04 October, 2017

Freedom of Information request to burst the Brexit Bubble!


Bizarre! 
Brexit is based on an advisory referendum on a bizarre question, not one that legally requires UK government action.  

Doubly bizarre!  
UK's exit from the EU is based on the Lisbon  Treaty -- a treaty that the UK refused to submit to a referendum. Ireland rejected it in a Referendum.

Triply Bizarre. The Lisbon Treaty is identical with the Constitutional Treaty that was rejected by the French and Dutch referendums. Other countries, including UK, were not allowed to have a referendum!

What on earth is going on with 'European Democracy'?? Are the 'Brexit negotiations' being conducted in the democratic interest of the European people? 

In August 2017, I wrote to the European Commission requesting under the Freedom of Information Regulation the release of all papers on Brexit. The public is being spoon-fed minute amounts of information about what is being negotiated between the European Commission and the UK Government. They are not being told WHY!

It is extremely serious for everyone's future. The style of these so-called negotiations precludes the public from understanding the main issues. Are they about trade, red tape or democratic control of a bloated, neo-Gaullist bureaucracy? Justice is far more important. The European Commission was originally called the Honest Broker of Europe. Now it calls itself the political Commission.

These negotiations hide the major issues about the lack of real democracy in Brussels and the distorted democracy that rules in the UK under the slogan, Brexit at any price

My request for Brexit information was totally refused by the Commission. Under the Freedom of Information Regulation 1049/2001 I am able to request a review by the Commission (!) of their decision to refuse information. 
The refusal gave three reasons. 1. the Commission has created a "tailor-made process of transparency" which it is applying. 2. Objections relative to the secrecy of negotiations and 3. to matters of economic and financial sensitivity.

This is my reply letter.

To the Deputy Chief Brexit Negotiator,

Dear Ms Weyand,
Many thanks for your letter of 13 September 2017 in reply to my request for all documents and working papers of the UK Brexit talks and discussions.

In accordance with Regulation 1049/2001, I am hereby asking for a review of the grounds that you give for refusing any and all papers other than position papers and agendas etc already released. I am also asking for all documents that are being currently generated as the talks proceed as a continuous process.


A. ‘Tailor made transparency’ is another term for cover-up.
1. Censorship by definition. In your reply you first state that the European Commission has adopted a “tailor-made approach to transparency.” (your bold text) That is precisely the point to which I and many others object. It is not logically or legally possible to have maximum transparency and then withhold documents by a self-serving, restriction. Tailor-making restrictions by and for Commission officials must censor and hide documents from the legal principals.

2. Against interests of free citizens. This procedure is in direct violation to the democratic principles of the Community Method, freedom of information for free citizens, as enunciated by RobertSchuman and the Founding Fathers.

3. Not authorized by principals. Who are the legal principals? Let me put it simply in the terms that the European Commission, Council and Parliament have used many times, that of a divorce. In a marital divorce, the man and the woman are free to choose their lawyers to represent their interests on the settlement in a Court before an impartial judge. A divorce case involves rights, children, property and responsibilities.

If the lawyers were corrupt and wanted to ban the man and woman from their discussions, that would clearly be unfair, not to say, illegal. If the lawyers wanted to come to a division of goods and property, sort out rights etc without a judge being present, that too would be both unjust and illegal. It would not stand up an instance once it was brought before an appeal Court. If the lawyers were more interested in what they could gain in an operation to the detriment and financial loss of the divorcing couple, that would be a dereliction of duty. It would be farcical theatre. For the couple it would involve robbery of their human rights, money and interests.

4. Denies pre-talk discovery. Robbery of facts and smothering of interests are precisely what the EU institutions and the UK government are undertaking at the moment. A tailor-made approach to transparency by biased and unauthorized officials is an instrument in illegality and cover-up. It denies discovery and analysis by the legal principals. Many areas need legal investigation before Brexit talks start and can be solidly structured.

5. Citizens’ rights are not negotiable. The couple seeking the divorce are the British and European publics. More than 500 million people are being divorced, according to the Article 50 process. It is their interests, property and rights that are at stake. Article 50 gives no authorization for secret negotiations or the censorship of documents by the Commission’s so-called ‘tailor-made approach.’ This latter method is unjust as it blocks and silences normal civil procedure. As indicated below, the public have a number of pre-negotiation (pre-trial) issues that must be clarified, before any result can be legally binding.   

6. Only open debate and open documents are acceptable. The present set-up is unacceptable and all papers must be released.


B. The EU and the UK government are not the real negotiating partners.

1. No authority has been cited to construct a ‘tailor-made’ system to censor and restrict information. The information belongs to the people.

Brexit concerns more than 500 million citizens. It does not just PRIMARILY involve the European Commission (acting for the institutions) and the Government of the United Kingdom. Both these parties have their own partisan positions which do not necessarily, and in practice, coincide with the interests of the citizens.

2. The EU institutions do not have full public confidence or trust.
For example the European Union must be concerned with its institutional interests and its practice. Much of these interests are subject to public criticism on grounds of unauthorized secrecy and the “democratic deficit”. The institutions have lost public trust continually in the way the Commission is chosen, contrary to Community law and original customary practice. The result? The turnout of the public in European Parliamentary elections has declined continuously since the post-Maastricht elections. The rise of what the Commission calls ‘nationalist’ or ‘popularist’ movements and parties indicate that the institutions are in crisis. It has lowest ratings since the early days of the European Community.

3. The UK Government, for reasons discussed below, lacks public support.
Article 50 requires that the UK fulfill all its ‘constitutional requirements’ before Brexit. This requires ensuring the rights of national regions, regional parliaments, minorities, and many other issues including the transitory arrangements for some 14,000 legal instruments by democratic means and overall economic stability. The conduct of the Referendum debate, the status of Euratom which was not mentioned in the debate, and the viability of referendums in law, are just some of the issues still raising constitutional questions. For these I would direct you to my book: Brexit and the British Vision for Europe, ISBN 9781326780869.




4. Both the so-called ‘negotiating parties’ are prejudiced against their clients, the public.
4.a The EU institutions.
The European Commission, the European Council and the Council of Ministers and the European Parliament are prejudiced and antagonistic to the UK’s remaining a member of the EU.
This lack of impartiality can be demonstrated by many statements. It would be tiresome to list them all. For example, take their reaction to the Referendum itself. It was a consultative, non-binding referendum on the question of staying in or leaving the EU (not the European Community or Euratom).
The non-binding and consultative nature of the referendum were known in advance and publicized during the Referendum campaign. The non-binding nature was later confirmed – not only in the High Court of England and Wales but in the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom. You can find the judgements of these two Courts of Justice, together with the presentations of the parties, in my book:  Brexit, Miller and Henry VIII. ISBN: 9781365727412. I would refer you to paragraph 105 to 108 on in the High Court judgement and paragraphs 116 on in the UK Supreme Court judgement.

It was with some shock among journalists that immediately after the first results from the 23 June 2016 Referendum, the presidents of the four EU institutions presented themselves at 10 am at the Commission Press Room to pronounce. They issued a joint statement. It said UK must leave the EU “as soon as possible, however painful that process may be.” http://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/press/press-releases/2016/06/24-joint-statement-uk-referendum/
Yet 63 percent of British electors had either not voted or voted to remain.  The UK Government had no authority to proceed immediately. Nor had the EU institutions any right to react so negatively or absolutely to an unclear outcome.  Mr Cameron had resigned his office at 8.15 that morning! Whom were the four officials addressing? He said the UK needed ‘fresh leadership’ to deal with the non-binding referendum outcome involving a small majority, splitting the country in half and posing constitutional problems. https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2016/jun/24/david-cameron-resigns-after-uk-votes-to-leave-european-union
To add insult to illegality the four EU presidents in their 10 am statement insisted on a quick Brexit, regardless of the uncertain UK governmental situation and nearly a year before any Article 50 letter was received: ‘We have rules to deal with this in an orderly way.’ In fact the status of Article 50 in this regard is anything but clear.

A second example of many would be the SpitzenKandidat system. This non-treaty device was used to elect Mr Juncker – when the democratically elected British Prime Minister David Cameron had said ‘Mr Juncker is ‘the wrong man’ for the job. Who was Mr Juncker elected by? Just 382 politician/electors of 800 of the EPP. No ballot in all the EU had Mr Juncker’s name on it. No Commission ballot existed.  

The treaties say that the Commission must be impartial and hence a partisan politician is automatically ruled out by law.

A further indication of prejudice is the fact that Mr Juncker’s telephone calls could be seen as an important factor in the resignation of Mr Cameron, an elected Prime Minister. His remarks that preceded the statement of the four presidents were addressed to a country with no effective government.

4b. UK Government is a prejudicial party too.
When Mr Cameron resigned, the Conservative Party had to choose a new leader. This was not done until the autumn. Then Mrs Theresa May called a General Election. She ended up with a minority of votes in the House of Common. She hoped to be sustained by the votes of another party, the DUP of Northern Ireland. Conclusion? The public did not support her policy.
It was Mrs May who used the Conservative Party’s earlier majority to authorize her to write the Article 50 letter to Brussels. However her authority to do so was undermined by the later General Election. Critics say that her hard Brexit policy is a means only to hold the Conservative party together, and pro-Brexit faction within it, are a minority within a minority.
One of many other examples of lack of impartiality that could be cited is the UK Government’s attitude to UK citizens living on the Continent. They were not allowed to vote in the Referendum although their vital interests were involved. There is no guarantee that the present Government will act rigorously to assure these British citizens get a fair deal.
Another, even more serious indicator of undemocratic activity is that the UK governments, since the time of the Maastricht Treaty 1992 to Lisbon, have refused to organize confirmatory referendums to assure treaties’ legality. Thus the Lisbon Treaty has not been confirmed as the acting treaty by referendum. Then they acted one-sidedly and in a prejudicial, partisan way on the advisory referendum of 23 June 2016 to withdraw without reference to Parliament or public debate. Two Courts ruled against them.

5. Conclusion:  
The citizens of the UK and EU-27 are the primary parties in the dispute. They have right for the full disclosure of any and all documents involved in the Article 50 or Brexit process.
Both of the so-called negotiating parties, EU institutions and UK government, have lost public confidence in their impartiality. They do not have public trust.
Both parties have shown themselves prejudicial against public interests.
Both parties ignore calls for fairness.

No meaningful negotiation can take place for the public by parties who are not trusted by the public and who refuse to submit all working documents to the public.

The concept of censoring by a ‘tailor-made’, unauthorized committee of unnamed officials is untenable in any democracy.
Who is the ‘tailor’?
Who decides the pattern or framework for censorship?
Who is able to make the cuts?
Who is involved in stitching up a ‘package deal’ behind closed doors?
Is the pattern they are using one that suits these bodies only and does not involve substantive public issues, such as:
Why the Commission ignored previous referendums that were unfavorable to it,
Why the Lisbon Treaty is identical with the Constitutional Treaty which was rejected by referendums,
Why and how was the Lisbon Treaty and its Article 50, after being rejected by the Irish in a Referendum, mysteriously deemed legal with no public discussion?
What is the status of nuclear proliferation security under Euratom? Euratom has its article 208 which forbids exit for these very reasons.

A ‘tailor-made’ deal is for the public nothing more than a cover-up.

The public is PRIMARILY the main party in the dispute – called a divorce. They have the Primary Right to the documents about what is being discussed either for their enhanced rights in the Community system or against those existing rights to minimize or reduce them. The public and all concerned citizens have the right to have the information about the talks, either directly by video link or have all the working documents plus the position papers.

The two other parties, the EU institutions and the UK government, may not like this. They might wish to carve up in private mutually acceptable positions to the prejudice of the public. They may wish to tailor the information flow to make this easier for them to manage the information and control the PR. That is not the point.  They have no right or legal authority to do so.

The public rights include safeguarding their right to information against any closed door corruption.

This transparency issue goes far beyond the stipulations of the treaties which say that all matters must be treated as openly as possible. The EU institutions must understand that ‘open’ in this case means open to video cameras and public analysis.

The issue goes beyond all the treaties because it is about the right of free people to have free information about their destiny and how others who call themselves representatives are manipulating information to the detriment of elementary rights of Freedom.

THIS IS NOT A SMALL MATTER OF A MINOR COMMITTEE WHERE OFFICIALS WITHOLD DOCUMENTS. IT INVOLVES – AS ROBERT SCHUMAN SAID ON 9 MAY 1950 – THE DEMOCRATIC DESTINY OF THE EUROPEAN CONTINENT.


C. Riposte to other exception clauses
1. Article 4.3 of Regulation 1049/2001.

You write that the disclosure of working documents and internal minutes is prevented by the exception to the right of access laid down in Article 4(3) (protection of the decision-making process).

This reads: 4.3. Access to a document, drawn up by an institution for internal use or received by an institution, which relates to a matter where the decision has not been taken by the institution, shall be refused if disclosure of the document would seriously undermine the institution's decision-making process, unless there is an overriding public interest in disclosure.

The exception of Article 4.3 about this ‘negotiating process’ that you mention is null and void for the reasons detailed above and below. The subject of rights being curtailed in secret excludes its use. The first part of the talks is about ‘divorce’. It deals with the rights of citizens. Only after the divorce can trade matters be discussed.
A fundamental democratic right is to be informed. This is an absolute right. It is recognized by representative governments. Freedom to Information is not doled out by democratic governments, only autocracies. Government is obliged by the people to recognize their right to information. (Article 10 of the Convention of Human Rights, articles 8-11 of the EU Charter).
The so-called negotiating parties have no right to limit this information. Nor is it the function of the EU or government to decide how much information about changing citizen rights it will deign to release to the public. It is the public that judges the EU and the governments about whether they are remiss or not in their functions of civil servants.
Neither the EU Institutions nor the Government of the UK has the full and undivided support of the British or European public. They cannot act fully in its name.
 It is therefore of major importance and overriding interest of the public to have all information being discussed. Otherwise the public will be faced with a negotiated fait accompli from two groups of officials that lack public confidence. They will therefore be faced with the option to take further legal action for the dereliction of duty of the two groups involved.

2. Climate of public trust has already been lost
You say that the ‘negotiations on the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union requires a climate of mutual trust between both sides.  But neither side has the full trust of the public. There is concern at what is NOT being discussed, excluded by mutual agreement of the EU and UK government against the public.
Whatever the outcome, trust has already been the first casualty. The public cannot properly judge the value of a pig in a poke. That is what in effect the ‘negotiations’ are between two parties that lack public trust. Citizens cannot see what is supposedly being done in their name, and without their acquiescence.  

3. The three areas of talks require openness, not secrecy
The three areas of the present discussion have been defined without public intervention. But as they stand they are all matters that require openness: rights of residence and social security, the Irish single market and travel area and the accountancy of the amounts the UK will pay to settle up its bills and commitments.
The latter is purely an accountancy problem based on legal obligations. The money involved is tax-payers’ money. The final figures and the discussion should be without dispute by anyone, as much as a tax bill of an individual or a company should be fixed and settled by accountancy principles. There is therefore no reason to apply Article 4.3 to any of the main areas defined for the divorce discussions.  
There are a number of other areas such as Euratom, JET and generally governance issues that cannot be restricted by article 4.3. They are issues were the legislation has to be continued beyond Brexit. Public ventilation of the issues is to the advantage of all. It will avoid a slew of Court cases if the ‘negotiators’ get it wrong.


4. Objections under Article 4.1

You say that ‘disclosure of documents is ‘prevented by … Article 4 (1)(a), fourth indent (protection of the financial, monetary or economic policy of the Union or a Member State) and Article 4(1) (b) (protection of the privacy and the integrity of the individuals).’

This article reads:
4.1. The institutions shall refuse access to a document where
disclosure would undermine the protection of:
(a) the public interest as regards:
— public security,
— defence and military matters,
— international relations,
— the financial, monetary or economic policy of the
Community or a Member State;
(b) privacy and the integrity of the individual, in particular in accordance with Community legislation regarding the protection of personal data.

The same counter-arguments apply to dismiss the claim. None of these restrictions apply to universal rights and privileges of UK citizens and EU-27 citizens. They do not involve individuals whose data has to be protected. The money involved is tax-payers’ money.  That alone removes the requirement of secrecy.
The request is about the divorce proceedings not the negotiations afterwards about a new commercial partnership and a new trading relationship.  The subjects being discussed at the moment are:
·         Residential and social rights of EU-27 citizens in the UK and UK citizens in EU27.
·         Irish border, single market problems,
·         Financial payments.

  There are several other issues of equal or greater importance that the negotiating parties have refused to deal with. That underlines the dangers for the citizens of leaving the EU and the UK government the sole right to define what the issues for the citizens really are. So far the experiment has failed. The dangers for the citizen and future democratic standards both for the UK and the EU have been increased.

The objection raised is trying to confound the two phases. The first phase must have open discussion and open paper work.

A tailor-made restriction on documents is by definition a cover-up. I urgently demand that a review of the Commission’s policy be made. All documents relevant to Brexit must be released and negotiations held in a way that satisfies open democracy, worthy of European democratic institutions.

Yours sincerely,

David H Price

  

27 September, 2017

1. Did PM May's Florence Speech shock more than the Pigeons?

Why did Prime Minister Theresa May fly all the way to Italy to shoo the pigeons? Why did she speak briefly in what was a few days earlier an empty and dusty, abandoned room? It was indistinguishable from any other. It was allegedly inhabited only by pigeons.

Did she come only to ask for a two-year transition, an idea, she said, that was already written in the treaty? Was there an unspoken message in the place, not the speech? The British taxpayer might also ask:
‘Why on earth did the Prime Minister and Members of her Cabinet fly all the way to Italy to give a speech? And then getting back in the plane and winging it back to London?’


Isn’t this a huge waste of money? Prime Minister Theresa May had returned to London from the United Nations on Thursday, 21 September, accompanied by her Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson. They had plenty of time to talk.

The next day, Mrs May could have given the speech in any city of the United Kingdom. Why, then, did she take to the skies again? What justifies the cost (and inconvenience for journalists and the public)? Her office confirmed that the British taxpayer will have to pay for this foreign excursion.

Would people hear what she said more clearly from afar? Her television audience did not even see the historical backdrop. The British brought their own back panels so there was no telling what was behind the slogan: Shared History, Shared Challenges, Shared Future.

Both Theresa May and her pro-European husband Philip are savvy. Theresa studied Geography at Oxford, Philip studied Modern History. He was president of its renowned debating association, the Oxford Union. Both are practicing Christians.

Why not go to Rome and attack the false propaganda of the Brussels elite? Four Brussels Top Politicians on the morning after UK’s non-binding, advisory EU referendum of 23 June 2016 said UK had better leave soon, “as quickly as possible however much it may hurt.”
 
They were the people who had previously excluded the UK from ever having a candidate as President of the European Commission. They called it the SpitzenKandidat system. It was unveiled in the so-called Constitutional Treaty. But the Constitutional Treaty failed miserably, rejected by the French and Dutch referendums. The referendums in UK and five others were cancelled. They would give further Noes. So, without further referendums and scorning public rejection, politicians added the entire treaty to the Common Market Treaty of Rome, lock, stock and barrel. It was renamed the Lisbon Treaty. To do this they spent millions of tax-euros to create a big lie. They said European integration began in 1957 with the Common Market and the Treaty of Rome.

Mrs May could have said;
“What nonsense and waste! European unity began with the Schuman Declaration of 1950 and the European Community of Coal and Steel. We British should know. We were Associate Members of the Community in 1952. We passed an Act of Parliament to do so.”
Why pick a small room in Florence in the Santa Maria Novella? Why not, for example, the European University Institute? Prime Ministers often address universities.


The EUI was founded by an article in the Euratom Treaty , also signed in Rome1957. This year is its 60th anniversary. It could have been a special occasion to celebrate this. The EU has made a huge fuss about celebrating one of the two 1957 Treaties of Rome. It quite falsely spent huge amounts of taxpayers money saying that the Common Market or the Economic Community was the origin of the European Union. They wiped out all the years from the end of WW2 until 1957 as irrelevant. Just like the Stalin wiped out the image of personalities he had sent to the Gulag or worse.

A big speech at the EUI would have made a good opportunity to rectify Brussels propaganda and its atrocious Fake News on democracy.

The EUI, situated at a famous Medici Fiesole Abbey, had previously held a series of lectures on Brexit. Besides being the legal depository of EU archives, it has highly regarded departments in European Law (Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies) global governance and European civilization.

But NO, it was not to be a university lecture. What was it then? Clearly Florence has some huge significance that justifies the travel cost. British insistence offsets the lack of an invitation from either the Italian Government or the city. Why breach normal diplomatic practice?

Did Mrs May want to make a particularly British statement? She could have chosen the British Institute in Florence on the river Arno. Earlier this year, Prince Charles helped celebrate its 100th anniversary. Its Acton library contains one of the largest collections of English books on the Continent. Founded during the First World War, the Institute has provided an open British window on the world.

What did PM May say to explain and justify this expense and rupture of custom? She began her speech — without anyone welcoming or introducing her — by saying:
“It’s good to be here in this great city of Florence today at a critical time in the evolution of the relationship between the United Kingdom and the European Union. It was here, more than anywhere else, that the Renaissance began –
  • a period of history that inspired centuries of creativity and critical thought across our continent and which in many ways defined what it meant to be European.
  • A period of history whose example shaped the modern world.
  • A period of history that teaches us that when we come together in a spirit of ambition and innovation, we have it within ourselves to do great things.”
“To do great things” together sounds like a forecast. Yet it was not uttered on the hills of Fiesole where in Roman times the College of the Augures, pagan experts in divination, foretold the reactions of their gods. Mrs May’s message was about Renaissance.

So, which building did Mrs May choose from Florence’s rich history? Not the Uffizi Art Gallery. No, Prime Minister May and her ministers chose the former police academy! It had to be spruced up to accommodate the British speechifying. Why, this building?

The Scuola Sottufficale Carabinieri is no ordinary building. It belongs to the Great Cloister of Santa Maria Novella convent. It dates from around 1200s as a basilica. It forms a central position in the history of both western and eastern Europe and the rise of for technology of the last five centuries.

What then was the historic and geographic message that Prime Minister Theresa May was communicating by her extraordinary flight to Florence?

Why did she visit this building?
What has this man to do with it?

20 September, 2017

Does EU need a Renaissance or a Reformation?

UK Prime Minister Theresa May will travel to Florence on 22 September to deliver a speech on Brexit and Europe. Why? Florence, the city of the de’Medicis, Leonardo da Vinci, is recognized as the city of the Renaissance and the New Learning. That provided the start for a half-millennium rise of European culture, science, technology and theological enlightenment.

As a free city, in the early 1400s, it attracted some of the Greek theologians from Constantinople. Originally sent by the Emperor there, they came to try to reform the Roman church and its bishops. Before Chrysolorus taught Greek at Florence university around 1400, this Bible language had not been taught in Italy for seven centuries. Printing flourished in Italy’s free cities. In 1480 Florentine printers published the Gospels and Epistles in Italian. In 1478 Florentine bishops even excommunicated the pope.

What have the British, the EU and Brexit to do with Florence? Aren’t there great cities of the Renaissance in Britain? While Erasmus spent only a fleeting time in Florence, he made three trips to Britain, taught as a professor at universities, stayed often at London, even at Westminster. So what is the significance of the Florentine Renaissance for exit from Brussels, if not excommunication?

A few weeks before Robert Schuman made his revolutionary Proposal on 9 May 1950 to create the European Community, a renowned American Think Tank published an in-depth review of conditions in Europe. It made forecasts for the future of the Continent.
It spoke of the Renaissance, but not in a way that we would understand it today. Most people would find it shocking. Why? Because they have been so little educated about this period, its reality and dangers.
Dr Dean was Director of the Foreign Policy Association and Editor of its research publications. With US government support, she had made extensive visits around Europe and spoken with world leaders and others. Her recommendations were vital elements for the US Government as well as European Governments.
She was widely traveled in Austria, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Switzerland, Hungary, Italy and Russia. In the late winter and spring of 1949 in Europe, she gave a series of 15 lectures on American Foreign Policy at the University of Paris. The US Commander in Germany, General Clay, invited her to visit West Germany. She then traveled to Prague, Warsaw and London.

In the FPA’s remarkable 350 page report, she investigated all necessary aspects of the social and economic conditions that would affect US policy in Europe for the near future.
Firstly, Europe faced bankruptcy. The US Marshall Plan, which had supplied recuperative dollars to the war-torn economies of Western Europe, was coming to an end in 1952. In January 1949 Robert Marjolin of France, secretary general of the OEEC, the organization of European Economic Cooperation laid it out clearly.
Europe would face economic catastrophe in 1952, when it would have a deficit of billions of dollars in its US trade if it did not reorganize its economic relationships, he said.
Secondly there was the German problem. The Bonn government took power under on temporary constitution, the Grundgesetz, until 15 September 1949. The 73-year-old Konrad Adenauer was elected Chancellor by one vote – his own. Would it survive?
What did General Lucius Clay tell her when she visited Berlin and Frankfurt? We do not have any direct quotations of these conversations. Did Clay have confidence in a democratic renaissance of Germany?
We know General Clay’s real opinion in the cables he sent to Washington in March 1949.
“We have lost Germany politically and therefore it does not matter except that history will prove why there was a Third World War.’
Was there any way the United States could rescue Europe from this coming catastrophe of horrendous proportions? No. This was the conclusion of Dr Dean of the FPA.
‘We know realize that the United States, no matter how generously inclined, cannot under the most favorable political circumstances re-establish the economy of the continent on the foundations of 1914 or even of 1939,’ she wrote.
‘Some of these foundations, as already noted, have vanished beyond salvaging. Others are perhaps not a total loss, such as the resources of the colonies of southeast Asia, but their intrinsic value has greatly diminished, and their future contribution to the continent’s economy remains in doubt.’
What she then said about a Renaissance in Europe is jaw-dropping.
‘NO POWER ON EARTH CAN REMEDY Europe’s impoverishment as a result of two world wars. The only remedy one can recommend for the future would be the avoidance of conflicts so costly in terms of human values and material wealth.’
The implication was total capitulation to the strongest military power. That was the Soviet Red Army. Poised on the European theatre were 40,000 tanks, according to the diplomatic cables. That number matched the total of Sherman tanks that the USA had produced during the entire World War Two!
What did Dr Dean say about the Renaissance? She wrote:
‘Europe will have to face the fact that the singularly favorable position it enjoyed during five centuries following the discovery of the Indies and the New World and the conquest of colonies in Asia and Africa is now drawing to a close. “
The period starting with the Renaissance was over.
Who was to blame? No one but the Europeans themselves.
‘While the Russians and the Communists have capitalized on the predicament of western Europe, they did not bring it about. It would therefore be dangerously short-sighted to deal with Europe’s economic problems in the future as if they were entirely the handiwork of the Comintern.’
At this same time, March 1950, the French Foreign Minister was arranging an unusual visit for the US Secretary of State Dean Acheson and his team. They were to hold talks with the French and the British on the 11 May. Most unusually, Schuman arranged for them to come first to Paris on the weekend of 7 May. The team were puzzled as to why they were needed in Paris at all. Acheson thought he might get a little rest. He was much mistaken.
The records show that Schuman had gone to considerable risks to make sure that they would be there. This included the cancelling of the meeting of the French Union, its equivalent to the Commonwealth.
It was on this Sunday, that Schuman with an unofficial, non-ministry interpreter came to see Acheson. Schuman spoke of his plan. It would lead, he said, to no less than the rebirth of Europe as an entity on a scale not seen since the Renaissance.
The problem that seemed impossible to solve for diplomats, politicians and military men, was now about to be reversed in a glorious way. The French call the continuous extraordinary growth of 5.5 percent in this three decade period, les trente glorieuses.

What was behind it? The key of Schuman’s confidence was a word that Erasmus found in the New Testament that completely transformed the idea of ‘Authority’ reflected in the distorted Latin Vulgate translation. In 1516, Erasmus published his Novum Instrumentum (It was still too sensitive to call it the New Covenant.) it published side by side the Greek text and his own more correct Latin translation on the same page.
Based on this revelation, Schuman constructed a supranational Community with five independent institutions. A High Authority would be totally independent of political parties and lobbyists and act as the Honest Broker or Jury for Europe. By being impartial and having the trust of the European public, the High Authority could make proposals for European laws and actions. A Parliament would be elected by a single statute across the entire Community. A Council of Ministers would hold open sessions to discuss areas of national concern in European regulations. Where would the High Authority get its information about what was happening among industries, workers and consumers? A Consultative Committee would be elected from representative professional associations. It, like the Council and the Parliament, would have legislative powers to refine the legislation. A Court of Justice would be selected by the Assembly from suitably qualified candidates (as was the Council of Europe).

The question we must face today is why is Europe so bankrupt? The Commission excludes ordinary citizens to favour only politicians, an act totally at variance with the oath of office they give. The Parliament has never been properly elected according to the rules in the treaties. The Council closes the doors on the public to cut deals among politicians. The judges of the Court are put in place by governments.
Europeans must ask: Are so-called ‘leaders’ blinding themselves by sticking hot pokers in their eyes? Are they trying to hasten on another bankruptcy of democracy? Are they about to explode a new catastrophe? Who is describing what a supranational Community is, how it works, and why it should be defended?

01 August, 2017

Brexit, Common Law and Ancient British Laws on Referendums

For the average person the idea that, after the people had voted in the 23 June 2016 EU Referendum to be free from “Brussels Bureaucracy,” they or the UK Parliament would have no further say on details seems patently absurd. What use is freedom from Brussels if Parliament is silenced about how to proceed? Where is the justice in that?
The government of PM Theresa May saw it differently. The government could apply autocratic Royal Prerogative powers. Britons would exit immediately because the EU was just another treaty. No reference to Parliament was needed, they said. However, Democracy is central to Britons. The three European Communities and the European Union of the Lisbon Treaties have affected domestic law and improved many aspects of everyday life. Citizens’ rights are not for decapitation by a blind, angry axman. Debate sharpens Democracy and Justice.
Only 37% of electors voted to LEAVE the EU. The rest did not vote or wanted to REMAIN. The ballot paper mentioned nothing about the European Communities, such as Euratom. The House of Common Library Briefing Paper, included in a recent book, Brexit, Miller and Henry VIII, noted that the Referendum was advisory and not legally binding.
If that is the case, what advice was the public giving the Government? Was it “Reform Brussels!”? Were people fed up with the neo-Gaullist style of Brussels autocracy or trade? Decision-making – again on nearly every aspect of everyday life – occurs behind closed doors. Secret Democracy is an oxymoron. Citizens’ freedom to think and act comes first.
Secretive Governance was certainly not part of the original concept of European democracy defined by the Charter of the Community and the supranational Community, that of Coal and Steel. Both documents were signed by six founder States on 18 April 1951, after the Schuman Declaration of 9 May 1950 and the Convention of Human Rights had laid out the broad plan. The New Europe was defined by guarantees of Freedom.
Schuman wrote in his book, Pour L’Europe that in this Democracy all the Councils and Committees would be open and under the supervision of public opinion. Why public opinion? Because only a public debate based on facts can contribute meaningfully to a real democracy. Secondly the public statements of the leaders in debate are important for the public to judge the disinterestedness of the leaders. Thirdly, the Statements in the Councils and Committees provide means for the public to hold them to account. Fourthly, politicians who distribute public tax money in private with no accountability, only encourage corruption. The Gaullist CAP spent up to 71% of Europe’s Budget on agriculture. Millions went on vanity projects.

European Democracy.
How should European democracy be constructed? How should an ancient State like the United Kingdom affirm what it considers true principles for extending democracy from its island home to participate fairly with the Continent? How should Continental States also affirm the same principles so that everyone is satisfied with open, honest management?
Today three UK institutions are involved: a national referendum, a Court and a Parliament. The recent national Referendum on EU membership was largely without precedence except for the 1975 referendum to join the three European Communities. Central government stopped referendums. They have been ended for more than a millennium in those parts of the country where they were custom. Anglo-Saxons did not have referendums.
The referendum has come into its own because of a number of factors. Political parties are divided on such matters as the EU. Some are also losing public trust among the electors. Hence referendums seem to be a fair way to make a decision. The EU one exposes deficiencies in both UK and the EU.
Referendums can be binding or advisory. The EU referendum, according to judgements Divisional Court judgement #106 and Supreme Court #119, was non-binding. It carries no legal obligation. An Act is needed. To prevent political dissension, the May Government imposed strong party discipline. Labour too. Did PM May turn the plea for open-minded democracy in Brussels into Westminster despotism? How can citizens arrive at a just solution? Is it possible?

Common Law
The situation was quite different in pre-Roman Britain. The country was divided into a number of tribal areas but they were interconnected by marriage and exchanges. That required an elaborate and effective system of law to be active to ensure justice nationally. Strabo, the early first century Greek geographer, wrote that its teachers taught the science of nature and also moral philosophy. ‘They are believed to be the most just of men, and therefore entrusted with cases affecting both individuals and the public.’ Celtic society was based on freemen who could prove they and their family had not been slaves for nine or ten generations. Those without such proven reputation, working as serfs or foreigners who were resident, did not have the same privileges of political and legal power.
Although they had kings or princes based on royal families, society refused to let kings be autocratic and above the law. They held as custom that:
The country is above the prince. Trech gwlad nag Arglwydd.
That is the prince could in no way bind the country and that the prince himself was under law. Justice ruled. How?
The ancient Triads dating back many centuries before Britain was invaded by Rome were highly developed, ethical and sustained by extensive education and reasoning in the principles of law. Julius Caesar affirms that the youth spent twenty years in the various colleges. This contrasts with the rote learning of the Romans and its military dictatorships.
Hundreds of Triads define the principles of justice. They confirm that courts existed with Jurors or Assessors who acted with the Judges. This is the system that the Britons passed on to Saxon King Alfred the Great, 849-99, (who had John Asser, the British bishop of St David’s in his learned court). It is still found in the system of Court and Jury that we have today.

A Jury of peers is the key to freedom under law. Alfred also incorporated the Ten Commandments, other quotations from the Hebrew Scriptures as well as the Apostolic Letter of James, the brother of Jesus in the Greek New Testament, Acts 15. The pursuit of Wisdom was integrated into the code of 120 articles, to make it acceptable to those Welsh/ British areas who had agreed to Alfred’s overlordship.

Alfred had diplomatic relations with leaders around Europe and also with Elias III, the Patriarch of Jerusalem.
Centuries earlier, the Ancient British had three institutions that allowed them to target just and lasting solutions to legal problems: a tribal or national referendum, a parliament or Assembly of respected representatives (probably tribal elders), and a Court of Justice that would analyze the legality of decisions with principles and precedent. They were the keys to prevent tyranny.
The Laws of Dyvnwal Moelmud around 400 BCE are a compilation of earlier precepts. Among them we find:
Triad 175. Three kinds of votes are valid as law: the collective vote of the Sovereign Country …enacts, abrogates or improves Law; the second is the vote of the country in the three hundred men; the third is the vote of the Court given by jurors (assessors) or elders of the nation under protection and the privilege of the Court.

Triad 98 Three tyrannical perversions of Law: fully deciding upon a case before minutely enquiring into the truth; deciding contrary to the nature and the inevitable consequences of events and times; and forcing a man to his injury where there is neither Law nor Justice requiring the decision by which he is compelled.

A Briton could call on either a tribal meeting or even a national referendum if he was refused the basic elements for dealing with his case in justice.
There are three things that must be listened to by the Court and the Judge:
  • A complaint,
  • A petition, and
  • A reply.
The person who is denied this right has the privilege of appealing to the vote of the country, as called together by the chief of the tribe.

Once the Saxons had overrun the eastern lowlands of Loegria (England) many of these legal principles were lost. Bede describes how the Saxons first started to write out independent laws or penalties (called dooms) only in the fifth century. The Anglo-Saxons had an elective monarchy favouring decrees based on the monarch’s personal power, rather than law. However the native Celtic population (both in Anglo-Saxon and Danelaw regions) would have tried to maintain some of these ancient principles by argument and debate (which the Saxons were accustomed to) rather than by law courts with juries that they did not have. This may have been the origin of what we now call English Common Law or custom.

Magna Carta
Common Law thus predates Anglo-Saxon, Norman and also Roman law. British constitutional Common Law, Rhaith Gwlad, makes no distinction between king and freeman. Common Law became part of the traditional unwritten law of England, based on custom, then its key feature.
However even at the time of Magna Carta in 1215, the British laws were still active. Indeed Magna Carta includes articles that ‘Welsh laws’ should be restored where they had been abused by the autocratic King John.
“Article 56. If we have deprived or dispossessed any Welshmen of land, liberties, or anything else in England and Wales, without lawful judgement of their equals, these are at once to be returned to them. … Article 58 In cases where a Welshman was deprived or dispossessed of anything, without the lawful judgement of his equals, by our father King Henry or our brother King Richard, and it remains in our hands or is held by others under our warranty, we shall have respite for the period commonly allowed to Crusaders, unless a lawsuit had been begun, or an enquiry had been made at our order, before we took the Cross as a Crusader. But on our return from the Crusade, or if we abandon it, we will at once do full justice accord to the laws of Wales and the said regions. Article 58 We will return the son of Llywellyn {the Great, King of Wales}, all Welsh hostages, and the charters delivered to us as security for the peace.”

Thus the English or Saxon ‘Common Law’ has ancient British roots. A Saxon compendium of Common Law was introduced by King Alfred. He translated a later revision of the Dyvnwal laws written by Queen Marcia, Regent after the death of British king Guithilin, son of Garguic Barbtruc, son of Belinus, son of Dyvnwal. Her young son Sisillius (Welsh: Saessyllt), came to the throne in ca 358 BCE on Queen Marcia’s death.
Together with a book on the ‘Law of the monarchy,’ Queen Marcia’s work was translated into Anglo-Saxon / English language by King Alfred (849-899 A.D.) They became part of the Mercian laws.
When William the Conqueror arrived in 1066, he combined the some of this Anglo-Saxon law with centralizing Norman law. This contributed to English Common Law, much of which was by custom and precedent rather than by written code. By the 14th Century legal decisions and commentaries on the common law began providing precedents for the courts and lawyers to follow. It did not include the so-called law of equity (chancery) which came from the royal power to order or prohibit specific acts. The common law became the basic law of most US states due to the Commentaries on the Laws of England, completed by Sir William Blackstone in 1769.
The recent Supreme Court case related to the formulation of Henry VIII Clauses. Parliament’s website defines them thus:
“The Government sometimes adds this provision to a Bill to enable the Government to repeal or amend it after it has become an Act of Parliament. The provision enables primary legislation to be amended or repealed by subordinate legislation with or without further parliamentary scrutiny. Such provisions are known as Henry VIII clauses, so named from the Statute of Proclamations 1539 which gave King Henry VIII power to legislate by proclamation.”
No such clause appears in the European Communities Act of 1972.
In ancient British law, a super-king or Pendragon, could assume military powers by federal agreement of tribes. Otherwise, an individual and any group could demand justice, bringing the matter before a referendum of the tribe or nation. Justice was a universal virtue and federalizing force.
The recent dispute of Miller et al vs HMG highlights a long difference between Saxon autocracy and individual justice based on an educated populace. The Henry VIII Royal Prerogative case reasserts the right of an individual to challenge injustice. This was something that Parliament – where the Government has a disciplined majority of party loyalists – was not able to do. It exposes the inadequate power of Parliament, managed by party machines, to defend itself, as well as some other vital issues that have been buried for centuries.
The interventions and written cases here indicate the irreversible nature of the devolution process and power of universal justice. It is also inevitable that the eternal principles of British law will be re-established in their glory.
Within the European supranational system any individual, association or institution may take a similar issue to the European Courts. And in the near future many will. That indicates that Justice will take force from it too.

David Heilbron Price
Brussels, 30 January 2017
Bibliography:
The Cambro-Briton, vols 1 & 2 1820-1,
Transactions of the Cymmrodorion, vols 1 & 2 1822
Rachel Bromwich: Triodd Ynys Prydain, Triads of the Island of Britain 2006
Peter Bereford Ellis: The Celtic Empire 1990, A History of the Celts 2003
David Heilbron Price: Brexit and Britain’s Vision for Europe, 2016.
William Probert: The Ancient Laws of Cambria Triads of Dyvnwal Moelmud 1893
Peter Roberts: Dissertation on Laws of Dyfnwal Moelmud in The Chronicle of the Kings of Britain from the Welsh… 1841