Brits at their Best.com: British History, Culture & Sports, History of Freedom, Heroes, Inventors

LIBETY! THE TIMELINE

Brits and Americans have put their lives on the line to help create countries where each person can worship freely, where government is of, by, and for the people, and where children can grow up safely.
The Anglo-American model is based on human dignity, the rule of just law, limits on the power of the state, respect for private property, free speech, and religious tolerance. Fanatics and thugs will try to destroy this inheritance, but it belongs to all the world's people.

Photo: GhostOfTragedy@istockphoto.com

OPPOSING TYRANNY
AT HOME
& ABROAD

2000 'METRIC MARTYRS' TAKE STAND FOR BRITISH FREEDOM AND WAY OF LIFE

Cheeky and mischieveous and always the first to give to charity, Steven Thoburn begins his day at 3 am buying fruit and vegetables to sell at his stands. When the EU declares it is a criminal offense to sell "a pound" of apples or "ounces" of cheese, insisting that all foods be sold in metric weights, Thoburn asserts his right as a freeborn Englishman. Brits have been using pounds and ounces, yards and feet since before Magna Carta, and Americans still do. He wants his customers to have the freedom to choose, and he provides scales and pricing for both metric and pounds.

He becomes a national celebrity after he is arrested selling a pound of bananas to an undercover council trading standards officer, and is dragged before the court. The world's press descend on Sunderland Magistrates' Court for the landmark hearing.

The Metric Martyrs lift pints of beer outside court

Helping Steven Thoburn (center) is his friend Neil Herron (second from left), a fishmonger who builds a people’s campaign to win back British freedom and end EU interference. "It was never about a pound of bananas and a set of scales," explains Herron. "It was about who governs this country." Steve is convicted, and given a conditional discharge, but the Metric Martyrs continue their battle to uphold British rights.

Photo: www.neilherron.co.uk

When his third child, a son, is born, Steven Thoburn helpfully announces his weight in grammes – all 3,790 of them – telling reporters, "No-one I spoke to had a clue if he was the size of a baby elephant or a small tomato."

Steven dies of a massive heart attack at the age of 39 in 2004. Neil Herron writes, "Steven symbolised the true British spirit of grit and determination and fought passionately for what he truly believed in."

2001 - 2007 AMERICANS, BRITISH, AND NATO SOLDIERS GIVE THEIR LIVES FOR IDEALS, BUT IS THE COST WORTH IT?

British soldier guarding market shakes hand of smiling boy

Gunner Colin Rees, 457 Battery Royal Artillery (Volunteers) 1 YORKS Battle Group, greets a young Baswari in a market in Umm Qasr, Iraq.

Image: Cpl Ian Forsyth RLC

After terrorists attack New York City and Washington, DC , Americans, Brits, Australians, South Koreans, Italians, Poles, Czechs, Slovaks, and Japanese join in a coalition to try to liberate the captive peoples of Afghanistan and Iraq. Or so the elected leaders of their countries tell them.

Brits join Americans, Australians, and two dozen Allied nations to free Afghanistan from the Taliban and Iraq from the dictator who defied two dozen U.N. resolutions, murdered hundreds of thousands, corrupted the UN's oil for food programme, and bought off permanent UN Security Council members Russia, China, and France.

Iraq was first established as a country by Britain in the 1920s with a constitutional monarchy modeled on the United Kingdom's bicameral parliament. Decades of cupidity and blood feuds, a 1958 coup and Saddam Hussein turned Iraq into a tyranny that waged war, invaded two of its neighbours, murdered hundreds of thousands of its own citizens, allowed the powerful to rape women, and built prisons for children. In Afghanistan, the Taliban would not allow women to vote, go to school, or hold a job, and the government hid terrorists who had attacked and murdered Western citizens.

Operation Iraqi Freedom overturns those tyrannies. Coalition soldiers train Afghani and Iraqi soldiers to protect their people from terrorists. They help to establish two Constitutions and free elections, and to restore their economies, which had been plundered by Hussein and the Taliban. According to Christopher Hitchens, Coalition soldiers "guarded polling-places, opened schools and clinics, and excavated mass graves. They represent the highest form of the citizen, and every man and woman among them was a volunteer."

American major in Iraq holds baby in arms

Photo Credit: Adam Napier
Most of the world's press has ignored Coalition efforts to protect the men, women, and children of Afghanistan and Iraq. To read more, michaelyon-online

2004 - 2012 AS EU GROWS MORE POWERFUL, RESISTANCE GROWS

EU laws and regulations continue to take silent control over many aspects of life in Britain, and to slice away at historic freedoms. Thousands of new regulations are depressing business, while EU corruption in the EU increases unchecked.  

In response, free Brits organise resistance to the EU, and carry their message to the polls. Lord Pearson of Rannoch The Bruges Groupcontinues to research, analyse, and publicise frightening EU trends. Norris and Ross McWhirter help to found the Freedom Association to foster understanding of the economic, constitutional and moral principles that alone sustain a free society. Better Off Out is mounting a campaign to leave the EU. Eurofacts offers timely updates on EU developments. For more, see Defeating Threats to Freedom .

2004 NE VOTERS REJECT REGIONAL ASSEMBLY; NEIL HERRON LAUNCHES LEGAL CAMPAIGN AGAINST REGIONAL ASSEMBLY

As part of the effort to dismantle England and create a series of regions for the European Union, the Labour Government introduces plans for an elected regional assembly in north-east England. An unelected North-East Assembly, funded by the EU and quite unimpeded by democratic concerns, already exists, and Labour feels sure the voters will respond with gratitude on learning they will be given the right to elect its members. Neil Herron leads the no campaign, and in November the voters throw out plans for the assembly by an overwhelming margin of four-to-one. They want nothing to do with an EU-sponsored Trojan Horse.

Untroubled by this resounding setback, the unelected North-East Assembly announces that it will set itself up as a limited company, and carry on. During the campaign, Neil Herron had revealed the stunning fact that the unelected assembly was an unincorporated body whose members were personally responsible for all its financial obligations, liabilities amounting to millions of pounds.

Herron, who is becoming well known, also points out that according to the 1985 Companies Act setting up such a company would not absolve members of their existing obligations. Indeed, members who had voted for their councils to provide the assembly with funds were in breach of the 1972 Local Government Act, since they had voted to give public money to a body in which they had a financial interest.

2005 THE SPIRIT OF ASSOCIATION IS THE SPIRIT OF LIBERTY

No one person can achieve freedom on his or her own. In order to become free, we need others to stand with us. For the Brits, the spirit of helpful association begins in the moots and witenagemots of the Anglo-Saxons, and grows strong in the medieval guilds.

In ensuing centuries the Brits start hospitals, universities, building societies, political parties, schools, clubs, scientific societies, charitable trusts, trade unions, corporations, and even marching bands. Protected by the Common Law, these societies are based on an ethic of helpfulness, fair play, and trust. Their idea of fair play is equality of opportunity, not equality of outcome, for equality of outcome can only be achieved by creating a socialist nightmare.

The Brits' concept of community is personal, effective, and cost-efficient. It is very different from government-mandated community service networks which over-regulate, over-tax, and underperform. The relentless expansion of government-driven, tax-fed organisations kills spontaneous associations. This is tragic since spontaneous associations of men and women are primary sources of freedom and prosperity.

2005 - 2006 VICAR AND WAR VETERAN GO TO JAIL TO PROTEST UNFAIR COUNCIL TAX

Clutching his toothbrush, the 71-year-old Rev Alfred Ridley is jailed for refusing to pay his council tax. He is the first Brit senior to protest local council taxes, which have risen 76% over ten years and hurt seniors on small, fixed incomes.

Ridley believes in paying for services, but not for tax gouging. "If you don't stick your neck out no one is going to take a blind bit of notice," he observes. He is part of the IsItFair? movement begun by Christine Melsom that sweeps the country.

Citizens who protest taxes have a long and glorious history in helping to create a free, representative, and responsive government. In 2006, Ridley is joined by other brave Brits. The most recent is Richard Fitzmaurice, a 75-year-old who served 22 years as a warrant officer in the Royal Army Ordinance Corps. After his sentencing, he was strip-searched, and made to share the prison van and cell with drug addicts and murderers.

2006 BRITS DEFEND THE RIGHT NOT TO BE FORCED TO ACCUSE THEMSELVES

A British citizen has the fundamental right not to be forced to accuse himself at trial, but to remain silent. This right was won by 16th and 17th century heroes such as John Lambert and John Lilburne who defied torture and death. It is a right that protects us from torture, that has been sacred in criminal law for well over 300 years in Britain, and that became part of the American Bill of Rights.

Idris Francis asserts that the right to silence has been removed for driving offences, and he is fighting to defend this fundamental right against any infringement, no matter how small. He has brought suit in British court, arguing that he has a right to be free from threats and intimidation that force him to accuse himself. In the case of drivers, the Government accuses them by virtue of their ownership of a car caught by a speed camera, and insists they are guilty and must pay a fine. Idris argues that the Government has no factual basis for assuming he was the driver of the car and cannot compel him to admit guilt, infringing on a fundamental British freedom merely because they find it convenient to do so.

Now Idris has taken his case to the European Court of Human Rights. Update: His argument was rejected.

2006 HOUSE OF COMMONS NARROWLY DEFEATS LABOUR'S RACIAL AND RELIGIOUS HATRED BILL

The House of Commons defeats by just one vote (283 votes to 282) a bill that would destroy the freedom that Brits have died to obtain and defend. The Bill would have prohibited speech or artistic expressions deemed insulting by religious communities. The Labour Government claimed that the bill was “necessary” to make multicultural coexistence possible. In the House debate, William Pitt the Younger was quoted: “Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom; it is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves.” Can God be insulted by mere man? Should freedom be destroyed because a person of faith cannot ignore a criticism?

Rowan Atkinson of Blackadder fame and his supporters along with House members from all three parties win a victory for freedom of expression, as well as a victory for Parliament against a petty and hectoring Government.

2006 LAW LORDS FREE PRESS FROM LIBEL SUITS

British laws have so carefully protected individuals from the unwelcome attentions of the press that the romance between reporters and investigative journalism has been jinxed.

Reporters realistically worried that they and their papers would be hauled into court on charges of libel if their reporting was construed as defamatory of a powerful person or corporation. Much reporting is naturally defamatory because the truth is not a liar, but the thought of expensive and exhausting court cases with stiff fines understandably dampens a reporter's investigative ardour.

In this century, an American newspaper chose to fight back. Britain's Law Lords heard the case of Jameel v. The Wall Street Journal, and unanimously overturned two lower-court rulings. They held that if the journalist acted "fairly and responsibly in gathering and publishing the information" and if the information was of public importance, the press would not face libel charges for publishing a defamatory statement whether it is true or false.

The new ruling, which has just been issued, looks promising, but one wonders whether it will cut any mustard with the European Union, which has hounded journalists who tried to report on EU corruption.

Is fear of defamatory proceedings by the EU the reason British newspapers have written so little about the European Union? And isn't their deathly silence likely to continue given that EU laws now trump British law?

 

 

This is the beginning of the reckoning. 
This is only the first sip,
the first foretaste of the bitter cup, 
which will be proffered to us year by year, 
unless by a supreme recovery of moral health
and martial vigour, we rise again
and take our stand for freedom. . . .

Winston Churchill speaking in Parliament in 1938.

 

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Copyright 2006, 2007, 2008 David Abbott & Catherine Glass