“An equal application of law to every condition of man is fundamental.” –Thomas Jefferson to George Hay, 1807. ME 11:341
“The most sacred of the duties of a government [is] to do equal and impartial justice to all its citizens.” –Thomas Jefferson: Note in Destutt de Tracy, “Political Economy,” 1816. ME 14:465
I have noticed a very disturbing trait amongst Public Servants who have forged their careers in the low grade politicised Public Service that was welded in the Blair/Brown years. That of evading the Law and indulging in extra curricular activity to ensure that targets are met and political favour (and promotion) maintained.
I have particular personal experience of this, but as other investigations are being carried out into the public servants concerned, I would highlight the case of a Doctor who blew the whistle on unsafe practices in Abergavenny Hospital featured on Channel Four News last night. She thought she was protected under the Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998 (PIDA).
The aptly named Aneurin Bevan Health Board decided to follow a course of action that I certainly recognise. Remember that somebody nearly died in this incident. The Health Board decided that its sacred cow reputation and targets were far more important than this Doctor. Dr Lucy Dawson brought two employment tribunal actions against the Health Board, on how they dealt with her whistleblowing on unsafe practices. PIDA is quite clear that the whistle blower is protected under the Law. The Health Board along with many other NHS Trusts then followed a well worn and illegal path.
Rather than be exposed at a Tribunal, lawyers acting for the Trust offered a pay off that was contingent on signing a gagging order. Dr Dawson then made the fatal mistake of relying on the Law (PIDA) to protect her and refused to sign .
The Trust and its Legal fee earners then started a smear campaign, never mind the truth, the Sacred cow must be protected at all costs.
Anybody who goes up against the State will tell you, you cannot win. It is impossible because the State will array against you its vastly superior financial resources to win its case by attrition until you throw the towel in. Failing that a campaign by extra judicial means will be commenced against you. If a medical professional can have her seventeen year hospital career terminated, what chance the man in the street.
Dr Dawson terminated her claim against the Health Board on the grounds of cost and now works as a locum. The State won, not because Justice was on its side but because it could buy the result it wanted.
We now have a legal system that is out of the financial reach of the vast majority of the population other than the very rich or the desperately poor. Parliament can churn out as many bad Laws as it likes because they are impossible to defend and when the Law is used as a weapon to crush and oppress we are living in a tyranny.
A solution has to be found to this. A Libertarian relies on the just application of fair Laws that are equally applied called ‘Equality of Arms’. If Parliament cannot prevent its Laws being so widely disregarded by powerful agencies of the State, it is up to the general population to combine and seek a legal remedy through a voluntary Legal Defence fund, until public servants start losing their jobs and are prosecuted for breaking the Law and using extra curricular methods.
In a few short weeks Landlord Nick Hogan was released from jail for ‘flouting’ the smoking ban, by public subscription. Imagine if the public servants involved in the Dawson case knew that there was a good chance they would go to jail.
If twenty million of us paid into a legal fund at a pound a week, the Dr Dawson’s of this world might succeed. Not have to withdraw because of costs.
Do you think that the face of the State would change ? I think it would.
Andrew P Withers