"If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or your arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen."

Thursday, 15 October 2009

Time For An Elected Judiciary?

If we were able to elect Judges this man would certainly be out of a job:
A High Court judge has caused outrage by ruling that a group of travellers did not act in a 'cynical or ruthless' way when they built an illegal site over a bank holiday weekend.
The six families chose the Easter break, when planning officers were off work, to put down 1,000 tons of hardcore on a green belt field.
But yesterday Mr Justice Stadlen rejected the local council's application to evict the travellers from the village of Blackmore in Essex, saying the families acted with the 'best intentions to comply with planning law'.
Yeah, right - my eye and Betty Martin. 

Further highlights of Mr Justice Stadlen's career include allowing US rap star Busta Rhymes to perform in the UK despite opposition from the Home Office, overturning an ASBO banning a student who sexually assaulted a woman from visiting any pubs and clubs in Plymouth for five years and overturning the GMC's suspension of controversial (MMR) paediatrician David Southall.

Speaking of elections, Robert Harris has an interesting piece in the Daily Mail today.  Essentially it's a puff piece promoting his new book but he touches on the number and variety of elections in Ancient Rome. Strangled & pelted with stones
The fact is, compared to our present grey and vacuous political culture, the Roman republic enjoyed a vastly more vibrant and functioning democracy.  Elections were annual and compulsory for almost every official - not just for the two leaders of the country (the consuls), but for the judges, senior government officials, superintendents of water and roads, city authorities, even the chief priest.  This truly was the old res public - literally 'people power' - in action.

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