‘Liberal’ thought police crush local democracy in Bradford

David Ward with former Lib Dem leader and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg.

David Ward with former Lib Dem leader and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg

Former MP David Ward has been banned by the national leadership of the Liberal Democrats from contesting his old constituency Bradford East at the General Election on June 8th.

Ward was defeated by Labour in 2015: two years earlier he had served a three-month suspension from the Lib Dems for anti-Zionist comments including calling Israel an “apartheid state”.  He had posted on Twitter in July 2013: “Am I wrong or are am I right? At long last the Zionists are losing the battle – how long can the apartheid State of Israel last?”

Responding to that suspension, Ward had been defiant: “I will not apologise for describing the state of Israel as an apartheid state. I don’t know how you can describe it as anything else. I am genuinely quite shocked at the reaction to the kind of thing many people say.”

Earlier this week the local Lib Dem branch in Bradford East selected Ward as their candidate for this year’s election, but responding to complaints from ultra-Zionist Tory rivals such as Theresa May and Sir Eric Pickles, Lib Dem leader Tim Farron said today: “I believe in a politics that is open, tolerant and united. David Ward is unfit to represent the party and I have sacked him. …I am fully aware of the comments David Ward has made in the past and I find them deeply offensive, wrong and antisemitic.”

This latest move indicates a complete Lib Dem surrender to profoundly illiberal political correctness, following their suspension of Luton Lib Dem candidate Ashuk Ahmed yesterday.  Ahmed had made a series of anti-Zionist Facebook posts in 2014, including the statement: “Zionists control half the world, we are the other half. So let’s make a lot more noise.”

Is Tim Farron blind in one eye? How else can we explain his insistence on disciplining pro-Palestinian members of his own party, but his failure to condemn a rival party leader – Theresa May – for her blatant support of Zionist terrorism during a speech in 2015.  Mrs May (then Home Secretary) praised commemoration of Yom Hazikaron, the day on which “We remember the sacrifice of those who fought to achieve and protect that independence.” This means most notably those Zionist terrorists who died fighting against British forces and Arab civilians during 1945-48, and includes those who were executed for atrocities such as the murder of Lord Moyne and his driver Lance Corporal Arthur Fuller.

 

Political prisoner Horst Mahler escapes German ‘justice’

German lawyer and political philosopher Horst Mahler, 81, has escaped the German state’s efforts to imprison him under their notorious ‘incitement’ law. He is now seeking political asylum in a safe country.

Imprisoned in 2009 for the “crime” of challenging his country’s political and academic establishment with unorthodox opinions on 20th century German history, Horst Mahler was released from prison last year on health grounds but earlier this month was ordered to return to prison.

His reincarceration was due today, but yesterday Horst Mahler escaped from the Federal Republic.

Horst Mahler explains:

I owe an explanation as to why I refuse to comply with Mr Nötzel, the public prosecutor in Munich, who has summoned me back to prison under his regiment.
I have pressed charges against Mr Nötzel at the same public prosecutor’s office where he is employed, for attempting to murder me in prison. Expecting my demise, the police had already prepared a ban on demonstrations for the city of Brandenburg, where the prison is located.
On July 29, 2015, after five and a half years in prison, I had physically collapsed in my prison cell.
This was after I had been given the contraindicated drug salicylate vaseline as a treatment for my open wound on the heel of my left diabetic foot.
As a consequence of this treatment, I suffered blood-poisoning. The symptoms caused my referral to Brandenburg’s Asklepios Clinic, where I received medical care at the intensive care unit.
The doctors diagnosed, I quote: “A terminal illness.”
Regardless of this, the accused public prosecutor, who was in charge of my case, enforced my referral to the secluded unit for prisoners at the Brandenburg clinic.
As a result of this referral, my condition deteriorated rapidly, so that my left leg, which was affected with erysipelas (bacterial infection of the skin), had to be amputated up to the knee.
My life was saved only thanks to my wife’s vigorous efforts to obtain my referral to the intensive care unit at Asklepios clinic. Thanks to Gerard Menuhin’s mediation, she had succeeded in getting the Swiss weekly paper “Weltwoche” interested in my case.
In a long article, they drew international attention to this scandal.
I explained all this in my letter to the state prosecutor Munich II, dated February 9, 2017. Adding further scandalous details, I expressed my suspicion of attempted homicide.
Considering the underlying, base motives, attempted murder must be taken into consideration!
The responsible public prosecutor’s office, which is simultaneously the scene of the crime, has not acted upon my charges against the accused.
Instead, they revoked my parole and summoned me back to prison by April 19, 2017 at the latest, without obtaining a medical opinion on whether or not I am fit to serve my prison sentence.
As long as the judicial offers in charge have not been held accountable, and as long as they are involved in my case, I refuse to comply with their summons!
As this use of force against me essentially represents a political persecution that has no legal basis, I am going to seek political asylum in a sovereign state that is willing to take me in.

Australian government papers reveal race law’s slippery slope

Former Attorney General Michael Duffy, who drafted Australia's race law

Former Attorney General Michael Duffy, who drafted Australia’s race law

Government documents released yesterday by the National Archives of Australia reveal that the notorious Australian race law – section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act – was the subject of intense discussion among ministers before it was introduced, and as originally drafted would have been far less restrictive.

However as many countries have found, once setting off down the path of restricting free speech in the interests of racial harmony, there is an inevitable slippery slope towards politically correct tyranny.

The original submission to Paul Keating’s cabinet in July 1992, drafted by then Attorney General Michael Duffy and only made public yesterday, stressed that “for an act to amount to racial vilification it must be an act or conduct that is likely to lead to incitement to hatred, contempt or ridicule and should not be relatively minor or be of the nature of a lighthearted racist joke.”

During their discussions of the draft, ministers went on to emphasise that prosecution should “require a series of precise conditions to be met”, including “actual offensive intent”.  UK readers will note that this would have made the measure more similar to the Race Relations Act 1965, the first UK law specifically to outlaw “incitement to racial hatred”.


Cartoon called an "attack" on Indigenous Australians

However as with the several later extensions of that landmark legislation, Australia’s Section 18C developed into a grotesque tyranny, restricting legitimate political debate and in extreme cases even being used against comedians and cartoonists.

Last year the well-known cartoonist Bill Leak was the target of a complaint under Section 18C over the cartoon (above) depicting an Aborigine, or what is now called an “indigenous Australian”.  The complaint was later dropped after a public outcry over abuse of the law.  The university student who made the complaint has since sought to present herself as the victim, whining that she had only intended a “conciliation process”!

What was originally portrayed as a law targeting serious incitements of “racist” violence is now employed to intimidate anyone dissenting from multiracial political orthodoxy.  If Bill Leak had not been backed by The Australian, one of the country’s most powerful media outlets, he would have been crushed under the liberal juggernaut’s wheels.

Bill Leak cartoon showing himself being handed by a black police officer to a Twitter lynching.

The battle for fundamental freedoms: German nationalist party splits

The German nationalist party AfD is facing a civil war between its two national leaders: Frauke Petry (left) and Jörg Meuthen.

The German nationalist party AfD is facing a civil war between its two national leaders: Frauke Petry (left) and Jörg Meuthen.

During the past year Alternative für Deutschland (Alternative for Germany – AfD) has been the most successful and rapidly growing nationalist party in Europe.

In 2015 control of AfD passed from its founders – who were essentially a liberal version of UKIP, focused on reform of (not withdrawal from) the EU – to a more radical faction who spoke openly about the need to protect German identity from mass immigration.

Though ‘moderate’ factions (including most of the party’s MEPs) had argued that this ‘extremism’ would be electorally disastrous, AfD has in fact become stronger, consistently winning seats in Germany’s regional/state parliaments, or länder.

Now the party’s most liberal elements are attempting a coup against the new leadership: at stake is whether AfD’s de facto leader Frauke Petry will be its figurehead and candidate for Chancellor against Angela Merkel in next year’s federal elections (scheduled for August-September 2017).  The liberal faction would prefer Jörg Meuthen, who acts as co-spokesman with Frau Petry at national level, and was head of the AfD group in the state parliament of Baden-Württemberg.

A few weeks ago Herr Meuthen demanded the expulsion of one of his AfD colleagues in Baden-Württemberg, Wolfgang Gedeon, after it was found that Herr Gedeon had written a book four years ago (entitled Green Communism and the Dictatorship of Minorities) comparing the German state’s treatment of historians such as David Irving (and German writers such as the former leftist Horst Mahler) to the persecution of ‘dissidents’ by communist and other totalitarian regimes.

Showdown in the Baden-Württemberg state parliament between AfD regional leader Jörg Meuthen (left) and one of his own MPs, Wolfgang Gedeon (right).

Showdown in the Baden-Württemberg state parliament between AfD regional leader Jörg Meuthen (left) and one of his own MPs, Wolfgang Gedeon (right).

The book was denounced as ‘anti-semitic’, but when AfD’s group of Baden-Württemberg MPs met last week, the liberal faction was unable to secure the necessary two-thirds majority to expel Herr Gedeon.  Although Herr Gedeon resolved the matter a day later by resigning voluntarily, Herr Meuthen and his supporters used the dispute as a pretext to break away and form their own parliamentary group, registering themselves as Alternative für Baden-Württemberg.

They have now taken the matter to AfD’s national ruling executive, demanding that this new group be recognised as the official party affiliate.  In statements to the German press, the liberal faction have insisted: “I don’t know how you can be in two minds about this. Anyone who reads this can see it is clearly antisemitic.  … We are Alternative for Germany, the others are antisemites for Germany.”

Herr Meuthen is now using the issue to force a showdown with Frau Petry, demanding that she should be locked out of the party’s national headquarters, even though she is seen as effectively the AfD leader.

Unless the dispute is resolved decisively and quickly, the only winner will be Germany’s pro-immigration Chancellor Angela Merkel.

New scandal hits extradition row Baroness

Baroness Scotland behaving with typical decorum.

Baroness Scotland behaving with typical decorum.

Today’s Mail on Sunday reveals a complex scandal concerning Baroness Scotland – now Secretary General of the Commonwealth – and her cosy relationship with a wealthy public relations fixer who faces being stripped of his knighthood.

H&D readers will remember Baroness Scotland as the Attorney General in Gordon Brown’s government from 2007 to 2010, who disgraced her office by colluding with the German government in its efforts to extradite Australian academic Dr Fredrick Töben.

These efforts were ultimately blocked by a British court in October 2008, allowing Dr Töben to return to Australia, but only after British nationalists and other supporters of academic freedom had to raise an astonishing £100,000 as cash security for Dr Töben’s bail pending his appeal. See report on the case here, and the eventual victory here.

Dr Fredrick Töben and Lady Michèle Renouf as the Australian academic prepared to leave London in November 2008, following the invalidation of a European Arrest Warrant

Dr Fredrick Töben and Lady Michèle Renouf as the Australian academic prepared to leave London in November 2008, following the invalidation of a European Arrest Warrant

The German government’s attempt to prosecute Dr Töben were only possible because Britain had signed up to the European Arrest Warrant system, which allowed government’s to apply for extradition from fellow European countries without having to go through the old procedures of a full extradition hearing into the facts of the case.

Most importantly the new system scrapped the principle of “dual criminality”, which ensured that one could only be extradited from the UK if accused of something that would have been a crime if committed here.

Dr Töben’s “crime” would certainly not have been illegal here: he was wanted in Germany under that country’s notoriously oppressive laws restricting what historians, scientists or indeed anyone else can say about certain historical topics.

Specifically Dr Töben had disputed the orthodox historical account of the supposed homicidal gas chambers which are alleged to have killed several million Jews during the Second World War, supposedly on the orders of Adolf Hitler. No one has been able to find any document from Adolf Hitler ordering such a mass murder, nor has anyone answered the famous challenge of Prof. Robert Faurisson (a French expert on documentary analysis) who asked: “show me or draw me a Nazi gas chamber”.

Nevertheless Dr Töben would assuredly have faced several years in a German prison cell had he been extradited under a European Arrest Warrant – for something that is not a crime in our country!

Baroness Scotland (as Commonwealth Secretary General) meeting the Queen at a Guildhall banquet in March 2016

Baroness Scotland (as Commonwealth Secretary General) meeting the Queen at a Guildhall banquet in March 2016

Earlier in her career the same Baroness Scotland – who as Attorney General was responsible for colluding with her German counterparts in the attempted judicial kidnapping of Dr Töben – had been the Home Office minister responsible for piloting the new EAW system through the House of Lords.

She specifically assured Parliament in 2003 that revisionist historians such as Dr. Töben would not be subject to extradition under European Arrest Warrants for publishing their views on the internet. Yet five years later she allowed her senior officials to proceed with exactly the type of extradition which she had promised Parliament could never take place.

Had there been any sense of honour in politics, Baroness Scotland would have resigned as Attorney General following the Töben case in 2008, yet she remained until Labour lost office in 2010 and has since been promoted (under a Tory government!) to the position of Commonwealth Secretary-General. God knows what our Commonwealth partners in Australia, New Zealand and Canada are supposed to make of this latest demeaning of high office.

Baroness Scotland headline

The Baroness survived a further scandal in 2009

In 2009 she survived public outrage and remained Attorney General even after having been found to employ an illegal immigrant as her housekeeper. Baroness Scotland was fined £5,000 for this offence but kept her job: though to his credit her parliamentary private secretary (Labour MP Stephen Hesford) resigned in protest, saying she should have quit or been sacked.

The latest scandal exposed today by The Mail on Sunday might just halt the Baroness’s meteoric rise, but as all nationalists know – “Treason doth never prosper: what’s the reason?  Why, if it prosper, none dare call it treason.”

We are not surprised to see that the Baroness’s disgraced associate “Sir” Anthony Bailey is one of the leading campaigners for British membership of the European Union, and was a big donor to David Miliband’s failed campaign for Labour leader.

Stop the Invasion! Ban Merkel! Not the NPD!

NPD-Logo-2013.svg

Since 1965 the NPD (National Democratic Party) have represented the interests of patriots in Germany. The NPD currently has one MEP and several councillors. Now, after the traitor Angela Merkel has flooded the country with millions of non-white invaders, she is seeking to silence all real opposition to the invasion by banning free speech and banning the NPD. The ruling regime in Europe is trying to shut down all opposition to White Genocide, in Greece they are trying to ban The Golden Dawn, now they’re doing the same thing in Germany, where next?

As British patriots we support German patriots & all patriots everywhere.

Free speech must mean free speech for patriots.
We say protect free speech and debate!
We say ban mad Merkel and support the NPD!
Keep Europe White!
Stop the invasion!
DEMONSTRATE!
Top speakers!

1pm, Saturday 27th February
German Embassy
Belgrave Square
London
07756 391034 / 07466 039534 / 07917 921734 / 07443 129684

Speak up now, or remain silent forever.

Smart dress only. All welcome.

Playing the victim card

Heritage and Destiny readers might be surprised to read that we regret the resignation of Emily Thornberry, who for three years until tonight had been Shadow Attorney General in Ed Miliband’s Labour frontbench team.

Ms Thornberry is the archetypal middle-class leftwinger: daughter of a UN and NATO official, she became a radical barrister and is married to a QC.  No doubt her prejudices fit well with many of her constituents in Islington South & Finsbury.

The problem was that she couldn’t resist displaying those prejudices on Twitter following a visit to the Rochester & Strood by-election campaign, where she spotted a white van parked outside a house displaying three St George flags.  For an Islington leftie this was confirmation that Rochester is home to “white van man”: football fan, patriot, anti-immigration and therefore likely to favour UKIP over Labour.

The Sun was quick to jump on the bandwagon, and the owner of the house is now quoted describing Ms Thornberry as “a snob”.  She swiftly resigned from the Labour frontbench, and her friend Ed Miliband was said to be very annoyed that she had insulted one of Labour’s key groups of target voters: the white working class.

The reality is that Ms Thornberry’s only crime was to be too honest.  Her type of metropolitan leftie really does despise white workers, but members of this truly oppressed and marginalised group should beware of playing the victim card.

British politics requires more honesty, not less.  Party spokesmen are already far too afraid of causing offence to some group or other.

The truth is that we all have “prejudices”, some more rooted in reality than others.  The shackles should be removed from political debate, and we should be unafraid of being denounced as snobs, racists, sexists, heterosexists, xenophobes, or any other victim culture label.

Even Paul Mason – the left-wing economics editor of Channel 4 News – argued this week:

“Maybe we should all front up and say things more clearly. Maybe NHS hospitals should advertise: “We can only run this place with ‘foreigners’ – you got a problem with that?” And maybe businesses could adopt the slogan: “We’re as black, brown, gay, straight, disabled and ‘foreign’ as Britain is, and proud of it – feel free to take your money and prejudices somewhere else.”

“Instead of political correctness you would then have political honesty. It would be uglier but more real.”

From a very different standpoint to Mr Mason, we agree.  Let Islington trendies display their prejudices without fear of resignation: but let other “prejudices” also be aired – and let the voters decide!

Doug Christie – The Battling Barrister

Douglas Christie, the courageous Canadian lawyer known as the “battling barrister”, died on March 11th a month before his 67th birthday.  He was perhaps best known for his vigour and tenacity in defending the Canadian-German publisher Ernst Zündel during more than a decade of legal persecution.  His client had been accused in a 1983 “human rights” tribunal and at criminal trials in 1985 and 1988 of “spreading false news”, a legal concept drawn from mediaeval England but applied in this case to Mr Zündel’s publication of the booklet Did Six Million Really Die?, which questioned the orthodox historical account of the deliberate murder of Jews in homicidal gas chambers.

Doug Christie (centre) with his wife and fellow lawyer Keltie Zubko (left) and their most famous client, German-Canadian publisher Ernst Zundel, outside the Zundel appeal hearing in September 1989.

At the end of the second Zündel trial in 1988 Doug Christie insisted that the courts had no business dictating versions of history, which “by definition, is always an opinion.”  In effect this argument eventually prevailed.  Although Ernst Zündel was convicted and his first appeal failed, the Supreme Court of Canada ultimately agreed with Mr Christie, ruling that S.181 (the law of “spreading false news”) was unconstitutional. The Supreme Court ruled the “greatest danger of S.181 lies in the undefined phrase ‘injury or mischief to a public interest’, which is capable of almost infinite extension.”

Imre Finta

In May 1990 Mr Christie successfully defended the retired Hungarian policeman Imre Finta in Canada’s first ever “war crimes” trial – a prosecution which in his closing speech to the jury he described as “a futile and unjustified exercise”, pointing out that “it’s the practice of states that win wars to judge those who lose them.”  Describing the war crimes law as a “convoluted and diabolically twisted piece of legislation”, he urged the jury to send a message to governments around the world that “the war is over”.  The jury agreed; sadly governments did not, and have continued to intensify legal restrictions on freedom of historical and scientific enquiry.

Mr Christie’s first landmark case was in 1983 when Jim Keegstra, a schoolteacher in Alberta, several hundred miles from Mr Christie’s home province of British Columbia, was dismissed from his job and charged under Canada’s “hate crime” legislation for expressing his opinions about Jewish history and the Holocaust.  Keegstra was a devout Christian and a former activist in the Social Credit Party, once a powerful force in Canadian politics.  Doug Christie argued in Keegstra’s defence that his client was expressing legitimate religious views.  One did not have to agree with those views, and some Jews might find them offensive – just as Keegstra might find Judaism offensive.  However the Canadian constitution was intended to protect religious and political freedom, so “hate crimes” seeking to criminalise certain views should be struck down as unconstitutional.

The Keegstra trial began on the precise 60th anniversary of the most famous attempt to criminalise opinion in the American courts, the so-called “monkey trial” of 1925, when Tennessee science teacher John Scopes was prosecuted for attempting to teach Darwin’s theory of evolution.  Keegstra was in a sense the modern Scopes, accused of perpetrating the modern heresy of “anti-semitism”.

Defending Keegstra in his 1987 appeal, Mr Christie argued that as part of his Christian outlook his client believed that a group of Jews (including Zionists) had been “seeking economic and political opportunism in the guise of religion,” and that “Mr Keegstra said this was wrong, contrary to Christ and contrary to all men.”

Consequently Mr Christie argued that the “hate speech” law used to convict Mr Keegstra was an unconstitutional infringement of basic freedoms.   The Appeal Court agreed and quashed the conviction, but eventually the Supreme Court voted 4-3 to reinstate the judgment.  The argument in the Supreme Court was of fundamental worldwide importance: did the social “benefit” of curbing extremism and promoting tolerance outweigh the constitutional evil of restricting free speech? This restriction would not apply solely to those few people prosecuted but also, in the words of the dissenting Supreme Court judgment which backed Doug Christie, “those individuals not caught may find their expression restricted by the fear of running afoul of a vague and subjective law.”

Eventually the Supreme Court of Canada found against Keegstra, but their December 1990 judgment was only by the narrowest margin of four justices to three.  The dissenting judges endorsed Mr Christie’s arguments, writing:  “…our commitment to the marketplace of ideas precludes us from presuming that those who promote hatred will be successful in fomenting it among the majority of Canadians.  Moreover, freedom of expression is an individual liberty of such importance that it can be overridden only by an extraordinarily weighty public goal.”

Soon after this Keegstra judgment Doug Christie began representing Malcolm Ross, another schoolteacher dismissed for “anti-semitism”, and again managed to win in the appeal courts, only to face ultimate defeat in the Supreme Court of Canada.

In these and other landmark cases, Doug Christie was a valiant champion of the public interest in objective law and unimpeded scholarship.

The A.K. Chesterton Trust provided a great service to friends of freedom around the world by transferring to DVD a video recording made in 1994 of an address by Doug Christie to an invited audience at Liss Forest, Hampshire.

Mr Christie was in the UK to represent the redoubtable patriot Lady Birdwood, who was being prosecuted under Britain’s notoriously oppressive race laws for daring to publish a pamphlet entitled The Longest Hatred.  The octogenarian Lady Birdwood was convicted of “inciting racial hatred” and given a three month suspended prison sentence.

Doug Christie visiting Arbroath Abbey in 2002

Doug Christie makes clear in the DVD his belief that the prosecution of Jane Birdwood was but one facet of a worldwide campaign against free research and the free expression of opinion.  He argued that the forces supporting, for example, the French Revolution used a supposed commitment to “individualism” to break up the traditional authority of Christendom.  These same forces having achieved power now oppose individualism in the name of their own dominant ideology. Anyone standing in the way of that dominant ideology must be demonised and crushed by the full force of the law.  Courageously and sustained by his traditional Catholic faith, Mr Christie stood up for the victims of this process in trials and civil actions across Canada and the United Kingdom.

He argues that today’s New World Order “has every bit as much intention of destroying Truth as Communism did in a more visible and brutal way,” and believes that it is the most honourable course to fight for the right to tell the truth.

Doug Christie’s most celebrated case was in defence of the German-Canadian artist and publisher Ernst Zündel.  At the instigation of Jewish activist Sabina Citron, Zündel was twice prosecuted in the Canadian courts for “hate crimes” in 1985 and 1988, before his conviction was finally overturned by the Supreme Court of Canada in 1992.  His supposed crime of reporting “false news”, which dates back to the attempts of English kings and barons in the 13th century to suppress public criticism, was ruled unconstitutional.

In this DVD Doug Christie does not speak in detail about the Zündel case, as at that point in April 1994 he believed that Zündel had won and the story had ended with “Ernst Zündel a free man in Canada today.”  Sadly this optimism proved unfounded.  Having failed in their own courts, the Canadian authorities took action via their Human Rights Commission during the late 1990s.  Even after he moved to the USA and married a US citizen, Zündel was subjected to a judicial kidnapping near his Tennessee home in 2003 and deported to Canada, where a “national security” loophole was exploited to deport him to Germany in 2005.  He was imprisoned in Germany from 2005 to 2010.

Despite this eventual outcome, Doug Christie and Ernst Zündel will go down in history for pinning down “Holocaust historian” Raul Hilberg.  Asked by Doug Christie during the 1985 trial whether he could name a single scientific report that substantiated the use of any homicidal gas chamber during the Third Reich, Prof. Hilberg replied “I am at a loss.”

Doug Christie points out in this DVD that Ernst Zündel had to spend more than a million dollars to win his victories for free speech, but he argues that the many small and large donations to Zündel’s cause were contributions to the vital cause of building a “bulwark of freedom”: we must not wait “until the enemy is within our gates” but must support the defence of freedom wherever in the world the frontier happens to be at any moment: “We have a cause that transcends national boundaries.”

Outside the courtroom Doug Christie was active in attempting to redraw those national boundaries.  He believes that out of the failure of multiculturalism “smaller nations will emerge; better nations, true to themselves.”  In 1980 he founded the Western Canada Concept, a party that campaigned for the secession from Canada of its western provinces: Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia.

In 2005 he formed the Western Bloc Party with similar objectives: candidates have included former schoolteacher Paul Fromm, who alongside Doug Christie and others organised the Canadian Free Speech League and promoted events by international free speech activists including Lady Michèle Renouf.

Towards the end of the 1994 DVD Doug Christie asks his audience: “Are we criminals that we must hide in a basement?”  It is thanks to the courage and commitment of activists such as this brave Canadian lawyer that at least some of our traditional freedoms and values survive in 2012.

England’s political police strike again

Simon Sheppard was arrested on 25th January 2013 for ‘poor conduct’ which constitutes a breach of his licence conditions.
He handed copies of his latest article entitled ‘Spree Killers’ – which was published in issue 52 of Heritage and Destiny – to two workers in a local library for their assessment. They claimed the public found his comments about the prevailing attitude to mixed race couples a century ago ‘offensive’ and promptly denounced him to the police. However the article was not given out to the public and was four pages long, so ‘the public’ would have had to deeply peruse the text in order to be offended.

Author and publisher Simon Sheppard is presently incarcerated in Hull Prison for political ‘crimes’.

We have been informed unofficially that the people who were upset are far closer to the centre of government; so this is purely political. The article had already been seen by police and probation workers at a York MAPPA3 (Multi Agency Public Protection Arrangements) meeting and they made no objection.
Simon was held at York police station cell for two day awaiting transport to Hull prison, delayed by extremely heavy snowfall, but is now back in prison (and is now at a new prison address, see below). Please write and show your support for Simon and for free speech:

Simon Sheppard A8042AA
A Wing
HM Prison Northallerton
15A East Road
Northallerton
DL6 1NW

Why the Assange case matters

On 1st February 2012 I attended a hearing at the new Supreme Court in London, where lawyers for Julian Assange – founder of the whistleblowing website Wikileaks – were challenging the validity of the European Arrest Warrant under which Assange faces extradition to Sweden, where he has been charged with rape.

assange-supremecourt

Julian Assange arriving at London's Supreme Court on 1st February 2012

Many observers suspect that these rape charges are a pretext to silence Wikileaks, and potentially might see Assange extradited to the USA, where he would face a very long prison sentence for publishing more than 250,000 secret diplomatic cables.  These leaks, which began to be published on Assange’s website in February 2010, were a major catalyst for the Tunisian revolution that kicked off last year’s “Arab Spring”.  Wikileaks also published BNP membership lists in 2008 and 2009.

But the Supreme Court hearing did not look into the merits or otherwise of either the Wikileaks publications or the Swedish charges.  It centred rather on the validity of the European Arrest Warrant, and in doing so raised issues important to all of us.

Until the last decade there were long established principles for extraditing alleged criminals across national borders, recognising that different countries have very different legal systems.  First of all there would have to be an extradition treaty between the countries concerned, and the initial extradition request would be made between governments.  Then there would have to be a court hearing, in which for example an English court would have to be convinced that: (a) Assange’s alleged offences would have been criminal in the UK as well as in Sweden – the principle of “dual criminality”;  (b) there was at least a prima facie case against him;  (c) he could expect a fair trial.

Jack Straw, co-architect of the European Arrest Warrant system

Jack Straw, co-architect of the European Arrest Warrant system

All of this was thrown out as part of the ideologically driven push for European Union.  The political elite eventually realised that “harmonisation” of laws and procedures across the continent would prove too problematic, so they opted instead for the principle of “mutual recognition”.  Jack Straw, Home Secretary in Tony Blair’s government at the turn of the millennium, suggested moving towards a position “where each Member State recognises the validity of decisions of courts from other Member States in criminal matters with a minimum of procedure and formality”.

In practice this meant the new European Arrest Warrant system, under which English courts are no longer allowed to question whether the alleged “crime” is covered by English law, nor whether there is even a prima facie case against the accused, nor even (in most cases) whether the accused could expect a fair trial.  All the English court is allowed to do is check whether the European warrant has been validly made out, then rubber stamp the warrant and send the accused on his way to a European trial.

All this would be bad enough, but the issue addressed in Assange’s apopeal is that in his case (and others) the arrest warrant has not been issued by any sort of judge, but by a public prosecutor – so at this stage the case has not even be considered by anyone independent.  As Assange’s barrister Dinah Rose pointed out, this contravenes the tradition of nemo iudex in causa sua – no-one should be a judge of his own case.

Worse still, it appears that during the passage of the European warrant system into English law, this potential problem was flagged up more than once, only to be fobbed off by government ministers with the assurance that in practice there would be no need to worry.  In January 2002 for example, Home Office minister Bob Ainsworth told the House of Commons European Scrutiny Committee: “it will not be possible for authorities that clearly are not courts, that are not judicial authorities to issue requests for European arrest warrants as they will not be recognised.”

Dr Fredrick Toben, whose legal team defeated a German extradition effort by overturning a European Arrest Warrant

Dr Fredrick Toben, whose legal team defeated a German extradition effort by overturning a European Arrest Warrant

Yet in the present case a Swedish prosecutor – clearly not a court – has issued a warrant which has indeed been recognised by the English courts, and unless the Supreme Court overturns that recognition Julian Assange will be extradited on exactly the type of warrant that Tony Blair’s minister assured Parliament would never be allowed. The Assange case is in this respect reminiscent of the Toben case, under which Australian academic Dr Fredrick Toben faced extradition to Germany for “crimes” that did not even amount to an offence under English law.  That case fell at the first hurdle when Toben’s defence team challenged the validity of the German warrant: this time the Supreme Court will have to make a historic decision addressing the fundamental principles of the European Arrest Warrant.

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