Friday, 9 December 2016

More enemies of the people

When the High Court ruled that Article 50 could not be triggered by the government purely on the strength of the democratically expressed will of the entire population, the Daily Mail called the judges "enemies of the people" - a phrase dating to Roman times but made chilling by the Soviet Union - enemies of the people, or state, tended to disappear.

Now we have more enemies of the people, this time the people of the Netherlands. A court near Amsterdam has found Geert Wilders, leader of the Dutch Party of Freedom, guilty of "insulting a group" and "inciting discrimination". His "crime" was to ask a public meeting if they wanted more or less immigration from Morocco. When the audience came down on the side of less he offered to make that happen for them.

Wilders: Not much concerned

Having convicted Wilders of something that is not actually a crime the court could not bring itself to impose any form of punishment.

This apparent magnanimity is probably just self-preservation. The judges may have sniffed the air, noted Brexit, Trump, etc, and realised being on the wrong side of history could be bad for their health as some point in the future, so they just let hm go.

In the UK there has been some blow-back to people judging the judges by using such terms as enemies of the people. But what are you supposed to do? Just let them ignore the will of the people with no consequence? Government appointees such as High Court judges should not be able to overturn the will of the people. When there is such a wide gulf between the ruled and the rulers, the rulers must give way. That is democracy. Anything else is tyranny - no matter how impressive the perpetrators' wigs.

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