settled; [. . .] an immutable principle, one that is always and everywhere the same, in all ages and nations; [. . .] self-evidently necessary in all times and places; [. . .] so entirely impartial and equitable towards all; so indispensable to the peace of mankind everywhere; so vital to the safety and welfare of every human being; [. . .] so easily learned, so generally known, and so easily maintained by such voluntary associations as all honest men can readily and rightfully form for that purpose[.]
Natural law is an eternal, immutable truth that contradicts the postmodernist rejection of objective reality. But we don't need philosophical discourse to comprehend natural law; it can be demonstrated using simple logic.
Let's consider the example of the positive laws—those created ('posited') by human beings—which specify that the act of theft is a crime.
Envisage the first court of the first Sumerian king, or whoever was the first king, that initially proclaimed that theft was, henceforth, "illegal". How could the court possibly have created any such law unless it already understood what personal property was, and grasped the difference between right and wrong?
Where did the concept of a "right" to possess something called “property” come from, prior to the existence of positive law? How did the court know that infringing that right was "wrong"? On what basis did it determine that the act of theft was morally unacceptable in the first place?
The answer is simple. Human beings don't define what is right or wrong. We merely come to recognise it.
This is natural law, and it already governed the conduct of human beings long before they could record it in official documents. Natural law enabled humanity to live in relative harmony for hundreds of thousands of years before it developed any written language.
All living creatures have no choice but to abide by natural law. Natural, spontaneous order must exist for termites to construct their mounds, for lions to live in prides, dolphins in pods, and humans in civilisations.
Without natural law, the universe would be nothing but chaos. It is the law of cause and effect, action and consequence, and it determines the motion of the spheres, just as it determines the repercussions of our behaviour.
Like any natural phenomenon, we can study natural law as a science and subsequently learn to live by the principles of natural justice that we discover. Justice too, then, is a natural phenomenon, and is the restoration of right when a wrong has been committed. We can return to the only possible condition for peace: equilibrium under natural law.
The science of mine and thine—the science of justice—is the science of all human rights; of all a man’s rights of person and property; of all his rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. It is the science which alone can tell any man what he can, and cannot, do; what he can, and cannot, have; what he can, and cannot, say, without infringing the rights of any other person.
If we understand this, then rights, according to Spooner, can be expressed very simply:
The ancient maxim makes the sum of a man’s legal duty to his fellow men to be simply this: “To live honestly, to hurt no one, to give to every one his due.” This entire maxim is really expressed in the single words, to live honestly; since to live honestly is to hurt no one, and give to every one his due.
For Spooner, to live an honest life, to be honourable in all deeds and contracts, is the entire extent of human beings' legal duty. Unfortunately, in a postmodernist world where government is determined to ignore natural law, even something as simple as to live honestly, which is straightforward enough for most people to understand, requires further explanation for some.
Real rights are not "human rights"; they are the natural, inalienable rights we are all born with. They can be understood quite easily and summed up thus:
- All human beings are born with equal rights. These rights are inalienable. "Wrong" is any act that causes harm or loss to another human being. Everything we do that is not wrong—that is, any act that does not cause harm or loss to another human being—is therefore "right". Inalienable rights are any and all human actions that do not cause harm or loss to any other human being. Every action that is right is an inalienable right.
Inalienable (Unalienable) Rights Defined
Though, for some, the notion of inalienable rights may seem strange, even impossible to understand, it is in fact a commonly held concept familiar to many of the great leaders who authored some of the seminal documents in world political history.
The US Declaration of Independence states in its Preamble:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
Note that these rights do not emanate from the statutes (declarations of what is lawful) of some high-ranking political office. They are not royally decreed or legislated into existence, nor adjudged to be valid by any court. They are endowed upon all, equally, without deviation or exception.
Inalienable rights are bestowed upon us by nature itself. We each possess equal inalienable rights simply by virtue of being alive.
Also note that, for the Founding Fathers of the United States, this was an absolute truth that was "self-evident".
The preamble to the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights states:
[R]ecognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world[.]
Justice and peace are existent only when the conditions are precisely as Spooner described in 1882. There simply cannot be "peace in the world" without stringent observance of everyone's equal, inalienable rights by all, and an abiding commitment never to infringe them.
Spooner specified the only two conditions required to maintain justice and peace in the world:
These conditions are simply these: [. . .] [E]ach man shall do, towards every other, all that justice requires him to do[.] [. . .] The second condition is, that each man shall abstain from doing to another, anything which justice forbids him to do[.] [. . .] So long as these conditions are fulfilled, men are at peace, and ought to remain at peace, with each other. But when either of these conditions is violated, men are at war. And they must necessarily remain at war until justice is re-established.
The generally accepted “legal” definition of inalienable rights reads:
The term given to the fundamental rights accorded to all people.
So, as stated in the US Declaration of Independence, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and even the standby common-law legal dictionary definition, inalienable rights are equally shared by every soul on the planet.
No-one, whether they claim themselves to be a legislator, king or deity, has any additional rights beyond the rights commonly held by all.
No-one has the "additional right" to decide the rights of others; no-one possesses extra rights to restrict the rights of others; and, as all rights are inalienable and immutable, no-one has the added right to give away or cede their own inalienable rights to anyone else.
The UK's New Bill of No Rights
Governments despise inalienable rights. Such rights prescribe individual sovereignty, and no government is willing to acknowledge that it does not have total dominion over its subjects. Lysander Spooner understood this perfectly well.
He raised the question: if natural law, natural justice and the observance of inalienable rights are all we need to firmly establish justice and peace in the world, why don't we practice natural law? Why do we instead insist upon obeying the laws made up by unscrupulous men and women who write them primarily to protect their own power, privilege and authority?
Why is it that any human being ever conceived that anything so self-evidently superfluous, false, absurd, and atrocious as all legislation necessarily must be, could be of any use to mankind, or have any place in human affairs? The answer is, that through all historic times, wherever any people [. . .] learned to increase their means of subsistence [. . .] a greater or less number of them have associated and organized themselves as robbers, to plunder and enslave all others[.] These tyrants, living solely on plunder, and on the labor of their slaves, and applying all their energies to the seizure of still more plunder, and the enslavement of still other defenceless persons [. . .] extend their conquests until, in order to hold what they have already got, it becomes necessary for them to act systematically, and cooperate with each other in holding their slaves in subjection. But all this they can do only by establishing what they call a government, and making what they call laws.
Government has invented human rights so that it can pretend that these fake rights have humanitarian value. This is done simply to convince us that government defines rights for our benefit. As long as we continue to believe this, government can amend, restrict or remove these meaningless proclamations and, in so doing, convince us that it has genuinely changed the nature of our rights.
In its proposal for a New Bill of Rights, the UK Government said:
The government wants to introduce a Bill of Rights in a way that protects people’s fundamental rights whilst safeguarding the broader public interest. For that framework to work, it must command public confidence.
This is partly true. If we didn't believe in the Government's magical powers, then its claim to be able to limit our rights and subsequent freedoms would be treated as the risible nonsense it is.
The deceptive language is the verb: the Government’s claim that it "wants" to protect our fundamental rights. Even if we set aside the consideration that government has no say over our fundamental rights, the rest of the UK Government's proposal reveals this statement to be a lie in all other respects too.
We get the first hint at where the Government is heading with this envisaged New Bill of Rights with its claimed desire to safeguard the "public interest". The Government has decided that observing our rights is not in our interest. It defines the “public interest” and, in doing so, assumes the “additional right” to ignore our rights and freedoms as it pleases.
Citing a couple of extreme and frankly ridiculous examples of people exploiting the the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR, an instrument of international law signed by the post-war UK Government and transposed decades later directly into UK statute law as the Human Rights Act) with obvious vexatious intent to cause the authorities problems, the UK Government has decided that these outliers constitute what it solemnly declares to be a "rights culture". It claims that this alleged rights culture has "displaced due focus on personal responsibility and the public interest".
A few prisoners causing as much mayhem as possible, within the law, is proof enough for the UK Government that all of us are morally inept. Therefore, we "need" to accept the Government's oxymoronic suggestion that our rights should be curtailed to protect the public interest.
The allegation and claimed justification are preposterous, but so what? As long as it gets what it wants, why should the Government care?
The Government adds:
Whilst human rights are universal, a Bill of Rights could require the courts to give greater consideration to the behaviour of claimants and the wider public interest when interpreting and balancing qualified rights.
As discussed above, human rights are not rights, and if any statement ever illustrated that point, it is the one just cited. How can human rights be universal while some are "qualified rights"? Qualified by whom, and—as David Scott sought in vain to elicit from police last year—on what basis? The answer provided by the Government is shocking, but at least has the merit of honesty:
[T]he government believes that Parliament should authoritatively determine what is necessary in a democratic society. [. . .] In addition, it should be clear that, when a court is considering the proportionality of an interference with a person’s qualified rights, it will consider the extent to which the person has fulfilled their own relevant responsibilities.
Qualified rights are rights whose scope is whatever the state decrees from time to time. You may think you have the right to free speech, but if the Government thinks you are saying something it considers to be "irresponsible" or "inappropriate" or "harmful", such as speaking out about vaccine damage or questioning one of the Government’s proxy wars, your free speech has just become a "qualified right"—at which point, the Government's pet courts will take a dim view of your so-called human rights.
To hammer the message home, in its proposal the Government issued its directions to the "independent" courts on qualified rights:
The following clauses are for guiding the interpretation of qualified rights[.] Option 1 requires the court to give great weight to Parliament’s views on what is ‘necessary in a democratic society’ when determining whether legislation, or a decision of a public authority made in accordance with legislation, is compatible with the rights under the Bill of Rights.
The UK courts are largely an extension of state power anyway, but the UK Government, with its New Bill of Rights, with its talk of "clarifying" the separation of powers, is now closing the gap between the executive and judiciary to the imperceptible. The problem it has identified is that the public can occasionally enforce the few rights that the judiciary and juries still have the gumption to recognise. The UK Government does not like this at all:
[T]he courts have expanded the scope of human rights from protecting individuals to prescribing how public services must be delivered. [. . .] [T]he growth in such obligations comes without proper democratic oversight from Parliament or the benefit of public policy decisions taken in the broader public interest by those elected to do so. This has created a democratic deficit.
According to the UK Government, then, a "democratic deficit" emerges whenever the courts rule against the state—especially where the ruling contradicts the impossible, additional right that government has claimed for itself to define what is “good” for all: the so-called “public interest”.
An independent judiciary is, therefore, anti-democratic in this novel scheme. Consequently, the Government is shoving through a New Bill of Rights that will ignore the actual Bill of Rights and democratic ideals entirely in order to save democracy from itself.
"Laws" nodded through
The use of secondary legislation has become increasingly beloved of the UK Government. Its burgeoning, century-long misuse is wholly undemocratic, which rather belies the Government's ludicrous pretensions of "protecting democracy".
Secondary legislation enables government ministers, using powers granted to them in corresponding Acts of Parliament ("primary legislation"), to pronounce so-called law with little or no parliamentary scrutiny. This is most often achieved in the form of Statutory Instruments (SIs). Parliament can technically approve or deny, but cannot amend, “affirmative” SIs.
The Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments (JCSI) advises Parliament if it decides there is anything to be concerned about. However, the JCSI only hears evidence from the Government and only issues a recommendation to Parliament if it identifies an issue. Even this depends, of course, upon whatever the executive branch of government chooses to disclose to the JCSI. If the JCSI fails to see a problem with a given instrument, it is extremely unlikely that Parliament—the legislative branch of government—will see one either.
The vast majority of SIs (80%) are "made negative" and do not require any approval from Parliament. This means the instrument becomes law the moment the minister signs it, unless Parliament objects within forty days. Unsurprisingly, this is practically unheard-of. Law in modern Britain is habitually created by fiat without any notable parliamentary scrutiny at all.
Parliament explains the purpose of secondary legislation quite succinctly:
[T]o fill in the details of Acts (primary legislation). These details provide practical measures that enable the law to be enforced and operate in daily life.
Motions to stop negative SIs are exceedingly rare, and the chances of a motion succeeding even more remote. The House of Commons last blocked one in 1979 and the House of Lords in 2000.
The UK Government really likes this despotic legal system. It can pass sprawling, incomprehensible, primary legislation without defining any of the most crucial precepts the new law is supposedly based upon. For example, the Government is almost certainly going to manage to pass the forthcoming Online Safety Act, but hasn't bothered to explain what key terms, such as "harm" or "disinformation," actually mean.
Parliament will rubber stamp the Online Safety Bill into law as an Act and will empower the executive (Crown ministers) subsequently to use negative SIs—which Members of Parliament won’t even read, let alone oppose, to add the meat to the bones of the legislation. The executive will prescribe whatever it, its favoured NGOs and its international "partners" wants to call "disinformation" or "harm" as it sees fit, whenever it chooses, using secondary legislation.
Thus, the new law can “be enforced and operate in daily life” in the absence of any genuine parliamentary scrutiny or debate. This is just about as dictatorial as it gets, but that's the way government operates in reality.
As noted by the Independent Human Rights Act Review (IHRAR), the Government acknowledges the current ability of the courts to issue a "declaration of incompatibility", whereby they can find secondary legislation to be in contravention of the claimant's "human rights". The courts can effectively overrule secondary legislation, thus compelling the source of that instrument (the "parent legislation" or "primary legislation") to be amended:
[U]nder the law as it stands the courts can, amongst other things, declare secondary legislation invalid or disapply the provision in question.
The Government alleges that this is a real problem, though the IHRAR notes that the Government's assertion that the courts have adopted "an expansive approach" is totally unfounded.
Undeterred, the Government insists that the courts needs to be told how to interpret an individual's rights. This will ensure that government edicts on whatever is "necessary in a democratic society" are steadfastly enforced:
We believe that section 3 [of the Human Rights Act] has resulted in an expansive approach with courts adapting legislation. We think that a less expansive interpretive duty would provide greater legal certainty. [. . .] We believe section 3 should be replaced by an alternative provision setting out clearly how to interpret legislation. [. . .]
Where legislation was ambiguous, and a meaning that could reasonably be attributed to it was compatible with the Convention [HRA] and other meanings were not, the compatible meaning would be preferred. [. . .] [T]he government is minded to codify the approach under primary legislation[.]
As the law currently stands, a citizen could—hypothetically, though barely in any practical sense—overturn the Government's authoritarian diktat in the courts if his alleged human rights were infringed. In recognition of that loophole, the UK Government's New Bill of Rights intends to snuff out that possibility once and for all.
The UK Government claims that this is all necessary to protect the public interest. By placing an authoritarian duty upon the courts, effectively to agree with whatever the executive decrees, government is claiming the non-existent right to define everyone's individual rights on a case-by-case basis. Dictatorship, in other words.
Welcome But Ineffectual Legal Opinion
The Law Society, the professional association of English solicitors (pre-trial lawyers), has issued a damning response to the Government's suggested reforms and to the consultation held regarding them. The lawyers write that they were unable to identify anything in the proposed New Bill of Rights other than a litany of prospective rights abuses and an attack upon individual freedoms.
The Law Society found that the UK Government's plans would damage the rule of law, prevent access to justice, increase costs and complexity, and lead those who can afford it to take more cases to the European Court of Human Rights, while excluding those who cannot afford it from any realistic recourse to the law. In summation, they said:
[A] significant number of the proposals work to either reduce government accountability or to shield public bodies from it. This undermines a crucial element of the rule of law, preventing people from challenging illegitimate uses of power[.] [I]t is alarming that proposals include the removal of rights on a blanket basis from certain categories of individuals. Others would reduce protections or lead to an overall lowering of human rights standards[.] The proposed reforms contained in this consultation will have far-reaching impact for anyone seeking to enforce their rights and access human rights protections.
As often—this time in the form of the Law Society—we see an Establishment body that perceives abuses but can't, or won't, face the reality of what government is. Government neither serves the public nor upholds the rights of ordinary citizens. It exists to crush and exploit them for corporate profit; to bend the public to its will in the name of progress; and to oppress its population. Government has absolutely no interest in defending democracy, nor in fostering any kind of egalitarian meritocracy. It's a big club, and we aren't in it.
While the intervention of the Law Society is welcome, its solicitor members—perhaps for reasons of their own vested interest—do not offer any real solutions. Their recommendations all rely upon the reasonable forbearance of the corporate and political Establishment and its government. There is no evidence in modern Britain to suggest that such restraint exists.
Government is not on our side, and it quite clearly means to rule us with an iron fist. Its proposed New Bill of Rights demonstrates the fact.
The solutions will only come when we learn the lessons taught by the likes of Spooner, Larken Rose and Étienne de La Boétie. While we continue to implore this thing called government to be nice to us, we're lost. It will simply continue to tell itself to do as thou wilt.
We have equal, inalienable rights, and the Government has absolutely nothing of any value to say about them. The Government's opinion about our rights is irrelevant. No-one in government, in the judiciary, at the top of global corporations or international financial institutions has any more, nor fewer, rights that you or I.
We allow government to pretend that it has the power to determine our rights because we continue to fall for the deception of "human rights". If we wish to prosper and live in peace, we must resoundingly reject this malign deceit. When we do, the Government’s only remaining "power" will be to continue to abuse our inalienable rights—and all will see its actions for what they truly are.
If government refuses to acknowledge our inalienable rights, then it is both opposed to humanity and has no wish to maintain "justice and peace in the world". Such an institution is a clear threat to our existence as a species.
We should use all the peaceable means at our disposal to reform government and to insist that it and its courts never breach natural law, natural justice or our inalienable rights. But, as frequently discussed by UK Column, our ability to engage in effective resistance, to lobby and protest, campaign and speak without censorship, is also currently being removed by the Government.
Violence is both morally indefensible and counter-productive when we are faced with a political system that operates and thrives on the use of force. So what are we to do when preyed upon by tyrannical governments opposed to peace?
Perhaps the answers may be found in the wisdom of those legal philosophers who have faced this seemingly eternal dilemma before:
[W]hen a nation is constrained by the fortune of war to serve a single clique [. . .] one should not be amazed that the nation obeys, but simply be grieved by the situation. [. . .] But O good Lord! What strange phenomenon is this? [. . .] To see an endless multitude of people not merely obeying, but driven to servility? [. . .] They suffer plundering, wantonness, cruelty, not from an army [. . .] but from a single little man. [. . .] [T]his cannot be called cowardly, for cowardice does not sink to such a depth[.] [. . .] What monstrous vice, then, is this which does not even deserve to be called cowardice[?] [. . .]
Obviously there is no need of fighting to overcome this single tyrant, for he is automatically defeated if the country refuses consent to its own enslavement: it is not necessary to deprive him of anything, but simply to give him nothing[.] [. . .] [I]f not one thing is yielded to them, if, without any violence they are simply not obeyed, they become naked and undone and as nothing[.] [. . .] I do not ask that you place hands upon the tyrant to topple him over, but simply that you support him no longer; then you will behold him, like a great Colossus whose pedestal has been pulled away, fall of his own weight and break into pieces[.]