THE WIZARD OF OZ SYNDROME:
A New Theory Of State Tyranny
The following dissertation is based partly on research over a number of years and partly on personal observation, including - at times bitter - personal experience. It is intended, not as apologia for the arbitrary and wanton abuse of state power, but as the first step on the road to the elimination of such abuse by recognition of its primary causes.
Many people, but particularly Libertarians and anarchists, believe in the inherent evil of the state. Many Libertarians believe the state should be abolished totally or that its power should be subjected to the severest restrictions. Anarchists believe the state should be destroyed, and some advocate violence against both the state and its servants. At least two books have been published with the quaint title Our Enemy The State, (1) and many more espouse the same sentiments in their texts. Ayn Rand, who grew up in Soviet Russsia wrote that “a government is the most dangerous threat to man’s rights: it holds a legal monopoly on the use of physical force against legally disarmed victims.” (2)
Stuart Goldsmith, a British Libertarian who is cut from the same cloth writes that “All governments in all countries have the same desires. They long for ultimate control over their citizens, and they long for more money to play their power-games with.” (3)
Such sentiments are not difficult to find, and they are often shared by a wider public.
The state has without doubt been the greatest mass murderer in history. The well-documented atrocities of Soviet Russia, Nazi Germany, Maoist China, or any of countless other régimes since time immemorial is testimony to that, and to the fact that the state has inflicted pain, misery, suffering and death on its subjects whatever its alleged ideals or Weltanschauung. In Britain in the 1970s, the organised left made enormous political capital out of the supposed rise of so-called racist and fascist political parties and organisations, (4) particularly the National Front.
Unless these “Nazis” (5) were stopped they were going to send the Jews, the blacks and Mr Patel in his corner shop to the gas chambers, along with all those wonderful gay people too, no doubt. Or so we were told. Many people on the far right were perplexed by this, not so much at the protests against supposed Nazism, but at the fact that the loudest protests emanated from the followers of Leon Trotsky, the man who shot workers “like ducks in a pond”, (6) and even from admirers of Stalin, arguably the greatest mass murderer in history.
By the same token, the Catholic Church has for decades railed against the evils of godless Communism, yet when the Church ruled the roost, people could be and indeed were, burnt at the stake for witchcraft, or even for the mildest of heresies.
It has long been fashionable to denounce the British Empire and “Imperialism” as one of the greatest evils that ever stalked the Earth. The cute notion that the European colonists of the 19th Century and before somehow “sucked” the wealth out of the nations of (particularly) Africa has been developed, notwithstanding the total lack of empirical evidence to support it. British rule in Africa, India and elsewhere has been portrayed as tyrannical, yet wherever the former Imperialist masters have retreated, new régimes which make the occasional excesses of the British pale into insignificance by comparison have appeared with monotonous regularity. Black Africa in particular has seen a succession of despots, tyrants and authoritarian governments whose human rights abuses are sources of eternal shame.
Islamic governments have equally appalling records of human rights abuses, and the Jews who (they would have us believe) have suffered more than any race in history, have at times been denounced by the people they oppress in Occupied Palestine as worthy successors to the Nazis.
Whether the régime is racist, egalitarian, God-fearing or godless, whether it is run by Gentile or Jew, white man or black, the fact remains that the state has the most appalling track record of human rights abuses in history.
We in the West have, by and large, outlawed both all forms of physical torture, and the death penalty. (7) But with every passing year we lose a little more of our freedoms; sometimes we lose not a little but a lot. In every city and town in Britain, and in many villages, closed circuit television cameras monitor our every movement. (8) The state tracks our financial transactions - the greater volume of which has long been conducted by cheque, plastic and electronic transfer, all of which are easily monitored. A new “benevolent” repression has replaced the violent despotism of old, but in spite of the abolition of the death penalty and physical torture, when the velvet glove is removed, the iron fist remains. Who but a lunatic or an ignoramus could dispute the self-evident claim that the state really is evil?
Anti-State Propagandists Blinded By Bias
Most people think propaganda means lying. In fact, the most effective propaganda consists of telling selective truths. For example, one facet of anti-Semitic propaganda is the claim that Communism is a “Jewish conspiracy” or that it is a movement which has been controlled and directed primarily by Jews for specifically Jewish ideals. There is a large element of truth in the Jewishness of Communism as far as the Bolshevik Revolution was concerned; many leading Communists were indeed Jews. But what anti-Semitic propagandists conveniently forget is that many anti-Communists were also Jews, and that Jews suffered under Communism as much as and in some cases more than Gentile Russians. Ayn Rand (see above) perhaps the most fanatical anti-Communist who ever lived, was a Russian Jew. (9) The distinguished American-Jewish scholar Nathaniel Weyl lists a number of prominent Jewish anti-Communists in his study The Jew In American Politics and comments that “Most of these men exposed the Communist conspiracy at a time when it was neither fashionable nor profitable to do so.” (10) And so on.
Likewise, “anti-racists” portray the British Empire and “Imperialism” as exploiters and oppressors of the non-white peoples of the world. The truth though is that wherever the Imperialists ruled they brought far more benefits to their colonial subjects than oppression. To take just one example, the British Empire outlawed slavery, which still exists in some forms in many non-white countries.
By the same token, feminist propaganda represents men as the enemies and oppressors of women. One feminist slogan from the early eighties is that “all rapists are men”. (11) And of course, by implication, all men are rapists.
None of the above examples is very intelligent, and Libertarians are among the last people to give credence to biased if accurate expressions of anti-Semitic, anti-Imperialist and anti-male propaganda. Yet the very same people who would laugh at the suggestion that a few Jewish communists means that all Jews are evil; that the excesses of a few Imperialists means that all whites are evil; or that the all too common crime of rape means that all men are evil, these same people are easily seduced by the mere suggestion that the state is evil per se, and that it should be totally abolished.
On The Positive Side
One persistent theme of what might be termed the Libertarian conspiracy theory of the state is that the state seeks constantly to extend its influence over us by imposing more and more restrictions on personal freedom and by prying into our lives.
In his aforementioned book Privacy, Stuart Goldsmith rails at politicians and civil servants: “governments are composed entirely of individuals who have dedicated their entire lives to seeking power over the drones.” (12)
Again, this is not entirely true. The state has often opposed restrictions on personal liberty in the face of opposition from powerful vested interests. During the Second World War, British civilians were required to carry identity cards. In March 1945 it was reported that 56% of people questioned wanted them retained while 2% didn’t know. (13) Three months later it was reported that the police wanted ID cards retained and that 90% of the public agreed. (14) But identity cards were abolished by the state regardless of both police and public demands that they be retained. (15) In other words, on this occasion the state over-ruled the “desire” of the public to deny its citizens individual liberty, so it could be argued that in this instance at any rate the state was more Libertarian than many of the people it governed!
Fifty years later a motion opposing the introduction of ID cards was narrowly defeated in a debate on a government green paper by the Board of Deputies of British Jews. (16) It goes without saying that if ID cards ever are re-introduced in Britain that they will be computerised. One would have thought that Jews - with their incessant harping on about how they suffered in Nazi Germany - would have been the very last people to vote in favour of ID cards, but the reality is that Jewish political organisations have long been in the forefront of movements to restrict individual liberty - in their case on the spurious pretext of combatting “anti-Semitism”. Ditto other “oppressed” minorities: ethnic and otherwise.
Although many Jewish and other political organisations remain in favour of compulsory ID cards, the Home Office recently killed off the idea - for the next few years at any rate. In June 1999 it was reported that the government said it could see ‘no argument whatsoever’ for the introduction of compulsory ID cards in the UK in spite of support for the measure. The law-abiding public would find it “rather oppressive” if as a result of simply forgetting their wallet they were accused of committing a criminal offence. One Labour MP said there was wide support for the measure among the public and called for voluntary cards to be introduced as an interim measure. ID cards were, he said, a “very excellent system”. (17) So again the state has proved itself to be more Libertarian than many of the people it governs. (18)
Religious organisations of many denominations have lobbied long and hard for more and more censorship - and continue to do so - yet although censorship - including of opinion - exists in this country and elsewhere - the state has yet to bow to these lobbies entirely. And again need I point out that the death penalty has been largely abolished by the state? And that in spite of popular calls to “bring back the rope” and “an eye for an eye”.
The above examples could be expanded, but the point should have been made by now: the state alone is not responsible for destroying our freedoms. And neither is the state uniquely evil. Anyone who does believe the state to be uniquely evil and nothing else should stop and ponder where he or she would be today without it. Have you ever visited a doctor or needed hospital treatment? If so, chances are the state provided it. Do you use a library? Chances are the state funds it. (19) Have you ever dialled 999 for an ambulance, the fire service, the police? The state provides these services. The state is also the largest employer, the major educator, the largest provider for our old folk and for the needy, and so on. If the state is to be blamed for wars, torture, oppression and death, then surely it is entitled to a little credit too?
Before moving on I would like to include some comment in a similar vein from an early 20th Century socialist who recognised the fallacy of the evil state. Writing in 1913, James Leatham rubbished what he called the “old heresy” of the state being the enemy of the people. “We are NOT at war with the State”, he insisted. (20)
Indeed, the state is a blessing, he says in his pamphlet Is The State The Enemy?, and sets out many cogent reasons for holding this belief, including health and safety regulations.
“It was not the State that caused long hours in factories; but it was the State that curtailed them.” (21)
On education: “The State did not cause parents to bring up their children in ignorance; it passed the Education Acts.” (22)
On slavery, Leatham points out that the state did not create this institution but did abolish it. (23)
More generally: “The State is not merely a repressive Policeman or Tax-Gatherer. It is the servant of the community as well.” (24)
And he points out that “Rivers of blood have flowed in the name of religion.” (25) Does this mean that religion is inherently evil? Evidently not.
Are Politicians Evil?
Politicians are often the but of jokes and recriminations from left, right, centre and from ordinary people of no particular political, religious or social persuasion. Some people hold politicians responsible for all the world’s evils. They are frequently regarded as corrupt: in the pockets of big business, powerful vested interests, or seen merely as self-serving power-seekers. Even if some of them do occasionally feather their own nests or use their influence to do favours for their friends, many politicians work long hours and are genuinely concerned for the welfare of their communities. I speak from personal experience; if it were not for my own conscientious MP I would have ended up on the streets in 1997. (26) If politicians are to be blamed for their mistakes then surely they are to be credited for their successes?
A Lesson From The Balkans
At the time of writing, May 1999, (27) the armed forces of NATO are bombarding the former Yugoslavia. This is what most informed observers are increasingly coming to believe is an ill-advised attempt to stop the “ethnic cleansing” of Kosovo by the Milosevic régime. As well as bombing Serbia, and indeed before the bombing started, Britain, and many other states, were sending humanitarian relief to the victims of the Serbian purges. In this war, as in previous wars, acts of supreme inhumanity are perpetrated by both sides, but so too are acts of selflessness and self-sacrifice. The state has a finger in both pies.
Can The State Be Evil?
Let us return to this evil state hypothesis. Evil is an emotion, a condition of mind. The state is a machine, and machines do not have emotions. Deeds are not evil in themselves, only if they are committed with evil intent. A motor accident is not an evil act, nor is a plane crash, (unless the result of sabotage, human wilfulness). People who attribute emotions to the state fall into the trap of anthropomorphising a machine. As far as the state has any human characteristics at all these are the result of the actions of individual members of the state, be it the policy makers, the bureaucrats, or the apparatchiks. If a state commits evil deeds, then those deeds are the result of evil intent by the people who control or work for the state. Or even the result of good intent, because, as the saying goes, the road to Hell is paved with good intentions.
Power Without Responsibility: The Nuremberg Defence
There is a phenomemon known as the tragedy of the commons; this relates to the grazing of common land by cattle but it is something which has wider implications. If you own a herd of cattle and you wish to graze it, what better place to do it than on common land? After all, common land is free, you just put your animals out to graze, and when they’ve eaten up the common, you can move them on to somewhere else. The only problem with this arrangement is that every other farmer has the same idea, and soon there is no common land suitable for grazing. (28) The moral behind this story is that when everybody “owns” something, nobody owns it. Nobody feels responsible for it, so it is wasted, be it a natural resource or anything else. The tragedy of the commons explains the inefficiency of state-run industries and the efficiency of private enterprise, for a state-run corporation can always obtain more funding from the public purse, while if a private company is wasteful it will go tothe wall.
Just as the tragedy of the commons is responsible for the “who gives a damn?” attitude of publicly owned corporations, something analagous to the tragedy of the commons is responsible for the apparent wantonness of the state; that something is a phenomenon I Christened the Wizard of Oz syndrome when I first wrote about it in a polemic against identity cards. (29) I will spare the reader an in-depth rehash of the sordid details which led me to frame this hypothesis, but some background information will be helpful.
In February 1996 I encountered one of the most repulsive human beings it has ever been my - or any man’s - displeasure to meet. She was a female civil servant of depraved character who took a sadistic delight in the investigation, interrogation and psychological torture of some of the most vulnerable members of society, which, but for a congenital streak of recalcitrance, would have included me. This woman treated me like a piece of dirt, and not unnaturally I said some unpleasant things about her. Rather stupidly I repeated one of these unpleasant things to a bent copper, (30) and as a result of that, and of his lies and duplicity, I ended up in Brixton Prison for six months. At the end of an eight day trial I was acquitted of all charges, and that after one of the most biased, bigoted and inaccurate summings up in English criminal history.
The so-called victim, this disgusting whore (31) and pathetic apology for a woman who masqueraded as a civil servant, turned up at court like a frightened schoolgirl and claimed to have spent the previous six months off work suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. (32) As if that weren’t enough, she subsequently “suffered” a nervous breakdown - which another bent copper led the authorities to believe had been my fault - and spent a total of a year off work.
What had happened to this harlot to drive her to such despair? One of her bent copper friends had told her I was coming after her knife in hand to slit her worthless throat. That was all. There are people in Northern Ireland, Kosovo, and a plethora of other places throughout the world who live with the very real threat of death, damage and disfigurement every day of their lives, and this pathetic worthless little whore suffered post-traumatic stress disorder and a nervous breakdown because of something a bent copper had told her. (33)
When I got this little monster in the witness box (34) she denied all impropriety, and would have had the jury believe that she was simply a conscientious civil servant doing her job. She actually said that: I was only doing my job. My riposte that this was what the Nazis had said at Nuremberg, earned me a rebuke from the judge, but this hit the nail bang on the head.
The Wizard Of Oz Unmasked
“Any person without regard to nationality or capacity in which he acted, is deemed to have committed a crime as defined in......this article, if he was (a) a principal or (b) was an accessory to the commission of any such crime or ordered or abetted the same or (c) took a consenting part therein or (d) was connected with plans or enterprises involving its commission or (e) was a member of any organization or group connected with the commission of any such crime.....The fact that any person acted pursuant to the order of his Government or of a superior does not free him from responsibility for a crime, but may be considered in mitigation.” (35)
The Wizard of Oz hid behind a mask to frighten people; he took a sadistic delight in it; to those who met him he was a fearsome brute indeed. But when the mask was removed, he wasn’t so brave, rather he was a pathetic, feeble, and quite frightened old man.
I said earlier that the state is not evil, and it is my sincere belief that most politicians - of all persuasions - are well motivated. It is probably true too that most civil servants and bureaucrats are decent human beings, but there is a certain type of bureaucrat, civil servant, police officer, indeed a certain type of power-broker, who is not a decent human being. We’ve already met some of them, this little monster of a so-called civil servant and her bent copper friends who between them kept me in gaol for six months and very nearly succeeded in destroying my life, not for any bona fide reason, but simply because they had the power to do it, and because they didn’t like my face. (36)
These are the same people who have power over your life, power over your family’s lives, power over your neighbours’ lives, and for the most part they are totally unaccountable. Anytime their mischief and perfidy is exposed, they close ranks. Obtaining redress against a bent copper or a corrupt civil servant is near impossible. An aggrieved person is likely to be dismissed as a crank or a paranoid. (37) And on the few occasions their perfidy can be proven beyond doubt, what do they say? “I was only doing my job.” The Nuremberg Defence par excellence.
A Practical Example Of The Wizard Of Oz Syndrome
Many and lurid are the stories of police corruption. Who hasn’t heard of detectives taking backhanders from “drug barons”, kickbacks from “Organised Crime”, and so on? By and large these stories are grossly exaggerated if not totally false. During the Prohibition era in the United States there was indeed a great deal of organised corruption in various police forces and many other institutions, but this sort of corruption is the result of bad and to some extent unworkable laws. There was similar - though much less widespread - corruption in the Metropolitan Police in the 1960s due to Britain’s absurd obscenity laws. But by and large the idea that the British police are “on the take” is false.
If a police officer comes to your house and steals your money, the allegation will be investigated conscientiously unless there is good reason to believe your complaint is totally malicious, and if there is sufficient evidence he will be charged, tried, convicted, and probably gaoled. If a police officer uses his position to take advantage of women for sexual purposes, this won’t be tolerated either. In January 1999, PC Kenneth Davies, a crime prevention officer with West Yorkshire police, was gaoled for nine months for stealing £700 from an 83 year old disabled woman. (38) The previous year, John Blott, a self-styled Casanova in uniform, received a lengthy gaol sentence after being convicted of two rapes and an indecent assault. (39)
Corruption for financial gain or sexual gratification is certainly not tolerated by the British police, but there is a different type of police corruption, the type of corruption which says it is permissible to fit up suspects, to verbal up prosecution witnesses to give “correct” evidence, to commit perjury in order to secure convictions, and to suppress exculpatory evidence. This type of corruption is now both well-documented and widely acknowledged; it is called, incredibly, noble cause corruption, and is defined as “the use of dishonest practices to secure convictions or boost performance figures”. (40)
These sorts of corrupt practices are not carried out for material gain, but they are corruption all the same, and for the most part they are all but impossible to prove because of the aforementioned tendency of bureaucracies to close ranks against outsiders. Nowadays the police can’t verbal up suspects the way they used to, nor can they beat up suspects to the same extent they used to before the Police And Criminal Evidence Act, 1984 came into force, but the fit-ups continue, and so too, to some extent, does the use of excessive force during the course of making arrests. (41) Between 1992 and 1995 the Metropolitan Police paid out nearly £2 million in out-of-court settlements for assault claims alone. (42)
In 1998, the Director of Public Prosecutions was forced to resign because of her continued refusal to prosecute police officers for misconduct regardless of strong prima facie evidence of wrongdoing. (43)
Why does noble cause corruption and allied malpractice continue? Because police officers are not held personally culpable, that’s why. Leaving aside their chums in high places like the now departed Barbara Mills, (44) the root cause of corruption can be found in case law dating to 1862.
Vicarious Liability In Civil And Criminal Law
In 1862, a case heard in the Exchequer Chamber, Limpus v London General Omnibus Company, became the leading case on vicarious liability in English law. Here it was decided that “a master is liable for the torts of his servant acting within the scope of his authority even when he has expressly forbidden the servant to do the thing complained of.” (45) This case, which makes very tedious reading, concerns what might be called a burn-up between the drivers of two omnibuses in Central London. (46) It is not necessary to read the law report in its entirety much less to understand it, in order to grasp the principle enunciated here, a very important one, so important that I will repeat it: “a master is liable for the torts of his servant acting within the scope of his authority even when he has expressly forbidden the servant to do the thing complained of.”
Now let us apply this to the police. In 1999, an estate agent named Colin Tomlinson received a settlement from the Metropolitan Police said to be around £100,000, Among other things he was temporarily blinded in one eye, and needed an operation to save his sight. He brought an action for assault, wrongful arrest and false imprisonment and for malicious prosecution arising out of seven - yes, seven - separate “incidences”. The police fought the case all the way then settled at the court door. They made no admission of liability, and no officer was as much as suspended. (47)
Now, naïve person that you are, you might think that an assault is a criminal offence. But for some bizarre reason, assaults and other unlawful conduct perpetrated by police officers during the course of their employment are in general considered to be civil rather than criminal offences, with the commendable exceptions of theft a là PC Davies and rape a là PC Blott.
At any rate, if you are the victim of an unlawful arrest, malicious prosecution, or even a serious assault, it is likely that the only redress you will have against the excesses of thugs in uniform will be in the civil courts, and then only if you are either of sufficient means and determination to bring a private prosecution, or if you are granted Legal Aid.
Assuming either of the above, you will sue the Chief Constable, or in London the Police Commissioner, and the police force concerned will fight the case all the way, and if they believe they will lose the case, the police authorities will settle at the court door, usually without any admission of liability, as the hapless Mr Tomlinson found out. If this is the case you will obtain some satisfaction, but who will pick up the tab? The answer is the public: the taxpayer and/or the ratepayer, because it is all public money. The police and their solicitors will spend enormous sums of money to defend even a modest claim - as I know from personal experience - and even if they lose they won’t be punished financially.
Extension Of A Bad Principle
What we have here is another example of the tragedy of the commons; I say tragedy, but it isn’t tragic for some. It isn’t tragic for the uniformed thugs who beat you up, or more likely fit you up, or who destroy your property through wilfulness or neglect. (48) The fact that it is their governor who is being sued rather than them is anything but a tragedy. If the police force loses the case, so what? If they settle at the court door, again so what? They haven’t even admitted liability. And if they defend the case successfully, well, we said all along that this bloke was up to no good.
Even worse, the principle of vicarious liability as laid down in Limpus v London General Omnibus Company has been extended to all bureaucrats and civil servants not only in civil cases but in criminal ones. They have Crown Immunity, State Immunity, and in the very topical case of General Pinochet, Sovereign Immunity. (49) In other words, civil servants (including police officers) and bureaucrats have power without accountability and power without responsibility. They can do what they damn well like to you, and at the end of the day they won’t even get a rap over the knuckles. And as well as immunity they have privilege, which means they are able to conceal their mistakes, duplicity and lies from prying eyes, (50) so the question of sanctioning them for unethical, immoral or illegal behaviour mostly doesn’t even arise, because they have not only immunity from prosecution but immunity from investigation.
Civil servants and bureaucrats are in fact far less accountable than most politicians, (51) because government ministers have been known to resign - voluntarily or otherwise - when their judgments have been proved to be seriously flawed or when they have been held personally liable for the gross misconduct of their subordinates.
To give the reader some idea of just how great can be some of the injustices meted out by corrupt police officers and their co-conspirators in the legal establishment, here are two examples, one of them tragic in the extreme. Writing in the Times of May 25, 1999, the President of the Law Society attacked the power police officers have over the disclosure of evidence: “Last week a rape trial in Nottingham Crown Court was stopped by the judge and the teenage defendant acquitted when it was discovered by the defence that a crucial video-tape taken from a CCTV camera in a nightclub foyer, which proved the defendant’s innocence, had not been disclosed.”
A police officer gave evidence to the effect that he had “overlooked” the relevant parts of the tape. (52) Him and the prosecution both; it beggars belief that police officers and prosecutors were prepared to allow an innocent teenager to be convicted of rape when they had the exculpatory evidence in their possession all the time, but this young man was lucky. (53)
In the well-documented case of Stefan Kiszko, the victim was convicted of a heinous crime because the forensic evidence which proved his innocence was suppressed by the investigating officers in conjunction with a forensic scientist. Stefan Kiszko was convicted of the sex murder of 11 year old Lesley Molseed at Leeds Crown Court on July 21, 1976 and gaoled for life. (54)
Kiszko was no imbecile: he drove his own car and held a fairly responsible post as a civil servant with the Inland Revenue, but he was what is now recognised as a “vulnerable person”. He was fitted up on the basis of induced confession “evidence”. He also confessed to an offence of indecent exposure for which there was no complainant (and which obviously never happened). (55)
He was cleared by the Court of Appeal on February 18, 1992 in a judgment in which the Lord Chief Justice, Lord Lane, made an unusually strong pronouncement declaring that he
could not have been the murderer. (56) A senior detective and a forensic scientist were charged in connection with the fabrication of the case against Kiszko but this was
thrown out at committal as an abuse of process. (57) Stefan Kiszko died of heart failure December 21, 1993, less
than two years after his release. (58)
The Public Are Equally To Blame
The Public Are Equally To Blame
Great strides have been made in the extension of human liberty over the past century and more. Slavery has been abolished throughout the white world and most of the rest of the world. The franchise has been widened so that at the very least every adult has the right to elect the government every few years. (59) Women have property rights and other rights which they never had throughout most of history in most societies. The standard of living of much of the population has been rising steadily too. That being said, there is a distinct downside. More and more repressive laws are being enacted, often in the name of liberty.
In Britain, some truly horrendous laws have found their way onto the statute books restricting freedom of expression - usually on the bogus grounds of protecting minorities; restricting the right to protest; imposing censorship often on the spurious grounds of protecting the young; imposing punitive taxation; the total destruction of banking confidentiality - on the pretext of combatting a non-existent drug menace; and so on. The latest menace - but by no means a new one - is the restriction on jury trials imposed by Home Secretary Jack Straw - on the specious grounds of saving costs. It is no secret that the powers-that-be would like to abolish jury trials altogether. If ever that happens then God help anyone who is ever charged with any crime. Anyone who isn’t a police officer, that is.
The people usually blamed for destroying our freedoms in this manner are politicians. This though is a gross oversimplification and is also grossly unfair to many politicians who have committed themselves to fighting to preserve our freedoms. Often repressive - or just plain bad - laws result from hysteria which is whipped up by the media, by special interest groups, or even by the general public. Probably the most damning example of this in recent years happened in the wake of the Dunblane massacre of 1996, when the then Conservative government rushed through a bill to ban the private ownership of firearms. One of those who voted for a total ban was David Mellor, who was quoted thus: “If we leave a loophole, if we trust the very people that let us down before, we will not have made adequate redress for the ghastly tragedy in Dunblane.”
A fellow traveller was then Shadow Scottish Secretary George Robertson, who was quoted in similar terms thus: “If we were tonight to leave a loophole in the firearms laws big enough for another mass murderer - another Michael Ryan, (60) another Thomas Hamilton - to walk through, then we would never be forgiven or indeed deserve to be forgiven.” (61)
Although the likes of David Mellor and George Robertson voted for the abolition of private firearm ownership, the government could never have marshalled the legislation through without a groundswell of “public opinion”.
Public opinion has also been an important factor in the enactment of many oppressive laws, as we have seen; to blame it all on politicians or on “the state” is to miss the point.
Power Without Accountability
This is not a treatise on public choice theory or on the way special interest groups such as the powerful (and misnamed) Jewish lobby, the “race relations” industry, the organised homosexual movement, the “green movement” the pro-censorship lobby or the plethora of business and other lobbies (including the trade union movement) use their muscle, money, emotional blackmail and every dirty trick in the book to force through repressive legislation to the detriment of the general public. Nor is this intended as a blanket condemnation of such lobbies. Without the trade union movement the working man in Britain (and everywhere else) would have nothing. As much as ordinary people may be revolted by the obscene practices of homosexuals it is wrong to criminalise consensual sexual acts between adults on private property. In spite of the hysteria generated by “anti-racists”, all minorities (ethnic and otherwise) should be entitled to the full protection of the law.
Nevertheless, it is the activities of these lobbies which have led, largely, to the rise of the bureaucrat class who exhibit Power Without Accountability, which shares an acronym - perhaps appropriately - with Persons With AIDS. It is PWA - Power Without Accountabilty - which is responsible for the tyranny of the state, because when people do not suffer demotion, financial loss, imprisonment, pain, or some other meaningful sanction inflicted personally on them for their misdeeds, there is nothing, short of innate decency and a sense of fair play, to prevent them from doing whatever they like. And in my personal experience few power brokers have little or any of these qualities. This is not to say that there is no such thing as a decent police officer, but the police are only one tiny aspect of this problem. The type of people who become prosecution lawyers, fraud investigators, Customs Officers, bailiffs...are not in general imbued with a love of their fellow man. They are people who wield PWA, and they are “only doing their jobs”.
The Unmasking Of The Wizard Of Oz And
The Restoration Of Justice
Whenever laws - repressive or otherwise - are enacted - the required legislation is drafted, and the powers deemed necessary to enforce these new laws are passed on to the police and other authorities, including to the legal establishment. As stated, these people are then given blanket immunity from the consequences of their actions and what amounts to carte blanche to destroy the livelihoods, freedoms or even the lives, of their victims. Just as with very few exceptions police officers are never held accountable for crimes of noble cause corruption, (62) by the same token lawyers - including Crown prosecutors - judges, Customs men, Social Security snoops, Inland Revenue inspectors, the imbeciles who run the misnamed Commission for Racial Equality, and the apparatchiks who run all manner of other statutory bodies, have carte blanche to destroy totally innocent people, and frequently do: financially, emotionally, and sometimes even physically. These people are in effect above the law. (63)
Obviously this is a most undesirable and dangerous state of affairs for the people who are on the receiving end. (64) Equally obviously the remedy is to bring these liars and schemers back within the remit of the law, to make them amenable to the same penalties as the rest of us. Recently, the former Conservative MP Jonathan Aitken was sentenced to 18 months imprisonment for perjury and perverting the course of justice. In a widely publicised case it was revealed that Aitken, who had brought a libel action against the Guardian newspaper, had not only lied under oath but had dragged in his young daughter to bolster his story. One of his motives was undoubtedly financial gain.
Aitken was a powerful man and, until recently, a very wealthy one. If he hadn’t been dealt with so uncompromisingly the public perception would have been that there is one law for the rich. (65) Although Aitken’s wealth was no barrier to such a prosecution, anyone who has ever tried to bring such a prosecution against a police officer will quickly realise that there are other forms of privilege in our society besides wealth and breeding. (66)
So how do we unmask the Wizard of Oz? As I said, police officers and other apparatchiks must be held personally accountable for their actions. This will require legislation when people’s livelihoods and freedoms are destroyed by wilfulness which does not fall strictly within the remit of the criminal law, but in straightforward cases such as perjury and perverting the course of justice by the fabrication of evidence, the withholding of evidence, and so on, there is no need even for legislation. What is necessary though is a change in the way bureaucrats and apparatchiks think, and this will be far more difficult to bring about. (67) We can accelerate that change by holding these people accountable on an individual basis, even if doing so requires a few martyrs.
The term “Leaderless Resistance” was coined by the American intelligence officer Colonel Julius Amoss; (68) it became popular after the April 1995 Oklahoma City bombing which resulted in massive loss of life. In Britain, in early 1999 with the spate of nail-bombings in Brixton, Brick Lane and the West End of London, the term became common currency for a time because of its usage by so-called terrorism experts who were quoted in the national media. It goes without saying though that nail bombings of public places and the indiscriminate maiming and slaughter of members of the public - whatever their ethnic origin or sexual orientation - has nothing whatsoever to do with Leaderless Resistance, and indeed is a perversion of the term.
Leaderless Resistance is a method of striking back against “the system”, but the point of this dissertation is that there is no such thing as “the system”, what there is, are, are individuals who use and abuse the power they have been delegated in the name of the people, to destroy the livelihoods and and sometimes the lives of the people they are supposed to serve, and to harass them in numerous other ways, or simply to make their lives a misery for no better reason than that they have the power to do so with impunity.
The idea that because the “state” is “oppressive” someone should take a truck and blow up an office building in Oklahoma City or anywhere else is not the way to do it. It is the individuals who perpetrate dastardly acts who must be held accountable. One such individual is the current Home Secretary, Jack Straw.
Striking Back Against Real Perpetrators:
Why Not Start With Jack Straw?
In December 1998 “Government proposals” were mooted concerning the abolition of trial by jury for defendants charged with certain “either way” offences. Some of these offences included grievious bodily harm, theft, shoplifting (which is presumably theft) and indecent assault. One of the main pretexts for this proposed outrage advanced by “Home Office insiders” is that jury trials lead to supposedly enormous expense when trying "trivial cases". One hypothetical example given was that of the theft of a newspaper from a letter box. And, as usual, self-serving statistics were trotted out in support of this facile nonsense. One statistic worth bearing in mind though is that 40% of people who plead not guilty in jury trials were said to be acquitted while only 25% were in magistrates’ courts. (69) (The suggestion that magistrates acquit one defendant in four is news to me).
Leaving that aside though, who says that a conviction for the theft of a newspaper is a trivial one? If you are an accountant, a supermarket employee, or, perish the thought, a police officer, and you are convicted of theft, any theft, you will lose your livelihood, your pension, and probably a great deal more besides. There is nothing trivial about that for the individual concerned and often for that person’s family. An extreme case is that of 62 year old Lady Isobel Barnett who committed suicide in October 1980 four days after her conviction for shoplifting at Leicester Crown Court. She had stolen a carton of cream and a tin of tuna fish. (70)
It has often been said that there are lies, damned lies and statistics, so the mere fact that magistrates convict more defendants than juries is neither here nor there, but anyone who has seen the way magistrates, and in particular stipendiary magistrates, dispense “justice”, must surely hope that he is never put in the unenviable position of trying to convince one of these imbeciles of his innocence. (71)
In May 1999, Home Secretary Straw confirmed these Draconinan proposals. The Telegraph reported that they would affect about 18,000 people charged with “either or” offences a year, including theft, possession of drugs and assault. The pretext given here was that many defendants plead not guilty in the magistrates’ then change their pleas at the Crown. (72) The implication was that lawyers were playing the system - perish the thought - but if this is the case then wasted costs orders would be an effective measure to deal with such abuses. Straw went on TV and said that in future magistrates will have the right to decide the mode of trial, there will be a right of appeal, blah, blah, but this was all waffle.
Some of the other “proposals” mooted by Straw and his gang are even more frightening. How about this for a headline: Drug barons’ homes may be confiscated, which is bad news for “drug barons” but Straw was said in this report to be examining proposals to confiscate (ie steal) the property and bank accounts of so-called drug barons and “organised crime bosses...even though they may never have been prosecuted”. This is a proposal which the paper says “will undermine the basic legal principle that suspects must be found guilty by a jury before they can be punished.”
A Northumbrian police superintendent, Bob Pattison, is said to have reported on a suspected “drug baron” who lived in a council house and owned three Porsches but who was “virtually untouchable”. (73)
This is a thinly veiled plea for civil asset forfeiture, something which has been rampant in the United States for many years and has long since been extended to beyond the so-called war on drugs. In 1992, a woman in Iowa who was accused of shoplifting a $25 sweater had her $18,000 automobile seized as a getaway car! This car, incidentally, had been specially equipped for her handicapped daughter. (74)
Now let’s look at another of this gang’s lunatic “proposals”: Straw gives go-ahead to convict criminals on hearsay evidence. This headline is from January 1999; the article reports that “HEARSAY evidence is to be made admissible in criminal trials in an attempt to convict more drug dealers and sex offenders.”
This is said to be because many of these accused intimidate witnesses. These proposals would also include admitting written evidence - thus avoiding the testing of evidence by cross-examination. (75)
The question of hearsay evidence is not that simple; hearsay is often admitted in court cases - civil and criminal - by consent, usually if it is non-contentious; there is no point calling a witness to give evidence which both prosecution and defence agree is true, so in that case the witness’s statement can simply be read to the court.
But this is not what Straw and his gang are about. Read that first sentence from the article again: “HEARSAY evidence is to be made admissible in criminal trials in an attempt to convict more drug dealers and sex offenders.”
In the first place, these people are not “drug dealers” and “sex offenders” but alleged drug dealers and alleged sex offenders. In the second place, if such lunatic “proposals” were implemented they would not stop there but would in time be applied across the board to all manner of alleged crimes. In the third place, the overwhelming majority of prosecution witness statements in criminal actions are not written by the witnesses themselves but by police officers who often “gild the lily” or otherwise verbal up those concerned to give “correct” evidence. In the fourth place, the purpose of oral evidence is to permit cross-examination so as to expose inconsistencies, errors and lies in witness testimony.
In fact, there are already provisions to admit such hearsay evidence under certain circumstances. In a 1996 Court of Appeal case Regina v Holt and Regina v Bird, it was ruled that “Where a victim of violence and a witness to the attack refused, out of fear, to give evidence at the trial of the attacker, if the procedures set out in the Crown Prosecution Service’s policy document for prosecuting cases of domestic violence were followed, the trial might nevertheless proceed, with the witnesses’ statements being admitted in evidence under section 23 of the Criminal Justice Act 1988.”
The above is from the Times law report; (76) the relevant passage is “...a statement made by a person in a document shall be admissible in criminal proceedings in evidence of any fact of which direct oral evidence by him would be admissible if...(3)...the person who made it does not give oral evidence through fear...”
Sarah Holt was the victim; she was beaten unconscious and hospitalised. Sophie Bird was the witness. Holt’s former boyfriend was charged with GBH with intent. The two young women were gaoled for contempt of court for failing to testify against him. The defendant was discharged. (77)
In this case there was no doubt that the victim had indeed been attacked, and not much doubt as to the identity of her attacker, but note the loaded language; it is assumed in this case and is to be assumed in all future cases that a crime has been committed; it is assumed that a witness refuses to give evidence out of fear - fear of what? All this can only be prejudicial to a defendant. Now put all the lunatic “proposals” mooted by Straw and his gang together and see what the result is:
A man is accused of a serious crime, he is denied the right to trial by jury, the evidence against him cannot be tested by cross-examination, and even if by some miracle the imbeciles on the bench acquit him, the authorities can still confiscate all his worldy goods. Did anyone ever hear of such tyranny and abrogation of the rule of law? In the past, government officials have been assassinated by political extremists for lesser abrogations of the rule of law. I am not for one moment suggesting that anyone should assassinate Jack Straw, but clearly something has to be done about this lunatic and his acolytes to make
them see the error of their ways. (78)
Go For The Lawyers And The Apparatchiks
For the restoration of justice and the rule of law the Wizard of Oz must be unmasked. Unless and until bureaucrats are held personally accountable for their actions, the tyranny of bureaucracy: oppressive government, a legal system out of control, a police force that does as it pleases...will continue. My own preference is for Leaderless Resistance to target those responsible, imposing sanctions of various degrees on the individuals concerned until such time as police officers, government lawyers and other bureaucrats are held personally accountable by the system itself, and, just as importantly, by the people who control the system.
This latter is extremely important because it doesn’t matter one whit that there is a law on the statute books if the people who control the system are not prepared to enforce it. In his paper The Case Against A Bill Of Rights, Britain’s leading Libertarian Chris Tame makes this point: “Freedom is attained in social life only when the ideas favourable to freedom gain intellectual predominance or hegemony.” (79) In other words there is no point in having a bill of rights if at the end of the day a stipendiary laughs in the face of a member of the public who lays an information against a bent copper, as happened to the current writer, or if in spite of overwhelming evidence of misconduct the Crown Prosecution Service refuses to bring criminal charges against police officers for corruption or assault.
Leaderless Resistance must hold these people personally to account, and not bureaucracy as a whole; a Leaderless Resistance which holds one man responsible for the sins of another is little better than terrorism.
A Hypothetical Example Or Two
A man is framed for a serious crime and as a result of that he is thrown into gaol, he loses his job, his house and his family. Two or three years later he is cleared and it comes to light that the investigating officer suppressed exculpatory evidence in collusion with the senior Crown Persecution Service lawyer. What would happen now, in practice? If the victim was lucky he would receive financial compensation. Of course, no amount of money can compensate a man for the best years of his life being wasted in prison, and some victims of police fit ups have spent considerably longer than two or three years in gaol. (80)
What should happen - in addition to financial compensation paid to the victim of such injustice - is that legal action should be taken against all those concerned in fitting him up. I am not for one moment suggesting that police officers should be prosecuted or otherwise sanctioned for making honest mistakes. We can all be wrong, but if it can be proved clearly that a police officer has colluded with a so-called independent prosecutor, then they should be targeted as individuals and summary justice should be dispensed against both.
Let’s take another hypothetical example. Part of the grand design for civil asset forfeiture is the establishment of a National Confiscation Agency. Indeed, this idea was mooted in November 1998, and probably some time before that. (81) Unlike the police force, which for all its faults is a legitimate institution, a National Confiscation Agency whose remit is to seize the property of alleged “villains”without due process has no legitimate remit. Consequently anyone who worked for such an organisation in any capacity would be a legitimate target, and I mean in any capacity, from the Chief Executive down to the tea lady.
That magnificent but sorely misguided fighting machine the IRA (82) has long maintained a policy of targeting any individual who gave aid and comfort to what it regarded as the occupying army of British “Imperialism”. This could include even civilian building contractors, who were sometimes shot dead, or women who consorted with British soldiers, who were sometimes tarred and feathered.
If a National Confiscation Agency were ever to be set up then the Leaderless Resistance should quite rightly take a leaf out of the IRA’s book. Those who seize the assets of innocent people are thieves, and while thieves are in general no more deserving of summary execution than British soldiers and innocent building contractors, a few beatings paramiltary style would certainly not be out of hand. These people would soon get the message; if such a policy were implemented from day one, the proposed National Confiscation Agency would be strangled at birth.
Lawyers Started This Madness, Lawyers Can End It
The following is an extract from the DRUG TRAFFICKING OFFENCES ACT 1986 (1986 c32), relating to failure to disclose “knowledge or suspicion” of money laundering:
(1) A person is guilty of an offence, if -
(a) he knows, or suspects, that another person is engaged in drug money laundering,
(b) the information, or other matter, on which that knowledge or suspicion is based came to his attention in the course of his trade, profession, business or employment, and
(c) he does not disclose the information or other matter to a constable as soon as is reasonably practicable after it comes to his attention. (83)
Note the date of that legislation: 1986. Some thirteen years after I sat down to write these words and two years after Orwell’s 1984, your bank manager, the cashier in your local building society, your accountant, even your solicitor, has a statutory obligation to become a police spy on peril of being thrown into gaol for non-compliance, which effectively includes minding one’s own business or refusing to snoop on one’s customers.
All the talk about Stalinist Russia and Nazi Germany being police states in which children were brainwashed into denouncing their parents and where no one was safe from prying eyes has gone out of the window in the hysteria generated by the so-called war on drugs.
How has this madness come about? One of the factors responsible for this is the venality of lawyers. All laws, repressive or otherwise, are drafted by lawyers. All prosecutions, however frivolous, vexatious or unwarranted, are conducted by lawyers. If lawyers - as a body - refused to draft repressive laws and the statutory instruments that go with them, what would the state do? If lawyers refused to prosecute defendants who had been charged with committing victimless crimes such as prostitution (consensual sex between adults); possession of Class B drugs with intent to supply (non-coercive transaction of goods); racial/sexual and other “discrimination” on private property and so on, then no such cases would come to court.
Now, ironically, the venality of lawyers has led to their chickens coming home to roost in a big way. In November 1998 a headline in the Independent revealed that six major London law firms were under investigation on suspicion of laundering profits from “drug-trafficking, gun-running and contract killings by international racketeers”; arrests were said to have been imminent, (84) although to the best of my knowledge nothing (has yet) come of this. (85) This story has all the hallmarks of self-serving flannel churned out by the grandly titled National Criminal Intelligence Service.
One lawyer who most definitely did find himself on the receiving end though was US President Bill Clinton. His trials and tribulations over the “Zippergate” scandal led one Internet poster to point out that he had been caught in his own police state. An estimated $40 million was spent investigating Clinton’s alleged wrongdoings in the Oval Office, and at the end of the day the most damning allegations that could be substantiated against him were that he had played nooky with a more than willing office junior (the now notorious Monica Lewinsky) and that he had lied under oath in (politically trivial) civil proceedings.
If Clinton had realised that “Independent Counsel” would have had the power to invade his life and impound all manner of “evidence” from incriminating recordings of his erstwhile mistress to a dress stained with his semen, he might have had second thoughts about turning a blind eye to civil asset forfeiture and other equally Draconian legislation. It is probably too much to ask that lawyers refrain from drafting repressive laws any more than it is to hope that police officers will refrain from enforcing them, but we
can live in hope. (86)
In this short monograph I have identified what I believe to be the root cause of most evil in the world today, at least as far as the state is concerned. It remains to be seen if anything will ever be done about it, but certainly the will is there and has been since time immemorial. The assassination of tyrants goes back to Julius Caesar and very likely back to prehistoric times, but killing politicians - or anyone else - is seldom the answer. The people who must be targeted by the Leaderless Resistance are the individuals responsible, the vast majority of whom are not politicians. We must not though rule out more regular means for the elimination of tyranny, including legislation.
One of the more controversial pieces of legislation introduced in the context of criminal law was the Police And Criminal Evidence Act, 1984, which is generally known by the acronym PACE. Although this watered down the suspect’s right to silence, one very good proviso was the tape recording of police interrogations. (87) This has all but ended the practice of “verballing”, ie of the police inventing confessions which they put in the suspect’s mouth. Now, confessions allegedly made to police officers in the absence of tape recording are likely to be ruled inadmissible. As well as protecting the rights of suspects this also protects - or rather covers - honest police officers. PACE serves a useful purpose, unlike the plethora of statutes which have been enacted to appease powerful lobbies with vested political and/or financial interests.
Other methods of combatting tyranny are mass protests and lobbies. Lobbying and protest are in fact two of the most effective methods of bringing about social change; unfortunately, such change is often for the worse. One of the main reasons the age of consent for sodomy has been lowered from 21 to 18 is the intense lobbying of homosexual “rights” groups. As the age of majority has long been 18 it is perhaps unreasonable to demand that homosexuals wait another three years until they can practise their perversions legally, but the organised homosexual movement’s reaction to the lowering of the age of consent was not one of joy but one of anger that Parliament refused to lower it to 16. When - not if, but when - they succeed in having it lowered to 16, they will be demanding that it be lowered to 14, then 12, then probably abolished altogether. This is what most of these degenerates want in any case.
But while - for good or evil - legislation and lobbying both have their place, I cannot help but feel that on balance, Leaderless Resistance will be the way ahead in the future. Only when bureaucrats realise they will be held personally accountable for destroying people’s lives will they desist from their evil ways.
Leaderless Resistance begins when one man identifies the bureaucrat or bureaucrats responsible for inflicting needless misery and suffering on him, his family or fellow men, and takes action against the individual or individuals concerned. But to resist is not enough, the perpetrators must not simply been called to account, they must be seen to be called to account. Then those who take their place will think twice before continuing down the same path of wanton destruction on the spurious - and untenable - pretext of “I was only doing my job.”
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