The "law" of public relations vs law of the land
Power is wielded in many ways, and websites are a form of power that can be abused
One of the most shocking parts of the Covid lockdown scam was how schools in the UK were closed down via press release rather than via lawful means. The Joint Select Committee on Humans Rights says this about the UK schools closures of 2020 and 2021:
Instead of issuing a direction under the CA 2020 to close educational establishments, and properly justifying the need to close schools, the Government, through communications and press announcements, encouraged schools not to allow pupils to attend except for certain groups and encouraged parents not to send their children to school. We consider that measures which are likely to affect human rights should have a proper legal basis and be properly justified, rather than being announced through a press notice.
This is government via rule of mass media, and is used to override the rule of law. It means that PR functions are a kind of “soft law”, and need to be held equally accountable as any act performed in the pursuit of “hard law” like legislation.
I recently wrote to the UK Parliament enquires line about possible excessive claims to power by Parliament on its website. There were three questions:
1. Who is accountable at Parliament for this particular public statement, given it potentially could be (mis)interpreted to usurp the powers of the monarch and people?
2. Does it accurately reflect the position of Parliament, or does it need review in the light of possible misunderstanding or confusion, or augmentation with a deeper exposition?
3. Is there any formal declaration, publication, or paper that defines Parliament's own understanding of its constitutional authority, relationship to sovereignty, and limits on power?
I got the following response:
Thank you for your email.
Please find below some information on this topic that you may find helpful:
[1383 words cut and pasted — full text here.]
I hope this information is helpful.
House of Commons Enquiry Service
I will be reviewing the content sent in the fullness of time. What matters is that my questions were ignored, in particular the first one about accountability. Given the subject matter is the source of authority to act, and the lack of accountability as power is abused, this is… interesting.
As I am nothing if not tenacious and perseverant, I have just submitted the following freedom of information request to Parliament:
I have previously written to your enquiries email address regarding the webpage at https://www.parliament.uk/about/how/role/sovereignty/ — titled "Parliament's authority". While I was sent some interesting and useful references on Parliamentary Sovereignty, my simple questions of accountability were ignored, which I find somewhat troubling given the context.
I have concerns that the text presented makes an over-claim of the limits of power of Parliament, which is not a minor matter. For instance, case law is very much law, and Parliament cannot overturn it at whim. The text conflates legislation and law, which are distinct, since the power of punishment is reserved to the people (via juries); if they won't convict, the legislation is not law.
I am submitting a request under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 for the following information:
1. Which formal role or position holds authority in Parliament for the approval of this public statement?
2. Which living man or woman (acting in that role) is responsible for the approval of this specific text currently on the website?
3. What process exists (if any) for the review of such public statements, including any expert input or review, and input from the public?
4. Does Parliament have an official position statement on the limits of its own sovereign power (with respect to the sovereignty of the people and the monarch), and if so, where might it be found?
5. If there are concerns about the accuracy of the public statement made re Parliament's sovereignty, what is the correct process to raise this formally as an issue needing attention?
I accept that Parliamentary Sovereignty is a vast and complex topic with hundreds of years of history, and Parliament has absolute authority to change "hard law" legislation. That said, optics and PR do matter, and the text on the website is effectively "soft law", since it will be taken as final fact by many. A false or misleading statement on the limits of power of Parliament, especially its ability to override constitutional constraints, is not a minor issue.
I along with other members of the public are concerned about the increasing use of administrative courts, as well as growing imbalances of power among the judiciary, legislature, and executive. The Coronavirus Act 2020 raised serious issues of constitutionality and overreach of power. I therefore hope you locate these questions as being of great seriousness, and not trivial gripes about website wording.
With humble respect,
Note how I am seeking both a role that is responsible as well as a real man or woman who is accountable, so they cannot play games with me. If we are going to have “rule by press release” (and the website is public relations), then it has to be taken seriously, since this is now used in preference to actually following the law. They made that their method of governance, so don’t be surprised if we the people take notice!
In the past I would not have given this kind of thing much thought or attention, but our lives have been disrupted and ruined through the failure of Parliament, the courts, and the police services to protect the people from violent terrorist acts. These include cruel isolating lockdowns to destroy our rights and the economy, hideous “face coverings” to dehumanise us, and evil biological warfare injections offered under the false pretext of being “vaccines”.
If you give them an inch they always take a mile, so the text of the Parliament website in some ways holds as much weight in the modern world as hundreds of years of constitutional law. If they won’t be accountable for it, then perhaps we need a new system of governance where power is held by those who understand that constitutional rule of law is not just a decorative nicety to be brought our for ceremonial occasions and then put away?