Saturday, December 18, 2004
The operative phrase in the Letter de Cachet, the outstanding feature of the French 'Ancien Regime' allowing imprisonmentw ithout trial on the King's simple command. It was something that patriotic Britons prided themselves in abhoring. Along with collective arrest warrants (remember John Wilkes and issue 45 of the North Briton ?). we were the envy of less happier lands, as Shakespeare phrased it. Now Europe has drawn from our experience and advocacy to place such orders outside political and moral toleration. But not so in Labour Britain where we have drawn instead on the morality of Napoleon.
Not that our patriotic press cares too much for this, as the reaction to the House of Lords ruling shows. Some even blame 'Europe' for 'imposing' human Rights restrictions on the UK. Sigh.