by Bodwyn Wook
THE Libertarian Party United Kingdom (LPUK) seemingly now is draughting a written English constitution. It is intended to codify and, we daresay, rationalise the corpus of documents of English Liberty, dating back to Magna Carta in 1215. This perhaps unfortunate development occurs in fact because of the personal logical characteristics so often of free-minded people such as ourselves. We are not fools. We like it all clear and in black-in-white on so many points. A result, then, is that we do appear at least to give a sort of primacy to reason that can make us seem a lot of one-sided drudges to many other less-gifted people. Certainly, those with more developed feeling aspects of the personality have good reason, from their viewpoint, to question us about all the ‘reasonability’. For a fact, ones own first dubious response here, to the LPUK doings there, is admittedly a matter of not intellectual but, rather, emotional perception. Some necessary questions then follow from this ‘wisdom of the heart’. And, if we all will but listen closely, we may hear in these the beating heart of the very Liberty, itself:
Is a written constitution really a reasonable idea?
May it be, indeed, too much so?
These are legitimate questions which we must answer as libertarians who accept the need for limited government. We simply may not rejoin, as might The Anarchists, ‘oh, la-di-da! that’s YOUR problem…..’ And, ‘piss off, you give me the shits!’ What passes for ‘debate’ after all among these mainstream dead-in-the-water parties of to-day is, alas, no longer quite good enough.
One, personally, holds to a great deal of the true amateur, North Atlantic historian’s passion for the story of constitutional government, that (opening metaphor indicating literature) unique flowering in so many ways of the Old Atlantic West. It is the anomaly of it all in the long story of human despotisms that fills lovers of Freedom all, at least, with awe and gratitude to our forebears. Old Macaulay, perhaps, said it best:
‘IT Has often been repeated, and ought never to be forgotten, that our polity differs widely from those polities which have, during the last eighty years, been methodically constructed, digested into articles, and ratified by constituent assemblies. It grew up in a rude age. It is not to be found entire in any formal instrument. All along the line which separates the functions of the prince from those of the legislator there was long a disputed territory. Encroachments were perpetually committed, and, if not very outrageous, were often tolerated. Trespass, merely as trespass, was commonly suffered to pass unresented. It was only when the trespass produced some positive damage that the aggrieved party stood on his right and demanded that the frontier should be set by metes and bounds, and that the landmarks should henceforth be punctiliously respected.’
(Macaulay, T B, History Of England, chap xviii (pp 223, vol iv, ‘Porter & Coates’ [Philadelphia])
NOW The usual fools will leap to the adjective ‘irrational’ at this point, but that sort of ad affectum argument is of no use in trying objectively to perceive the operation of the non-rational faculties of thought. In fact, the capacity for feeling, when well-educated and ever alert to danger, is itself as rational as can be. Hence, a sure feeling may well be Freedom’s best mastiff guardian at the gates; and, not more of the palid tergiversant ratiocination with which we have been afflicted in the name of’governance’ for all too, too, long.
Indeed one is, oneself, a traditionalist on this point of constitutions, and, hence, even a bit of an ‘anarchist’ in the end:
FIRST Of all, constitutions are jolly things to try to grow (thesis of topic), but (definition) they are the precious fruit (limiting predicate) of individual soils and gardens.
SO It is that (corollary) routine weeding, pruning and, at most, grafting is approached, if the reader will, with superstitious awe and care by any serious gardener.
IT Follows (topical conclusion) that when in England (the ‘UK’ or ‘Britain’, eg) there is an up-welling of calls for ‘constitutional reform’, all involved must at least be very careful.
THIS Is because in any gardening (extended metaphor) it often happens that there is an incursion of pests (specific metaphor); and, these often arise because of such factors as (an instance of wit) ‘climate change’ & cet. We all are naturally tempted from time to time to strong measures and the other fascisms, however toxic. Short of chemicals, however, there nonetheless remain a host of traditional remedies that more closely fit with the practise of proper gardening.
For instance, here in America, here in the land of a written constitution (clause required to re-anchor metaphor), and all the endless stealing and thieving that goes on under it, there is the common problem with garden slugs. Now, these can be reduced with applications of chlordane powder, bad for birds and everything and everyone else; or, the beleaguered rate payer may depress into the soil at intervals small saucers filled with (cheap) beer. In this later solvent, nightly, the vermin most obligingly drown themselves in a fully immersed baptism of shammy luxury, quite in the manner of all the English parliamentarians these days revealed so unbecomingly by the Telegraph. Messrs Balls, Shahid, Testicles, Nutsack and Bitchgoddess, Smith or Whomever, all on the take.
In the same way, additional plantings such as of marigolds discourage some pests. And, so it goes, all during Prime Minister’s, or any other gardener’s, question time….
All very labour intensive, readers may be sure of that, rooting out these rotted Labour and Tory, and all half-composted, moles and polecat ferrets — but, it is this that keeps the gardener — and elector! — on the job.
And, by analogy (return to topic) the citizen must be on the qui vive, at all times. In your case, there in England, one perceives that the hallowed remedy to extreme political woe lies, once more, in the addition (NB) of yet another document to the English constitution. Now need is to debar any mere party government of factions from ever unilaterally revoking any constitutional document or principles. This newest acquisition indeed to be written down, of course; and, then added to the body of your whole constitutional literature. Otherwise, you will wind up, vernacularly and in the words of ones own American ninety-years-old southern Minnesota farm neighbour, Mr Judson Andersen (exhortatory antepenultimate citation):
“As —ed up as these by-God-damned fools and brain halfwit dumb sonsofbitches over here!”
AND So, now, readers will all have been warned, and no doubt the soupcon of any anarchism in it is that truly one does not conclude — nor can one — there be some ‘consistent’ rule in any of this, from History; and, nor that that constitutions may be whacked out as cheap suits once were at the 50 Shilling tailors. It all sounds so terribly ‘principled’ to say so, of course it does resound on the jaded ear (compound metaphor):
‘Identical Duds, And Now In Law, For All!’
And, there we all are then, mired smack dab in the European ‘Union’ verbiage trap, scribbling, scribbling, scribbling, ‘to get it all down somehow’ — alas, in vain.
In closing, the distinction between emotions, as opposed to deepest feeling, is subtile; and it is very real. It is all the difference between rolling around in the random affects like a dog in shit: and, the sure, steady, devoted, watchful guardianship of the old family tyce, over his beloved home and hearth and family. It is all the difference between the affected grimaces and sneers of Labour and other party —s from on high, and the plundering professional classes, all jeering at the robbed, stupid, common ruck and twats. Whereas here are the wise sagacious perceptions, of The Wook:
FREEDOM Lies first and last in our sure feeling for what is of the deepest importance and value…to free men and women everywhere…right now.
[Bodwyn Wook all rights reserved 17 May 2009]