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Saturday, 12 April 2014

Complaint against the Members of the House of Lords Constitution Committee






After I had submitted evidence to the House of Lords “Constitution Committee” chaired by Baroness Jay, I found that none of the English groups that had given evidence are to be called to give oral evidence.


It is no surprise that a Committee chaired by the daughter of Jim Callaghan would be biased and anti-English but that is no reason not to protest!


So I complained to the House of Lords’ Commissioner for Standards. Here is the correspondence.


What do you think?


My initial letter to House of Lords’ Commissioner for Standards dated 20th March 2014


Dear Commissioner for Standards


Re: Complaint against the Clerk and Members of the House of Lords Constitution Committee


The English Democrats and two other English groups (the English Lobby and the Campaign for an English Parliament) put in submissions to the “Scottish Independence: Constitutional: Implication for the rest of the UK” Inquiry by the House of Lords “Constitution Committee”.


None of the English submissions were called in for oral submissions, which I find suspicious as to the Committee’s agenda and whether or not it has behaved in an open, transparent and proper manner, both under the Code of Conduct and also under the Equalities Act 2010.


The members of the Committee are as follows:-


Baroness Jay of Paddington (Chair) - Labour


Lord Crickhowell – Conservative


Lord Cullen of Whitekirk – Crossbench


Baroness Falkner of Margravine – Liberal Democrat


Lord Goldsmith – Labour


Lord Hart of Chilton – Labour


Lord Irvine of Lairg – Labour


Lord Lang of Monkton – Conservative


Lord Lester of Herne Hill – Liberal Democrat


Lord Lexden – Conservative


Lord Powell of Bayswater – Crossbench


Baroness Wheatcroft - Conservative



I note from their entries in the House of Lord’s website, that none of them appear to have either made a registration or a declaration of interest relevant to this inquiry. It is obvious that, in such an inquiry, their national identity is a relevant interest in the context of the matter under discussion, to use the words of paragraph 82 of the Code of Conduct.


I submit that it is also in a category of “Interest” which although possibly non-financial (depending where their property is) but, in any event, is an “Interest” that ought to be Registered and/or Declared.


I consider that the members (apropos paragraph 7) should have conducted this Inquiry based on considerations of public interest and the public interest does of course include compliance with the Equality Act.


Regarding section 9) c) the conduct of the Committee does not meet the standard of objectivity in carrying out public business, nor do the responses that I have received from the Committee’s Clerk (copies of this correspondence I enclose), comply with the section 9) e) requirement of openness about the decisions that they took - in this case to exclude all English representation from the discussion.


Considering that the English represent some 90% of the population of the UK and over 60% (over 32 million) of them have declared themselves to be of ‘English Only’ national identity in the 2011 Census results, it is obvious that no inquiry into the constitutional implications for the rest of the UK could be properly conducted without English opinion being fully taken into account.


I submit that failure to register and/or declare their national identity is a breach of 10) a) and that as a reasonable member of the public I consider that under paragraph 11 national identity interests in this question would be thought by any reasonable member of the public to influence the way in which the members of this Committee have discharged their parliamentary duties in the case of the Committee, in respect of the particular matter under discussion.


As the Clerk has declined to answer my questions, I am unable to focus this complaint on the individual members of the Committee who have acted to the detriment of a proper discussion on this issue. I would therefore ask you to enquire into the answers to my Equality Act questions and also to determine whether there has been a breach or breaches of the House of Lords’ Code of Conduct in respect of each and every Committee member.


Yours faithfully


R C W Tilbrook


Enc.


Letter dated 26th March 2014 from the House of Lords Commissioner of Standards, Paul Kernaghan CBE QPM


Dear Mr Tilbrook


I am writing in response to your letter of complaint dated 20th March 2014 (your ref RT/37).


Your letter is headed “Complaint against the Clerk and Members of the House of Lords Constitution Committee”. My remit is limited to investigating complaints against members of the House of Lords, not the staff of the House. This reply therefore addresses your letter only as it applies to the members of the Constitution Committee.


I have carefully considered the points you make and my preliminary assessment is that your complaint does not meet the criteria set out in the House of Lords Code of Conduct and Guide to the Code of Conduct.


The first element of your complaint appears to be that the English Democrats, the English Lobby and the Campaign for an English Parliament were not invited to give oral evidence to the Constitution Committee. The Code of Conduct relates to members of the House of Lords individually, and not to a select committee’s collective decisions. There is no provision in the Code about committees inviting oral or written evidence; this element of your complaint therefore falls outside my remit and does not relate to an alleged breach of the Code.


The second element of your complaint seems to be that the members of the Constitution Committee have not registered or declared their national identity as an interest relevant to the Constitution Committee’s inquiry into “Scottish independence: constitutional implications for the rest of the UK”. Members of the House of Lords are required to be British, Irish or Commonwealth citizens. There is no requirement in the Code for members to register on the Register of Lord’s Interests their national identity. Nor is there a requirement in wider British law for individuals to declare a national identity. I considering whether members of the committee should declare their national identity I must assess whether that would be considered by a reasonable member of the public as relevant to the subject-matter of the committee’s inquiry. In this case the inquiry is into certain constitutional implications for the rest of the UK of any “yes” vote in the Scottish independence referendum. The committee’s call for evidence states that the inquiry is covering the conduct of potential negotiations; the position of assets and liabilities, and shared services of the UK; and implications of the UK Parliament. The call for evidence states that the committee’s inquiry is focussed. At no point does it indicate that the committee is exploring questions of national identity or citizenship matters. I therefore conclude that this element of the complaint does not demonstrate a prima facie breach of the Code.


The third element of your complaint appears to be that members of the committee have not complied with the Equality Act 2010. My remit is to investigate alleged breaches of the Code of Conduct. That element of your complaint therefore falls outside my remit.


In the light of the above I do not intend to investigate your complaint. However, if you can provide further evidence of a specific breach of the House of Lords Code of Conduct, I am prepared to examine that material.


Yours sincerely


Paul Kernaghan CBE QPM

Commissioner for Standards


My letter to Mr Paul Kernaghan CBE QPN, Commissioner of Standards dated the 31st March 2014


Dear Mr Kernaghan


Re: Complaint against Members of Constitutional Committee


Thank you for your letter of the 26th March and for responding so promptly.


As you have dealt with our complaint in what you have labelled as three “elements” and indicated that you think that the first and third elements are outside your jurisdiction, I will concentrate on the second element.


I must admit I am somewhat surprised with your response to the second element, since it seems to me absolutely obvious that the national identity of individuals is probably the most relevant interest that they could have in an Inquiry of the nature that the Constitutional Committee is inquiring into.


There may not be any specific requirement in the Code for Members to register their national identity. My point is however that in inquiring into Scottish Independence: Constitutional Implications for the Rest of the UK, it is obvious that any reasonable member of the public would regard the individual Committee Member’s national identity as being of utmost relevance to the subject matter of the Committee’s inquiry.


This is especially so when it is realised that there is no constitutional validity to the idea of the “rest of the UK” being an automatically continuing constitutional entity if Scotland become Independent, as was made plain in both my submission and in that of the only other submission made by a practising lawyer dealing with this concept, Judge Ian Burns Campbell. I enclose a copy of my submission.


In the event that Members of the Committee seek to use their position to give substance to a constitutionally bogus idea such as “rest of the UK”, it would be of great interest to know their national identity.


It would also be of some interest to know whether the Committee adequately reflects the proportion of national identity across the current UK. From what I can see of the background of the Committee Members it would appear there are relatively few who would have any interest in or desire to speak for England – because of their national identity!

At a time when the 2011 Census results show that over 60% of the population of England, that is over 32 million people, regard themselves as having English Only national identity it would certainly be of considerable relevance to know whether there are in fact any Members of the House of Lords Constitutional Committee that have English Only national identity. At the very least, in my respectful submission, what Members should have done and should now be required to do is to make a Declaration of Interest so far as this inquiry is concerned, and, indeed, any other Inquiries that relate to devolution or to the independence of any of the constituent nations of the UK State.


In light of the above I do hope that you will take the necessary action to require the Members of the House of Lords Constitution Committee to make a Declaration of Interest of their respective national identities.


Whilst writing I would remind you that National Identity under the Equality Act is a different concept to racial group or ethnicity. It is the concept of which national group an individual self-identifies with. It is that very element of self-identity which means that any reasonable member of the public would want to know the National Identity of each Committee Member in order to understand what the Committee Member’s views are likely to be on any relevant national question as the UK moves towards this dissolution.


Yours sincerely


R C W Tilbrook


Enc.


Letter dated 9th April 2014 from the House of Lords Commissioner of Standards, Paul Kernaghan CBE QPM


Dear Mr Tilbrook


Thank you for your letter dated 31 March 2014.


I have carefully considered the points you raise but have decided to screen out your complaint.


The Guide to the Code of Conduct provides guidance on non-financial interests in some detail. Paragraph 90 lists non-financial interests that are not normally registered but which it may be necessary to declare in certain circumstances. Amongst these are “membership of Churches or other religious bodies or organisations”. There is no mention of “national identity”. As I have previously advised you, members of the House of Lords are required to be British, Irish or Commonwealth citizens. There is no requirement for committees of the House to consider “national identity” when calling witnesses. As mentioned in my previous letter, “national identity” is not covered in the call for evidence for the Constitution Committee’s inquiry. Thus I do not consider that any member of that committee has breached the Code of Conduct by not declaring their national identity.


Yours sincerely


Paul Kernaghan CBE QPM

Commissioner for Standards


My letter dated 11th April 2014 to Mr Paul Kernaghan CBE QPN



Dear Mr Kernaghan


Re: Complaint against Members of Constitutional Committee


Thank you for your letter of the 9th April. With respect you have demonstrated the inadequacy both of your role and of the House of Lords Code of Conduct. For it not to be an admissible complaint that members of the committee have failed to declare their national identity when conducting an inquiry into an issue where national identity plays a key role is simply the stuff of a classic Whitehall farce!


You have nicely demonstrated the rottenness of the current system of crony appointments by the British Political Establishment to our Upper Legislative Chamber.


The sooner the British Unionist State is dissolved and England has a proper and fully democratically elected legislature the better!



Yours sincerely


Robin Tilbrook

Friday, 11 April 2014

English Democrats and the Green Party of England & Wales in agreement in supporting Scottish Independence and the dissolution of the United Kingdom





English Democrats and the Green Party of England & Wales in agreement in supporting Scottish Independence and the dissolution of the United Kingdom.

The Scottish Greens have set out their vision for an independent Scotland by launching a new paper outlining a raft of “bold” ideas.

The Green Party say an independent Scotland would have the ability to pursue “bold” ideas for a successful economy including the creation of a local banking network and a regulator for small businesses. They have said a Yes vote in September’s referendum would give Scotland the opportunity to grow emerging sectors like the digital and creative industries and support secure jobs with fair pay.

On Wednesday 9 April 2014 we had two appearances along with Green representatives.
In one, Derek Hilling the English Democrats' National Party Secretary and Lead Candidate in the West Midlands for the English Democrats in the 2014 EU Elections attended a radio debate in Birmingham at "Newstyle Radio 98.7FM" www.newstyleradio.co.uk. Attending was also the Green's representative “Laura” who was nodding as Derek enthusiastically talked about our policy of Independence for England.

In the other appearnce on Wednesday 9 April 2014 Steve Uncles our National Campaign Director and our Prospective Lead Candidate in South East England for the English Democrats attended a hustings at Kent University, Canterbury. Also attending was Green MEP Keith Taylor. Steve Uncles and Keith Taylor sat next to each other at the hustings. During his opening speech Steve Uncles said:-

"On the panel here today, then all but two parties here support the continuation of the United Kingdom, however although we may disagree about Europe it is good to see that the Green Party, agree in the self determination of people in Scotland, and are campaigning for Scottish Independence and therefore an end to the United Kingdom – this will free England."

In response Keith Taylor MEP who immediately followed Steve Uncles in making his speech in reply accepted the statement made by Steve Uncles. 

So there you have it. In this EU election there will be two real alternatives to the tired old, and not so old, Unionist parties!

Saturday, 5 April 2014

On BBC Radio Essex this morning

 



I was up early to be in Chelmsford to be interviewed on the BBC Radio Essex breakfast show this morning at 7.10.
 



You can 'listen again' to the Peter Holmes Show. Click here >>> http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p01vr82g

My item starts at 01:12:15


What do you think
?

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

FARAGE – V – CLEGG - THE LBC EU DEBATE


FARAGE – V – CLEGG - THE LBC EU DEBATE


I watched the LBC/SKY debate between Nick Clegg and Nigel Farage over “Britain’s” membership of the EU.  I thought Nigel Farage did very well.  Although he is not as polished a debater as Nick Clegg, he was certainly able to more than hold his own.  From an English nationalist point of view, it was also interesting to hear him confirm repeatedly that he was “British” and to emphasise that what he is concerned about is “Britain’s” place in the world.  His comments will have firmly and finally nailed UKIP’s colours to the mast of Britishness!

So far as Nick Clegg was concerned, there was again talk of “Britain” and “British” interests, although Clegg is not as enthusiastically patriotic about Britain as Nigel Farage, he did take the crown by saying that:- “I want us to be Great Britain, not Little England.  And if you feel the same, then now is the time to make your voice heard”.  My response to Nick Clegg is: Now is the time for a voice standing up for England to be heard!

After Nick Clegg’s performance over student “top-up” fees, we all know that nothing he says should be taken as anything more than a useful line spun for the moment, but it was entertaining to see that even applies to his rhetoric about “our country”.  After the 18th September, we may be moving to the end of “Great Britain” whatever the Westminster and Whitehall Establishment may want (memo to Nick Clegg :- E + S = GB therefore GB – S = E).

One very interesting aspect of the discussions that Sky TV showed afterwards, was interviews with the various political commentators like Sky’s own Adam Bolton and many other media lovies. They all seemed to think that Nick Clegg had won the debate.  This is an interesting illustration of the point made by Drew Weston in his book, ‘The Political Brain’, that people tend to be completely blinded to what other people think during political debates because of their own political identity.

The opinion polls show that by far the majority of people thought that Nigel Farage had won.  This is, of course, for the same reason, in that those people are seeing only what appeals to their political identity.

Putting these reactions together shows that the leading commentators in the British media are so politically divorced from the views of most normal people that they have no instinctive understanding of how most normal people will react to a political point.

It seems that “liberals” think that political debates are won by making precise nit-picking points rather than statements with emotional punch.

The other thing about the debate was that it was very nice to see a studio audience in a TV debate not as carefully selected for Leftist bias as we always seem to find with BBC selected audiences!  I wonder if we will see usual BBC audience bias in the BBC hosted debate in a few days?

 

Monday, 31 March 2014

YOU COULD OWE £6,000 MORE IF SCOTLAND BECOMES A “NEW” STATE!



YOU COULD OWE £6,000 MORE IF SCOTLAND BECOMES A “NEW” STATE!


Although the English Democrats and the Campaign for an English Parliament are in some sense sister organisations, we haven’t always seen eye to eye on every issue, but the Campaign for an English Parliament has kept going over the years campaigning for proper and fair constitutional recognition for England.  It has recently made two submissions to the House of Lords Committee’s Inquiry on the implications for the “rest of the UK” if Scotland goes independent. 

The second submission looks critically at Nicola Sturgeon’s submission on behalf of the Scottish Government, in which she made it clear that the SNP’s negotiating position on the question of Scotland being a new State is going to be that in that case Scotland is not liable for the UK’s debt. 

My suspicion is that Alex Salmond and his team have thought very carefully about what they put in their proposal for Scottish Independence and included in it several tank traps which they fully expected the arrogant and ignorant and unprincipled, short-termist Westminster politicians and British Political and Media Establishment to fall into. 

Such a one is the question of Scotland keeping the pound and having involvement with decision making at the Bank of England. 

All three Establishment parties conspired together to attack this proposal at the same time.  They obviously hadn’t thought through their position.  Because by arguing that there could be such a thing as the “rest of the UK” (rUK) and that Scotland would be a new State (and therefore said that they would have to apply for all sorts of things that the SNP wanted, like being in the EU), they failed to realise that by making that attack they were arguing that under International Law, the new State of Scotland would not be liable for any of the old State’s liabilities. 

So in effect, Cameron, Clegg, Osborne, Balls and Miliband have managed to argue that constitutionally the new Scotland should not be liable to pay a penny for its share of the British Government’s debt.  Not even for the billions spent under Gordon Brown and Alistair Darling for propping up Scottish banks!

Recently a long-standing member of the Party has sent me in a letter that he has had from his MP, Danny Alexander, the Scottish Liberal Democrat, Chief Secretary to the Treasury, who in his letter says that Scotland’s share of the British Government debt is £120bn.  However I think it is worth looking at the good work that the Campaign for an English Parliament has done in reply to Nicola Sturgeon’s submission to the House of Lords inquiry. 

Below is the article and here is the table that the CEP have prepared. 

It looks like the incompetence of the British Establishment is likely to land all those of us in England, Wales and Northern Ireland with an additional debt of £1,737 for every man, woman and child.  Perhaps even more realistically that would be approaching £6,000 extra for every English tax-payer. 


If you are not keen on Scottish Independence you might feel further disgruntled if you take notice of what has happened to the opinion polls since the concerted attack on the SNP over this: Support for Scottish Independence amongst those likely to vote has increased quite considerably.  So not only have Lib/Lab/Con probably landed us with larger bills but they have also failed in their objective of reducing support for Scottish Independence!  What a brilliantly effective tank trap that was Alex! 

Here is the article:-
 


Debt bombshell if Scotland quits UK


TAXPAYERS from England, Wales and Northern Ireland are in line for a £1,737 debt bombshell if Scotland quits the UK, campaigners have warned.

Alex Salmond has said an independent Scotland would walk away from the UK’s massive national debt if it is blocked from sharing the pound.

The UK owes around £1.2TRILLION - equivalent to £18,993 per head if shared equally among UK nations, the Campaign for an English Parliament said.

But if Scotland votes “yes” in September’s referendum, the individual debt burden would rise to £20,730. This would likely lead to more cuts to public services or rising taxes as the Government battles to get the UK’s finances under control, the group claimed.

Its stark warning is laid bare in written evidence submitted to the Lords Constitution Committee, which is exploring the constitutional implications of Scottish independence for the rest of the UK. Chancellor George Osborne has rejected the prospect of Scotland keeping the pound if it becomes independent. He is backed by Labour and the Lib Dems.

But last month Scottish First Minister Mr Salmond warned that his decision would “backfire spectacularly”. The SNP boss said Scotland would only take on its share of the national debt if it kept a slice of “shared UK assets” like the currency. “All the debt accrued up to the point of independence belongs legally to the Treasury,” he warned. “And Scotland can’t default on debt that’s not legally ours.”

Eddie Bone, director of the Campaign for an English Parliament, said it was clear Scotland could legally get out of paying its share of the UK debt. “I have no doubt that will impact on our public services and possibly lead to higher taxes in the rest of the UK,” he said. “The English need to be given their own political voice so they are able to protect their assets.”

Britain’s national debt currently stands at just over £1,200,000,000,000 and is rising. As of 2011, there were 63,181,775 people living in the UK. That means a debt cost per head of £18,993.

Without Scotland paying its £100million share (divided between 5.3m people), the cost per person in England, Wales and Northern Ireland rises to £20,730.

Some 84 per cent of the UK population live in England, while 8.4 per cent live in Scotland, 4.8 per cent in Wales and 2.9 per cent in Northern Ireland.

http://www.thecep.org.uk/2014/03/26/debt-bombshell-if-scotland-quits-uk/

Saturday, 29 March 2014

English Fools Day Demonstration 1st April 2014




English Fools Day Demonstration 1st April 2014


The English Democrats are organising demonstrations on April 1st outside English Department of Health Offices in protest over continued unfair Prescription Charges - which are going up again on that day in England! The English Democrats’ Demonstrations will take place on April 1st between 10 am to 12.00 noon at various venues across England.

The English are now the last nation within the UK not to have free prescriptions as the Scots, Welsh and Northern Irish have all got free prescriptions for all their people at English taxpayers' expense. To add insult to injury the British Government has announced that it will be putting up the prescription charges from £7.85 to £8.05 (increasing to £8.25 in the next year) in England only! The British Government clearly thinks that the English are fools and maybe we are if we put up with them!

The cost of NHS prescriptions in England will rise 20p to £8.05 from 1st April and NHS Dental charges are also rising by up to £5.00.

Doctors leaders have already said the current system is unfair and needs to be reformed in England – the English Democrats strongly agree. Here is a video clip which explains the English Democrats' approach >>> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ZKZ1oLYB0M&list=UULXT-HuPORYWUC57YbKryQg

A British Medical Association spokesperson said recently that the current system needs reforming:-

“It’s unfair for patients as whether you pay depends not only on what part of the UK you live in, but also on what kind of condition you have. The bureaucracy to administer the charging and exemption regime is also cumbersome and costly. The BMA believes it would be best to abolish prescription charges in England altogether.”

English Democrats’ Chairman, Robin Tilbrook, said:- “We agree whole-heartedly with the BMA. Prescription charges should be scrapped in England – just like they have been in the rest of the UK. This is just another example of the anti-English bias of a British government hell bent on profiteering from English taxpayers who are often being made to pay twice through their tax and for their prescription charges as well as for the Scots, Welsh and Northern Irish to have it free. The English Democrats are committed to fighting this kind of injustice and getting fair and equal treatment for the English”. The British Government thinks that the English are fools. We are trying to show them that not every Englishman and Englishwoman is so easily fooled! Even on April Fools day!



Robin Tilbrook
Chairman,
The English Democrats,
Blog: http://robintilbrook.blogspot.co.uk/
FaceBook Profile: http://www.facebook.com/robin.tilbrook
Party Tel: 0207 242 1066
Twitter: @RobinTilbrook
Party Website: www.englishdemocrats.org
English Democrats' FB Page: http://www.facebook.com/robin.tilbrook#!/www.EngDem.org
Chairman's FB
Page: http://www.facebook.com/robin.tilbrook#!/Robin.Tilbrook.English.Democrats
Key facts about the English Democrats
The English Democrats launched in 2002. The English Democrats are the English nationalist Party which campaigns for a referendum for Independence for England; for St George’s Day to be England’s National holiday; for Jerusalem to be England’s National Anthem; to leave the EU; for an end to mass immigration; for the Cross of St George to be flown on all public buildings in England.

The English Democrats are England’s answer to the Scottish National Party and Plaid Cymru. The English Democrats’ greatest electoral successes to date include winning the Directly Elected Executive Mayoralty of Doncaster Metropolitan Borough Council and the 2012 referendum; We won the referendum which triggered a referendum to give Salford City an Elected Mayor; In 2012 we saved all our deposits in the Police Commissioner elections and came second in South Yorkshire; In the 2009 EU election we gained 279,801 votes after a total EU campaign spend of less than £25,000 (giving the English Democrats by far the most cost efficient electoral result of any serious Party in the UK)

Sunday, 16 March 2014

Ever imagined that the courts are unbiased? If so, here is your medicine. Read and be cured!

Kirk here - beam me up Scotty!

Here is an excellent and all too true explanation of the institutional bias at the heart of the new style British judiciary. New Labour gerrymandered so many other things so why would anyone imagine they didn't do so also to the courts?

Ever wondered why our courts have a Leftist bias?

 By Daniel Hannan


Why do we need a quango for barristers?

Judicial activism is a problem in almost every country. Judges have a lamentable, if inevitable, tendency to rule on the basis of what they think the law ought to say rather than what it actually says.

But here’s a puzzle. Why do they always seem to be biased in the same direction? Courts are forever striking down deportation orders, but did you ever hear of them stepping in to order the repatriation of an illegal immigrant whom the Home Office had allowed to stay? The imposition by Parliament of minimum prison tariffs for certain offences was howled down as an assault on judicial independence. But maximum tariffs? No problem there. It’s common for warrants to be served against Augusto Pinochet or Ariel Sharon or George Bush; never against Fidel Castro or Robert Mugabe or Kim Jong-un. A minister rules that a murderer should't be released? Outrageous! A minister rules (in Northern Ireland) that murderers should be released? Quite right.

The US judge Robert Bork wrote a book called Coercing Virtue, which argued that judges were consciously seeking to advance an agenda that had been rejected at the ballot-box. It amounted, Bork averred, to “a coup d’├ętat – slow-moving and genteel, but a coup d’├ętat nonetheless”.

Judges are often open, when speaking extra-judicially, about what they see as their obligation strike down (in Lord Woolf’s phrase) “bad laws”. In one sense, judicial activism is inescapable. Someone, after all, has to be the final arbiter. As Bishop Hoadley of Winchester remarked three centuries ago, “whoever interprets a law may justly be considered the lawgiver, not he who first wrote or spake it”.

Still, why does the judiciary lean Left? Half a century ago, the popular stereotype of a judge was of a stern disciplinarian committed to the absolute defence of property rights. What changed?

Part of the problem is surely the appointments system. Judges used to be chosen by the Lord Chancellor – a system which on paper seemed open to abuse and which, for that very reason, was in practice almost never abused. Successive Lord Chancellors, conscious of their responsibility, would carefully avoid any suspicion of partiality. Then, in 2005, Labour created a Judicial Appointments Commission, which was charged with promoting candidates on the basis, inter alia, of “the need to encourage diversity”. While diversity is certainly desirable (diversity in the fullest sense – of opinion and outlook as well as sex and race), the vagueness of the criterion opened the door to favouritism and partisanship.

Indeed, the prejudice starts further upstream. It’s not easy to be a judge unless you’ve been a QC. The Bar used to be self-regulating, but New Labour changed that, too, creating a quango called QC Appointments. Here, too, one of the criteria is commitment to diversity.

It is vital to stress that this doesn’t mean having more diverse QCs – for which a good case can be made. It means promoting barristers who have a political commitment to “diversity” in the Leftie, public-sector sense of he word. The QCA’s general report, explains that “diversity competence” includes both awareness and action… being aware is not enough: there must be evidence of support for the principle and practice of diversity, or personal action.

For the avoidance of doubt the QCA’s “Approach to the Competencies” report explains:

The Panel sought evidence of a pro-active approach to diversity issues which in outstanding candidates ran like a consistent ‘thread’ through their language and behaviours.

You don’t need to be Richard Littlejohn to see that this is a political test. In the name of diversity, a less diverse cohort of QCs is being created, one whose members are expected to endorse the Left-liberal orthodoxy. Thus can a party that loses office retain power.

It’s worth remembering that the Conservatives were elected on a promise to abolish unelected agencies. Here is an especially superfluous example. Why, after all, should the state have any role in privileging some barristers over others? Couldn’t this be left to the profession itself?
Ministers have scrapped one QCA – the hopeless quango that was supposed to regulate exam boards. Why is the other still hanging around?


http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/danielhannan/100263531/heres-why-the-courts-tend-to-lean-left/