Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Whatever happened to journalism?

The Daily Telegraph was once the bastion of conservative newspapers, but I'm afraid its spiral of descent into inanity continues unabashed. It's like The Sun without the value. Today we have someone called Melissa Kite attempting to be funny about a proposed "Bill of Rights".

What was Gordon Brown thinking when he came up with the wheeze of a British Bill of Rights?

The Justice Secretary Jack Straw is having all sorts of bother drafting it because, let's face it, the whole concept is just so unBritish.

I've no idea who Melissa Kite is - probably some fresh faced 20 something barely out of university with a top degree in media studies who is being "fast-tracked" 'cos she is so hip, young and "with it". Whatever "it" is she is with - it isn't knowledge. You see, far from being "unBritish" we've had a Bill of Rights* for over 300 years. Kite goes on ....

Noble pursuits like this are best left to the Americans, who have exciting rights to defend in the first place, like the right to bear arms.

If she bothered to research this a little she'd find out that our own Bill Of Rights includes the right to bear arms ......

That the subjects which are Protestants may have arms for their defence suitable to their conditions and as allowed by law

.... as long as they are Protestant. I bet that won't appear in Jack Straw's constitutional abortion!

Perhaps the most interesting right, as far as I'm concerned, is this one .....

That all grants and promises of fines and forfeitures of particular persons before conviction are illegal and void.

Which the "on the spot" and other fines handed out by the authorities contravenes so blatantly. No wonder they want to get rid of it.

I've nothing against a spot of humour even in what used to pass as a serious newspaper. Mark Steyn can make me laugh out loud while covering the most serious of subjects, but he always does it from a position of knowledge - i.e. he knows what he is talking about. What I object to is the Telegraph giving space to this appalling piece of writing which isn't even accurate.

The problem Straw is having is finding a way of drawing up a "Bill of Rights" which does not offend the EU in some way. Labour and the EU have already conducted many acts of malicious constitutional vandalism on our existing rights and constitution. Going back to the original 1689 Bill Of Rights, Ms Kite should take the time to read the oath of allegiance.

"And I do declare that no foreign prince, person, prelate, state or potentate hath or ought to have any jurisdiction, power, superiority, pre-eminence or authority, ecclesiastical or spiritual, within this realm. So help me God."

Where exactly does that leave the EU?

Illegal is where.

I just wish journalists would wake up to what is going on with our constitution. This centuries old collection of rights and protections is being ripped apart and replaced by the meandering notions of foreigners most of whom come from countries that have no history of democracy or rights like the ones we enjoy.

From the destruction of the House of Lords ('cos elected is more democratic innit, man) which will bring to an end the substantial check and balance on the elected house making it feasible for the first time in centuries to envisage the possibility of Britain being ruled by a tyranny to the tearing up of centuries old rights and freedoms.

With MPs swapping oaths like kids swap Pokemon cards - one minute swearing to defend Britain from "foreign authority", the next swearing allegiance to a foreign authority (how many oaths of allegiance has Peter Mandelson broken exactly?) and a government determined to wreak havoc on the British constitution purely on the grounds of their own prejudices and bigotry we are at a point in history where they should be held up to scrutiny.

But all the Telegraph can do is joke about it.

* I know the 1689 Bill of Rights is the English Bill Of Rights, but it remains part of the British Constitution.

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