Saturday, 14 June 2008

That was the week that was

Harold Wilson once said that a week was a long time in politics. This has been a very long week!

Wednesday saw key votes in both the Commons and Lords. The Government won both. Thursday saw the extraordinary resignation of David Davis, to fight a by-election on what he saw as a principled stand against the erosion of civil liberties - but many others saw as it as a stunt that has become a farce.
Friday saw the shock result of the Irish referendum - an event which will reveberate for many weeks.

In the USA the Supreme Court made a historic decision on civil liberties.

Editorials on that decision can be found at

The Washington Post reminded us of the writings of the revered English jurist Sir William Blackstone (1723-1780)

"[T]he practice of arbitrary imprisonments, have been, in all ages, the favorite and most formidable instruments of tyranny.....To bereave a man of life. . . or by violence to confiscate his estate, without accusation or trial, would be so gross and notorious an act of despotism as must at once convey the alarm of tyranny throughout the whole nation; but confinement of the person, by secretly hurrying him to jail, where his sufferings are unknown or forgotten, is a less public, a less striking, and therefore a more dangerous engine of arbitrary government.'"

A little reminder - Sunday is the anniversary of Magna Carta. If you use facebook why not join the campaign to have a day's holiday in England (and why not elsewhere???) to celebrate "Magna Carta Day"