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Rude awakening: Try committing a crime and then telling the police you do not consent to be governed by the law you broke. This is what you'll get.

Rude awakening: Try committing a crime and then telling the police you do not consent to be governed by the law you broke. This is what you’ll get.

“This is not a law, it’s an act, so is only giving the power of law with the consent of the governed.”

That’s what Paul Young wrote in response to the Vox Political article Sleepwalking further into police state Britain as law offers new powers of repression.

His words were echoed by another commenter described only as ‘Squiggle Diggle’, who said: “Legislation only has the power of Law when consent is given by the governed… You need to know the difference between Legislation and Law, if you do not, then you are consenting to all Legislation. If you know the difference, then you can remove your consent by not allowing the powers that be to have jurisdiction over you. I really recommend you read up on this, as so good as this article is, you really don’t seem to know what the difference between Law and Legislation is, which is one of the most empowering things you can ever realise.”

My reply was that legislation is the act of making law; law is a rule or guideline set up by government to control behaviour. Consent is not implied, other than that of the electorate in voting in a government that enacts and enforces these laws. I said there is absolutely no leeway in UK law for a citizen to remove his or her consent to be governed by the laws of the land.

That was where we left it – until today, when Mike Colbourne (his name as used on Facebook – commenting here, he just used a bunch of capital letters) raised the subject again. He said: “If a Statute Act is given the force of Law by the Consent of the governed and we don’t consent then it does not apply to you! When injustice becomes Law rebellion becomes duty!”

In a nutshell, all three have been saying that if you don’t want to accept that a law applies to you, the government can’t make it apply to you.

In the United Kingdom this is not only nonsense; it is dangerous nonsense. What if somebody hears it, believes it, acts on it and gets arrested? They could be in prison for a long time because someone else didn’t understand the difference between a political theory that informed the US Declaration of Independence in an entirely separate country – and the laws of the United Kingdom.

Let’s make the law of the United Kingdom perfectly clear: There is no option which allows members of the public to choose which laws they wish to apply to them or to obey.

Those are not my words but an official response from the Ministry of Justice, to an inquiry about Consent of the Governed in 2010.

That response also states: “If you wish to ask whether all members of the public must obey the law, then that is certainly the case.”

There is no room for manoeuvre; the law is the law.

Mike’s comment suggested that he thinks statute law has less validity than, perhaps, common law. If so, he’s got it the wrong way around, as this response to a Freedom of Information request of 2009 clarifies: “Statutes can amend or replace common law in a particular area, but the common law cannot overrule or change statutes. A statute can only be overruled or amended by another, later piece of legislation. This reflects the legal and political doctrine of Parliamentary Sovereignty – the recognition and acceptance that Parliament is the supreme law-making authority.”

If anyone reading this thinks the situation detailed above is morally wrong or otherwise iniquitous, you need to look at ways of getting Parliament to change the law. Good luck with that. Simply saying that the law doesn’t apply to you without your consent isn’t worth the time you spend doing so.

Let that be the end of the matter.

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