No Faith In The Law

Following on from yesterday, I’m reminded that I have very little faith in the law. I have very little faith in lawyers and judges and courts and legislatures.

After all, smoking bans are an example of law in action. And I think they’re an example of bad law.  I think they’re very, very bad law. In fact I think they’re an abuse of law.

Some people seem to think of laws as being a set of rules by which people must live. And banning smoking is just one extra rule that’s been added to all the other ones. They see laws as being just like school rules. No talking. No running. No hands in pockets. No smoking. (These were all school rules I knew.)

And all these No-Something rules restrict people’s freedom. They take away freedom. They hedge people around with barriers and obstacles. They fence them in. They become a prison. They make life harder for people.

And I don’t want to make life harder for people. I want to make life easier for them. I want to increase people’s freedom, not decrease it.

I think the Highway Code is a good example of a set of rules that increase people’s freedom. By keeping traffic moving in one direction to one side of the road, they allow people to move around more quickly than they would otherwise: there are going to be fewer head-on collisions. One small restriction (Keep To The Left) has a pay-off in much faster journey times.

In what ways do smoking bans increase people’s freedom? They may increase the freedom of non-smokers and antismokers who don’t like tobacco smoke, but they decrease the freedom of smokers who do like tobacco smoke. And they decrease the freedom of smokers far more than they increase the freedom of non-smokers and antismokers. They discriminate in favour of one group of people at the expense of another group. There’s no net gain in freedom (like with the Highway Code). There is instead a net loss of freedom.

Good laws increase people’s freedom: bad laws decrease it.

Good laws should also be simple laws. “Keep Left” is both a good law and a simple law. If a law needs to have a whole book describing its details, it’s probably a bad law. If laws need experts – expert lawyers – to interpret them, they’re bad laws. For if laws need such experts, it can only mean that most ordinary people don’t know or don’t understand the law. And a society in which most people don’t know or don’t understand the law is effectively a lawless society.

It is said that “Ignorance of the law is no excuse” (Ignorantia juris non excusat). And yet, the more complicated and arcane and obscure the law becomes. the more impossible it becomes for anyone to understand it at all. And in a time when there are complex and multiplying laws, how many people must be in prison these days simply because they didn’t know what the law was?

The only beneficiaries of bad laws are lawyers. The more lawyers there are in any society, the worse its laws most likely are.

And lawyers are never impartial. They thrive in opposition to each other. For every prosecuting lawyer, there will be a defence lawyer.

And are judges impartial? Many of them were once lawyers themselves. And wasn’t the furore over the appointment of Brett Kavanaugh to the US Supreme Court over the fact that he was a political appointment by Donald Trump who could be relied on to come up with conservative judgments rather than progressive ones? When the Dems get in, they’ll stack the court with liberal judges, and when the Republicans get in they’ll stack the court with conservative ones. The judges are expected to be biased. The Dems complaint about Kavanaugh wasn’t about him being biased: it was about the direction of his bias.

And if the judges are not impartial, but are always biased one way or other, then there can be no justice.

And also, to top it all, aren’t some people simply above the law? They’re never going to be prosecuted for anything, ever. Right now in the USA there’s talk of indicting ex-FBI director James Comey and ex-CIA director John Brennan for conspiracy to topple a sitting president. There’s also talk of indicting Hillary Clinton. But, really, is that ever going to happen?  All these people are above the law. They’ve all been given Get Out Of Jail Free cards.

It’s the same with the politicians in the EU. They’re above the law as well.

The state of the law is rotten and corrupt. And it’s rotten and corrupt everywhere.

Calming nature sounds of a soothing waterfall with forest bird song

About Frank Davis

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4 Responses to No Faith In The Law

  1. wobbler2012 says:

    I have been thinking Frank, a lot of people have been acutely affected by the smoking ban and a lot still despise it to this day, even I do and I don’t even smoke any more (I vape.)

    Of all the people annoyed by the ban nobody comes anywhere near you in my opinion. The anger drives you on when many a man would have thrown the towel in a long time ago.

    Anyway what I am trying to say is that I do hope this blog is somehow preserved after your death because in a couple of hundred years when we are both gone and people cannot do a fucking thing as so many things will be banned this blog will be a good reference as to exactly when it all started to go wrong.

    It all started in 2007 with the smoking ban. The slope has been getting more slippery as every year goes by since then and it is only going to get worse.

    • Frank Davis says:

      I actually think that there are many people who are a lot angrier than I am. The difference is that I write about it. I express the anger, and they don’t.

      As for preserving this blog, these days there are one or two other people to whom I currently export the whole blog, because these days we don’t know whether social media platforms are going to delete everything, and throw people off. And so if one day I suddenly vanish, I’m quite likely to re-appear somewhere else. Although whether I’ll be round in 200 years is open to doubt.

      I don’t agree that it is only going to get worse. I don’t think history moves in one direction. I think it’s a mistake of “progressives” to believe that it does. I think we’re living in a complex dynamic system where things are always changing around. And I think that in Britain right now we’re at a point (and I’m thinking about Brexit) when the old order is coming to an end.

      • wobbler2012 says:

        I admire your optimism in thinking that it’s not going to get worse Frank but I fear you are wrong. Just take a look at how bad it is at the moment with regards to free speech. People with opposing views are being de-platformed left, right and center all because they have a different “view.” Huge YouTube personalities are being de-monitised to try and shut them up. (PJW, Sargon of Akkad, Count Dankula to name a few.)

        Look at the perennially offended on Twitter and companies acquiescing to the complaints instead of quite rightly telling the morons to f**k off.

        Look at the likes of Labour who pretty much want to ban everything and the worrying thing is due to the way the Conservatives (namely Teresa May) have handled Brexit we will probably be looking at a Labour government after the next general election (or a Labour coalition.) Jesus Christ imagine how bad that is going to be?

        I think that in the end the old order will end up being looked on quite favorably compared to what is coming.

  2. DP says:

    Dear Mr Davis

    It will be interesting to see how this will play out:

    I haven’t seen anything about it in the legacy media, unlike Gina Miller’s court case, which they were all over like an interesting rash.

    I will be donating £100 to the cause – freedom never came so cheap.


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