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Anorak | Treason charges should apply to those excessively loyal to the European Union

Treason charges should apply to those excessively loyal to the European Union

by | 29th, July 2018

Or so the claim is from David Campbell Bannerman, a Tory MEP, that those excessively loyal to the European Union should be charged with treason. Some of us Leave types would say that this could be a little extreme but there’s merit to the idea – then we’ll recall who it is suggesting it:

British people undermining the country through “extreme EU loyalty” must be tried for treason, a Tory MEP says.

David Campbell Bannerman has been accused of “putting the knife into free speech” after demanding the revival of an archaic law to prosecute strong allegiance to the EU.

The background here is a report out today suggesting that the offence of treason itself should be brought up to date. The current law dates from the time of Edward III and isn’t exactly attuned to modern circumstances. For example, none of the varied jihadis and terrorists have been charged under it even though they were quite obviously taking up arms against the Queen and her army. So, logically, change the law so that people like the Beatles can be charged with something which carries a significant sentence. Like life in prison, not the current maximum 10 year stretch.

David Bannerman, who represents the East of England constituency, was responding to a new report by the Policy Exchange think tank calling for an overhaul of treason laws. The Treason Act 1351 remains in force in the UK, but no longer provides secure ground for prosecuting terrorists who conspire to attack the UK, the group said.

Campbell Bannerman’s addition is that this should apply to those who would undermine the British state by excessive accordance with the EU’s wishes. And there’s certainly a theoretic possibility of such being treason, of course there is. If we pass a law stating such and such, then you conspire with foreign powers to undermine that law then arguably that really is treason. Despite it being fun to dream of hanging Peter Mandelson it’s unlikely that anyone has quite reached that stage as yet though.

All most fun and arguably entirely correct as well. Then we recall who it is that is making the suggestion:

Campbell Bannerman was a former Conservative Special Adviser to Northern Ireland Secretary Patrick Mayhew in the 1990s, before defecting to UKIP in 2004, and writing the bulk of their 2010 manifesto as Deputy Leader, which advocate limiting immigration down to 50,000 people a year, and included a five year freeze on permanent settlement.

Campbell Bannerman returned to the Conservatives in 2011, and has been an MEP for the East of England since 2009.

I was working for Ukip back then as a press officer. I saw that manifesto creation process – saw, sadly, some parts of the manifesto. We had to take it down rather swiftly – C-B had posted it up on the internet before anyone else had read it – because it was littered with truly bad ideas. Having met the man a number of times I don’t take this as an aberration either.

So it is with this idea of extending the definition of treason. I’m entirely minded to agree with it but considering the source there must be some appalling problem with it even if I can’t, as yet, work out what that problem is.



Posted: 29th, July 2018 | In: News, Politicians Comment | TrackBack | Permalink