…from the media’s instant beatification of an Eton-educated descendent of a royal bastard for a couple of minutes, there is something rather more important going on in the High Court at the moment.
Right now there’s a group of ‘Tarzan’s and Man Friday’s’ – that’s precisely how a Foreign Office memo described them back in the 1960’s – fighting to overturn not only one of the most appalling human rights abuses ever carried out by a British Government but an equally appalling piece of legislative chicanery carried out by the current government.
I’m talking, of course, about the Chagos Islanders’ fight to win back the right to some of their home islands after they were illegally taken from them in order to accomodate a US Naval base – one which, its speculated, may be being used for the odd ‘extraordinary redition’ or two.
The Yanks call their base ‘Camp Justice’ which is probably yet another military euphemism for ‘Camp Testicular-Electrodes’
Couple of quick points of fact to clarify here.
Although Her Maj is technically the defendant here, as her royal prerogative powers were used to shaft the Chagossians, the actual process by which orders-in-council are passed is actually…
A conniving slime-ball New Labour Scumbag Privy Councillor stands in front of Her Maj and reads out the title of the order… Note, I said the title of the order – the Chagossians don’t even get the courtesy of Her Maj having to listen to the whole order that’s fucking with their lives.
2. Her Maj says whatever she says on such occasions – ‘yeah, alright then you’ve talked me into, I s’pose’ for all I know or fucking care – and then signs the thing – or more likely it gets pp’d by the Grovelling Keeper of the Royal Biro.
And that’s it – it takes less time for this government to fuck over 4,500 people than it used to take Bush to sign death warrants and the not even any of that messy bullshit about democracy or Parliament to get in the way.
Second little fact for you all – the Coronation Oath,which Her Maj took in 1953 reads, at one point, as follows:
Archbish – “Will you solemnly promise and swear to govern the people of this Kingdom of England, and the dominions thereto belonging, according to the statutes in Parliament agreed on, and the laws and customs of the same?”
Her Maj – “I solemnly promise so to do.”
Archbish -“Will you to your power cause law and justice in mercy to be executed in all your judgements?”
Her Maj “I will.”
Which as the expulsion of the Chagossians was ruled illegal by the High Court in 2000 suggests that law, justice in mercy and the Coronation Oath mean just about fuck all these days.
I’ll keep you posted on this as it develops, in the mean time pay a visit to the Disillusioned Kid for some first rate coverage.
4 thoughts on “If you can tear yourself away…”
To be fair on Her Maj, Royal Assent hasn’t been refused to a bill since 1708, before the current system of cabinets and Prime Ministers really kicked off and got entrenched. If she were ever to try it, you can be certain that some republican wag would launch some kind of ill-thought-out action to divest her of any of the remaining nominal powers she holds as monarch (doubtless arguing that the fact that Royal Assent hasn’t been withheld for the best part of 300 years has set a new convention, which it arguably has) and royally screw up the constitution in the process – probably by giving the prerogative powers currently held by the crown either to the Prime Minister or to some newly-created puppet of the government, which would defeat the whole object of the thing. Sort of. Admittedly, having a head of state with only nominal powers is rather pointless, but to blame Brenda for not acting is nonetheless rather harsh – it’s not her, it’s the system, man…
Funny thing is, I didn’t see myself as taking a shot at Brenda so much as illustrating the absurdity of the system.
From what I understand, Her Maj is fairly assiduous about reading stuff that’s put in front of her to sign, even if there’s fuck all she can do if she doesn’t like it apart from tell the author she thinks they’re a twat.
That’s the absurdity of this situation – because the royal prerogative has been used, the Chagossians are forced to go to court to argue that Brenda’s exceeded her authority in stiffing them of their homeland when, in reality, she has no fucking authority and it should be Dorian Gray’s portrait and his mates up before the beak.
From what I can gather, the man who actually did the deed – as in presenting the order to Her Maj, was actually Peter Hain.
Thanks for the link!
Small People Without Blonde Hair
It’s encouraging to see people beginning to show an interest in the plight of the Chagossians. I fear, however, that I’ve run out of interesting things to say about the legal challenge currently being heard by the High Court (discussed previously her…