Newsletter of the Campaign to Defend the Right to a Secret Ballot (CDRSB)
November 2015 Issue No. 11
ISSN 1756-4964 (Print)
Why Trial By Jury Must Be Defended
Why Postal Ballots Must Be Counted Separately
Why Trial By Jury Must Be Defended
The Right to Trial by Jury is under threat from the EU. Its juryless legal systems trace their origins to the inquisitional method of trial, authorised by the Pope in 1198. This ultimately destroyed jury trial in Europe, despite the fact that it had been upheld for centuries across the Holy Roman Empire. Trial by Jury survived in Britain chiefly as a result of Magna Carta which, largely and ironically through enlightened clerical influence, enshrined this right in common law. UK law as a result developed more closely aligned with the viewpoint of common sense in a less arbitrary and more tolerant manner than in Europe. Largely through this, and unlike its French counterpart, the embryonic English Parliament survived and developed. The 17th century English revolutions strengthened these tendencies most especially through the trial of William Penn in 1670. Despite being directed by the Judge to find Penn guilty of unlawful speech the jury found him not guilty and refused to change this verdict even when the judge ordered they be imprisoned until they did so. The jury was eventually released through public pressure. Freedom of speech, of worship and of the press as a result all trace their origins primarily to the right to trial by jury. The 1688 English Bill of Rights upheld this right.
The 18th century legal theorist William Blackstone warned that the survival of liberty requires that the right to trial by jury “remains sacred and inviolate, not only from all open attacks, (which none will be so hardy as to make) but also from all secret machinations, which may sap and undermine it; by introducing new and arbitrary methods of trial, by justices of the peace… yet let it be again remembered, that delays, and little inconveniences in the forms of justice, are the price that all free nations must pay for their liberty in more substantial matters; that these inroads… though begun in trifles, the precedent may gradually increase and spread, to the utter disuse of juries in questions of the most momentous concern.”
The American Declaration of Independence cites denial of the right to jury trial as one of the acts of tyranny that led the colonists to take up armed rebellion in 1776. The American founders recognised the primary purpose of trial by jury is not to prosecute criminals but to protect the people against government tyranny. The right to trial by jury was entrenched in three of the ten amendments that comprise the US Bill of Rights.
Despite this trial by jury has been sapped and undermined in the UK since 1854, when the ‘either way’ principle was enacted: provided both parties agreed trials by judge alone were thereafter allowed. Trials by judge alone now account for over 90% of the total. Short sighted attempts to minimise the inconveniences of just law are now also driven by Europhile motives in order to ensure conformity to the inquisitorial system. The European Arrest Warrant is a product of these ‘secret machinations’ and both Blair and Cameron have upheld it. Yet the power of jury nullification in defending press freedom was shown as being just as necessary to preserving liberty in 2015 as it was in the trial of William Penn in 1670. The vast majority of journalists rounded up during the Cameron Leveson attack on the Murdoch (Fox News) papers were found innocent by juries despite the elaborate, enormously expensive legal apparatus assembled to get them convicted. Cameron’s Privy Council press control drive will shortly empower the shadowy ‘Impress project’ to bankrupt newspapers not to its liking even if they are exonerated by juries (see news review).
Why Postal Ballots Must Be Counted Separately
Despite polls showing over 60% opposition to ending restrictions on the use of postal ballots in place since 1872 Tony Blair abolished these safeguards in 2001. The Campaign to Defend the Right to a Secret Ballot (CDRSB) was formed in 2002 to reinstate them. The 1872 Ballot Act protected this right by requiring voting to be made in secret at polling stations and also by restricting the use of postal ballots to persons unable through absence from home or illness to vote in a polling station. Employers and landlords were thereby prevented from knowing which way their employees and tenants voted. Unlimited use of postal ballots undermines the right to a secret ballot. It also leads to an increase in electoral fraud.
There are various ways in which postal ballots more easily enable fraud. One is through multiple occupancy tenancies. Anybody with reasonable access to dozens of such tenancies can create scores of fake voters through postal ballot applications. Such ghost voters can disappear without trace after their ‘vote’ has been cast. In fact it is not even necessary to have an address to get a postal ballot. By such means fraud has become so organized that the most experienced electoral fraud judge in the country – Richard Mawry QC – has compared UK elections to those of a ‘banana republic.’ The 2010 general election result would have led to a single party government rather than the coalition that got power if a mere 16,000 votes had been cast differently. Over 50 MPs and MEPs have expressed support for the reinstatement of limits on the use of postal ballots, including Nigel Farage and Dominic Grieve. Farage called for the closure of the Electoral Commission – a supposedly independent body set up and funded by the Blair regime – on grounds that it has a ‘thinly concealed party political bent.’ Blairite electoral reform was from the outset geared primarily to increasing the Left’s ‘grip on power’ including by means of the Gramscian strategy of a ‘long march’ of infiltration through public institutions (e.g. see Tim Montgomerie, 15/4/13, the Times). This was often achieved by appointing placemen by means of supposedly non-political recruitment networks such as ‘Common Purpose’ (e.g. see Quentin Letts, Daily Mail 12/4/13). By such means Labour’s ‘secret army’ now occupies commanding positions throughout the voluntary sector, the education system, the judiciary and most especially the vast range of ‘quangos’ that now run large parts of government (e.g. see Fraser Nelson, The Daily Telegraph, 25/10/12). The public sector is now ‘stuffed to the gunwales’ with a ‘kind of Labour fifth column’ (Dominic Lawson, Daily Mail 3/2/14). Accordingly putting the leftist ‘modern militant’ Jenny Watson (Ian Gallagher, Daily Mail, 9/5/2010) in charge of the Electoral Commission was tantamount to appointing the proverbial fox to guard chickens.
Although some have been taken in by the occasional flurry of measures announced to address the problem of electoral fraud, closer analysis reveals that the chief such measure - individual voter registration – does not accomplish this. Nearly all parties in Northern Ireland recognise this to be so and continue to regard the use of postal ballots on demand as a virtual invitation to commit fraud. In the words of Peter Robinson, voter ID on its own will simply result in the growth of fake voter ID factories. You may draw your own conclusions concerning the fact that the 2014 Sinn Fein conference decided to promote the use of postal ballots on demand.
In his most recent book “The Voting Wars: From Florida 2000 to the Next Election Meltdown.” Richard L. Hasen, professor of law and political science at the University of California, Irvine School of Law and author of the Election Law Blog states that: “In researching my book…I could not find one case in which voter impersonation fraud was used to arguably steal an election. In contrast, it is easy to find cases throughout the country every year of fraud or attempted fraud with absentee ballots. Voter ID laws do nothing to prevent absentee ballot fraud.” (Reuters, April 30 2014).
In 2014 the CDRSB called for the separate counting of postal ballots, as has been the case for decades in Australia. By such means advantages gained through postal ballot fraud would very likely show up in a disproportionate number of postal ballots being cast for one or other party, as compared to the numbers for ballots cast at polling stations. In this way postal ballot fraud is more easily detected, and consequently also better deterred. In the UK postal ballots are collected separately but then deliberately mixed in with normal ballots before being counted. This practice helps conceal, not expose, fraud. In 2014 the CDRSB wrote to David Cameron and ministers dealing with such matters requesting that postal ballots be counted separately. Even though the former Conservative Party leader Lord Michael Howard and 1922 Committee Chairman Graham Brady MP supported our request Cameron failed to authorise separate counting. Many Tories are sceptical of his sincerity. Peter Hitchens has stated that under Cameron’s leadership the Conservative Party has been surreptitiously taken over by leftist elements and is now pursuing Blairite policies – which includes the unlimited use of postal ballots.
It is against this background that the government has, since the 2015 general election, charged the Tory MP and former communist Eric Pickles with the task of conducting a review of electoral procedure.
The CDRSB held a Conference on International Electoral Standards at the UN in New York in 2006. Constitutional issues connected to such standards were discussed, including attempts by the Blair regime to undermine Jury Trial. It was agreed to research means by which systemic change between capitalism and socialism could take place upon a less politically polarised, more securely peaceful foundation. Consequently our program includes not only our policy regarding postal ballots on demand but also our proposals for constitutional reforms which may help moderate conflict between conservatism and radicalism and encourage an honest, cooperative approach to democratic government. These proposals, together with the historical and political analysis upon which they are based, are as follows.
It may be reasonably stated that most conflict in the last two centuries arose ultimately as a consequence of the failure to fulfil the aspirations of American revolutionary radicalism in the regulation of inherited wealth and the development of non partisan forms of political participation and decision making most especially in regard to their role in facilitating ongoing systemic change. This failure may be attributed to two main factors: first, the incompetence and corresponding extremism of French revolutionary radicalism; second, the insufficient strength of American revolutionary radicalism in overcoming single-handedly the forces of global conservatism following the French defeat. Notwithstanding certain limited merits the various autocratic, confused theoretical legacies of Jacobin extremism – including stealth Marxism - have impeded democratic progress. The reasons for these shortcomings are rooted in the comparatively more backward level of European social and political development (see Issue No 10, Magna Carta and Common Sense for analysis of this). Democratic progress may therefore best be assured by reaffirming the main achievements and aspirations of the American founders. Accordingly alongside defending the Right to a Secret Ballot there are two main policy areas addressed by the CDRSB program aimed at defending democracy and helping to resolve conflict between radicalism and conservatism.
First, defence of Trial by Jury. One of the chief merits of jury trial is that it helps constrain the influence of factions, including both governing and secret factions, upon the judicial process. The right to trial by jury is the last legal defence against tyranny short of open rebellion. Its denial is cited in the American Declaration of Independence as an act of despotism against which the colonists began their revolution. The CDRSB seeks accordingly to halt and reverse the erroneous tendency, warned of by Blackstone, to ‘sap and undermine’ the right to trial by jury underway since the nineteenth century. We oppose Blair regime actions aimed at undermining this right, including its decision taken at the European Council special meeting in October 1999 in Tampere to agree to the principle of equality of justice systems across the EU – that is to say, placing trial by jury on a par with juryless trial in other states. The European Arrest Warrant (EAW) was created from this manoeuvre by removing extradition safeguards against trials in juryless European states. We oppose the European Arrest Warrant and also seek to reinstate the right to trial by jury in UK Employment Law, most especially with regard to the rights of whistleblowers. We support the reinstatement of grand juries and exploration of possibilities for developing the role of juries in courts of appeal, such as the US Supreme Court. As a general principle, the CDRSB upholds the right of appeal to a jury in regard to any administrative decision affecting individual rights. We also seek to develop the role of juries in legislative procedure, with particular regard to the adjudication of policy disputes on questions of long term, systemic change, whether that be in citizen assemblies comprised of verifiably randomly selected delegates, grand juries, or constitutional courts which include juries.
Second, the CDRSB seeks to promote understanding in politics, philosophy and economics of the constitutional principle formulated by Thomas Jefferson and Thomas Paine that ‘the earth belongs to the living.’ We propose combining development of the jury form of democracy as indicated above with the establishment of longer term electoral cycles alongside existing shorter term cycles in order that long term questions of ongoing systemic change may be dealt with upon a less polarised and accordingly more securely peaceful foundation. In regard to taxation policy we conduct research as to whether it is a self evident truth of common sense that of the three main classes of taxation – labour, enterprise and inheritance, it is the latter class which is the most socially just class of taxation. This relation can apply in both high tax, socialistic and low tax, capitalistic economies.
Some progress has been made in raising these issues at Russian, US, UK and UN political and diplomatic levels.
This News Review is attentive to deception in politics. The news sources listed here are significant but do not always reflect our editorial approach. Duplicitous tactics exist in all parties but have become especially entrenched on the left through the influence of tactics advocated by Saul Alinsky. For analysis of Alinsky tactics see ‘The Frankfurt School: The Quiet Revolution Rolls Forward’ on the website www.cfnews.org.uk. We have the most impartial approach to such problems. Naturally some may disagree.
On 6/8/15 leading candidate Ben Carson alleged in the US Republican Presidential nomination Fox News TV debate that Hillary Clinton uses the tactics of Saul Alinsky, a neo-Marxist also favoured by David Cameron. Carson claimed Clinton “is the epitome of the progressive — the secular progressive movement. And she counts on the fact that people are uninformed, the Alinsky Model, taking advantage of useful idiots. Well, I just happen to believe that people are not stupid. And the way I will come at it is to educate people, help people to actually understand that it is that progressive movement that is causing them the problems. You know, you look at the — the national debt and how it’s being driven up. If I was trying to destroy this country, what I would do is find a way to drive wedges between all the people, drive the debt to an unsustainable level, and then step off the stage as a world leader and let our enemies increase while we decreased our capacity as a military power. And that’s what she’s doing.” The debate transcript is at http://time.com/3988276/republican-debate-primetime-transcript-full-text/.
The sincerity of David Cameron, whose ‘Big Society’ project openly embraced Alinsky tactics, is called into question by the former Head of Britain’s Armed Forces, General Sir David Richards (Daily Mail 29/8/15). Richards blames Cameron for the rise of ISIS because he is more interested in pursuing a ‘Notting Hill liberal agenda’ than in ‘serious statecraft.’ Nick Hallett reports 10/9/15 in breitbart.com/london on Peter Hitchens’ proposal to rename the Tories the Socialist Workers Party since they are so thoroughly infiltrated with leftists. Peter Oborne warns of the ‘Very surprising (and dangerous) love-in of Peter Mandelson and George Osborne.’ (Daily Mail 24/10/15).
Game over for stealth Marxism? On Breitbart News Saturday 7/11/15 Sean Spicer, the US Republican National Committee’s chief strategist, said the growth of new media outlets such as Breitbart News is showing the mainstream media that: “the game is over.” In an interview on CNN’s Saturday broadcast of “Smerconish,” he declared that: “part of the reason that Fox, and places like Breitbart and The Daily Caller and others, have grown to be successful is because the mainstream media frankly is not understanding what a lot of Americans are actually dealing with, people who they respect, issues that they want covered.” On Fox Report Sunday 8/9/11 Doug Schoen, former pollster for president Bill Clinton went further, declaring the “electorate hate the media.” Pat Caddell former pollster for President Jimmy Carter similarly declared the mainstream media ‘is nothing but an arm of the Democratic Party… any republicans who do not understand that they are fighting two enemies in this campaign are going to pay a price for it.”
James Delingpole reports on the ‘Meltdown Myth: Antarctic ice growing is just the first evidence global warming is not real’ (Daily Express 5/11/15).
UKIP deputy chair Suzanne Evans tweeted a link 21/9/15 to a 23/7/15 Open Letter by the Labour MP John Mann (www.mann4bassetlaw.com/blog) opposing Corbyn as Labour Party leader on grounds that, along with the ‘trendy left,’ he effectively helped cover up child abuse. Milo Yiannopoulos observes 21/9/15 on brietbart.com that while paedophilia can exist in any party its defence tends to be ‘rampant on the left.’ Such flaws are not included in the 21/9/15 Telegraph report that the ‘Russian ambassador lavishes praise on Jeremy Corbyn over foreign policy.’ He believes Corbyn is harbinger of more honest leftism across the west. British Armed Forces take a different view. Sam Adams reports in the Daily Mirror on 21/9/15 they distrust him so much they 'would MUTINY if a Jeremy Corbyn government tried to downgrade Britain's capabilities.’
Jonathan Arnott MEP tweeted 17/9/15 that a European Parliament UKIP amendment to use the 1951 Geneva Convention definition of refugees failed by 64-442. The amendment exposed the hypocrisy of the leftist refusal to uphold international asylum seeker law in order to satisfy their ambition to flood Europe with illegal migrants. The decision announced at the UKIP 2015 conference by policy director Mark Reckless to drop their policy of abolishing inheritance tax is to be welcomed and is in line with our program. The conference claim by the Wales leader that UKIP is a ‘working class party’ is duly noted. Even so there remain suspect twists in UKIP policy. The Daily Mail 30/10/15 reports UKIP’s abstention on the Euro Parliament Edward Snowden asylum vote was due to internal differences. Similar turmoil was on show in UKIP Steven Woolfe MEP’s call for the West to support Assad in Syria (Telegraph 9/9/15).
A less naive position is reported on 7/10/15 in Accuracy in Media (www.aim.org) by Cliff Kincaid: ‘Putin’s “Moral Clarity” Disguises Evil Intent.’ AIM is run by analysts including cold war warriors and their Soviet defector recruits alert to the key question of whether the ‘war on terror’ is in reality merely a continuation of the Cold War by more deniable means. On 22/9/15 retired US Major General Paul E. Vallely (standupamericaus.org) reported that Obama handed control of training the Syrian Free Army (SFA) to intermediaries from Turkey, Qatar and the Muslim Brotherhood. The reason less than a dozen recruits got US training is because thousands of them refused to swear only to fight ISIS, not Assad. Obama ‘intentionally’ aligned with the wrong people in order to undermine US power, as Ben Carson suggested. Edward Lucas offers a similar view of Putin’s Middle East tactics (Daily Mail 2/11/15).
The website www.hungarytoday.hu carries a 15/9/15 interview with the Hungarian Prime Minister along with a 9/9/15 article entitled ‘Useful Idiots Of The West And The Creation Of Chaos Through Mass Migration’ by Adam Topolansky. The article explains Lenin’s term ‘useful idiots’ to depict those among the western middle class sufficiently gullible to believe communist deception tactics. Brietbart.com/london on 29/10/15 reports that ‘Hundreds of Germans are trying to bring treason charges against Angela Merkel over migration policy.’ The President of Bavaria has allied with the Hungarian PM as a direct snub to Merkel and may build a border fence with Austria if she does not shift her stance on migration.
In ‘Seven lessons from the University of Missouri Debacle’ Ben Shapiro at breitbart.com states on 9/11/15 that: “America’s colleges have not seen a conservative in generations. Since the radicals took over the universities in the 1960s... replacing basic education with murky multiculturalism, universities have been hotspots for radical leftism.
David Aaronovitch warns readers to ‘Beware the soft Stalinists of the Campus’ in The Times 5/11/15 because “freedom of expression in Britain is being stifled by the very academic institutions that should champion it.” Douglas Murray (the Spectator 6/11/15) warns ‘The ‘Stop the War coalition’ unites hardline Stalinists and Islamists ‘to pull off the Stalinist trick of discussing Syria while refusing to hear from any Syrians’ in a meeting in Parliament chaired by Diane Abbott MP.
Leveson’s legacy could be the death of investigative journalism (Nick Cohen, Spectator 15/10/15). A body called ‘Impress,’ whose financial backers are a mystery to Cohen says it will apply to become the press regulator. If newspapers fail to join this scheme they will be forced to pay all libel costs whether they win or lose.
UK Column at www.ukcolumn.org reports on links between the leftist placement outfit Common Purpose and the Leveson aim of Press control. “Downhill to the British Dictatorship Unless We Withdraw Our Consent” by Brian Gerrish on 19/1/15 claims secret and/or juryless courts and behavioural psychology are being used to frame whistleblowers against ‘communitarian Marxism on steroids’ through false accusations of mental illness reminiscent of the Soviet Gulag.
America Democrat commentator Kirsten Powers, author of ‘The Silencing: How the left is killing free speech’ told Bill O’Reilly on Fox News 10/11/15 that six months on from publication, the intensity of the left attack on free speech is so great she already could write another book.
‘European Commission Plots Web-Breaking Copyright Reform’ by Allum Bokhari at breitbart.com reports (9/11/15) that: “The European Commission, the most powerful body in the EU, is planning web regulation described by one politician as “its most dangerous yet.” Draft documents, leaked by bloggers, shows the Commission planning to regulate hyperlinks, one of the foundational forms of communication on the web… The new rules would hold all online actors, from search engines to ordinary users, legally responsible for the act of hyperlinking ... If a hyperlink leads to copyrighted content, the draft EU rules would force users to ask for permission from the copyright holder before linking… it would also cripple ordinary communication on the internet.”