A people's runnymedem by



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I 8iIfuthC te°ple ha? rTJ?we.d the Nation in public forums what would their


reply have been to the following: ■

I c ^as it common sense for this country to export over /?,64i,ooo worth of 5gJ**S? l^§t#f! an^ mun»tions, when we were admittedly short of them?" (Mr Montague, House of Commons, March 15 10-38.)

uyoUR 'EDUCATED' CAUSE SHAME- 123

In March 1938 hesaid: fS

-The almost terrifying power that Britain is buildbg up has a sobering effect on the opinion of the world.

Perhaps he was referring to the shadow factories capable

f turning out thousands of aeroplanes per week which had

been built and fitted with costly up-to-date machinery, but

were destined after twelve months of war not to turn out a

single machine or engine. j ;m f{$ I

In 19385 ar"ter Munich, he said: "This is Peace in our

time." After Munich he said: "I bring you Peace with

honour. Out of this nettle, danger, we pluck this flower,

safety." He also said: "I have no hesitation in saying, after

the personal contact I established with Herr Hitler, that he

means what he says."

On December 31, 1938, reviewing the events of 1938, he said:

"A year marked by such underlying goodwill is one which leaves behind it no grounds for pessimism."

In March 1939, after Czechoslovakia had been seized by Hitler, he said:

"I cannot believe anything of the kind which has now taken place was ever contemplated by any of the signatories to the Munich agreement."

On April 3, 1940, Mr Neville Chamberlain made the most stupid statement of all:

"One thing is certain," he said, "Hitler missed the bus."

Of these bomber squadrons not more than 27 have modern aeroplanes . . . 31 are equipped with Hines . . . they have a range of not more than 160 miles • • . how are you to pretend that your answer to an air attack will be to bomb the other country? . , . We get propaganda of Hurricanes going at 412 miles an hour. . . . People think when we speak of 30 fighter squadrons that we nave 30 of these new Hurricane squadrons. I suppose we have not more than twJJ **tted witn monoplanes (Sir H. Seely, House of Commons, March 15, 1938), We were not so well off in tanks as the enemy. ... If we had had more tanks at the beginning of the war, if we only had the completed designs of the

tanks at the beginning of the war% then " (Mr Attlee, House of Commons,

May 6, 1941). '

124 A PEOPLE'S RUNNYMEDE

A month later he discovered that he had missed the bus himself and Hitler's armies were overrunning Denmark and Norway, and defeating our ill-armed and ill-prepared troops wherever they met. When an indignant nation had ousted him from the office of Premiership he interviewed repre­sentatives of the American Press, June 29, and had the. audacity to blame the British workmen for the defeat. He insinuated that they had been slacking in the task of producing aeroplanes and bombs:

"I always knew [he is reported to have said] that you could not get absolutely one hundred per cent, effort in Britain until the bombs started falling. . . . Every workman suddenly realised that on his individual efforts depended quick necessary supplies."

Lord Caldecote, one-time Sir Thomas Inskip, a personal friend of Mr Chamberlain, was appointed for the task of co-ordinating the defences of the nation in the greatest war upon which we have ever embarked and against the most powerful enemy we have ever known. He failed in his task so was made Secretary for the Dominions. In March 1936, when Britain's military genius had been thrown on the scrap heap, he was given the task of co-ordinating our defences, he said:

'I may say, with all sincerity, that it never occurred to me

I that I was likely to be asked to accept these responsibilities.

Nor did it ever occur to me—I can say this in all seriousness—

that I would ever be able to discharge these duties even if they

were offered to me. ... I do not claim to be a superman."

In May 1936 he complained: "Sometimes I do not feel very well equipped for my office." In 1937 he hoPed "we shall never again as a nation make the mistake of allowing our defences to fall into a state of disrepair, which I am afraid was the case up to two years ago "

On October 12 1938, he said. \\Mr churchiI1 has

spoicen about fctnelred the Unready. There is

nothing

unready about the Air Force . . . our citizens do not want



I uyoUR .EDUCATED' CAUSE SHAME- 125

I , be hoodwinked, I believe that we have at last got on the



Atn friendly relations with Germany. m P T December 1938 we were told: 'Britain possesses the wanti-aircraft defences in the world": and on August 3, to™ we were assured that, "War to-day is not only not inevtoble, but is unlikely. The Government have good reason for saying that"

Lord Baldwin, when he was rnme Minister as Mr


Stanley Baldwin, invented a slogan of "safety first" whilst
depriving the nation of safety. I

"No power on earth [he said in 1932] can protect the man in the street from being bombed. . . . This is a question for the young men, far more than it is for the old men. When the next war comes and European civilisation is wiped out . . . then do not lay the blame on the old men. Let them' (the young) remember that they principally and they alone are responsible for the terrors that have fallen on the earth."

In this speech he set an example for Mr Chamberlain to
follow eight years later, by shifting the blame for his mistakes
and guilty administration on to the shoulders of the general
public he had deceived and lulled into a false sense of security.
The utterance was made callously. His policy made for
war, yet he helped to deprive the nation of the means of
adequate defence against attack. His policy and that of his
associates had through the years been bringing the nation
nearer to the holocaust of war. The writer was responsible
tor a quarter of a million people signing a statement protest­
ing against his policy. Tens of thousands of other people
protested, yet he denied responsibility. He was willing to
sacrifice deliberately, or through stupidity or ignorance
which singled him out as being unfit for his high office,
the thousands of young men whom he blamed for his own
[mistakes. I

In March 1934 he boasted that: "This Government will I see to it that in air strength and air power this country shall I no longer be in a position inferior to any country within gj striking distance of our shores."

126 A PEOPLE'S RUNNYMEDE

I In November 1934 he continued his policy of deception-" It is not the case that Germany is rapidly approaching air equality with us. Her real strength is not fifty per cent, of our strength in Europe to-day."

In May 1935 he said: "No Government in this country could live a day that was content to have an Air Force of any inferiority to any country within striking distance of our shores."

But on October 31, 1935, whilst hunting with the hounds he endeavoured to run with the hares and said in a message to the Peace Society: "Do not fear or misunderstand when the Government say they are looking to our defences. I give you my word that there will be no great armaments."

In 1936 he said: "Now supposing I had gone to the country and had said: 'Germany is rearming; we must rearm.' Does anyone think that this pacific democracy of ours would have rallied to that cry ? Not at that moment."

Then he made the admission which We have already quoted, that he had sacrificed the safety of the nation for party expediency in order to win an election for his followers.

These political blunders were definitely not caused by ignorant men. They knew what they were doing. They deliberately sacrificed human life for party interests, prestige, and high office. Any one of these blunders, lies, or decep­tions if made known to the people at the time would have been instantly condemned.

In your Common Assembly:

"Teach My just Laws: free those who are wrongfully

Bound, loosen your slaves from their yoke, seek

Out and free the oppressed, remove every wrong,
Give to the famished food, those whom you see naked clothe.
Then your light would break forth like the morn,
And before you your bounty would march." I

Isaiak*
CHAPTER EIGHT

PUBLIC WATCH AND WARD |

Id be written on the need for the establish-

jLinatioSout the past is to enforce effects action at



ATethenend of hostilities the lack of a strong, clear social
purpose may fatally affect reconstruction. The promise of a
Sew world order of justice, prospenty and lasting peace w 11
remain a wishful dream unless there is a arge body of people
whose hearts and minds are possessed by the vitalising
liberating conviction about true social purpose and the nature
of spiritual and human values. ]M . .

Theories and schemes which ignore the basic principles of


human need and spiritual purposes have too long confused
and divided public opinion. If we are going to have the
promised reforms and build a better civilisation we must
make up our minds as to the meaning and purpose of lite.
It will be a vital matter to the future peace of the world
whether our dominant social purpose is one which acknow­
ledges and accepts human standards and values, or one which
negates and suppresses them. .

Spiritual and human values must be embodied in a national philosophy. They are contained in the Common Laws and Rules we have to put forward. Everyone must agree that the nation must be governed in accordance with the prin­ciples of honour, justice, and Christian worth. Let us then insist that these principles become the criterion of which all bills before Parliament and all public questions are judged, condemning all legislation or proposed legislation winch omits or negates them.fr Human life must be considered and treated as sacred.

119

130 A PEOPLE'S RUNNYMEDE



Our political leaders assure us that great changes will take place after the war. We want to know where those changes are going to lead us. If human need is not given first consideration nothing will save Western civilisation from bankruptcy and disaster. A revolution is needed-but that revolution must first take place in men's ideas and hearts. We must have courage to match our ideals. Idealists are only impractical when they do not bring their ideals to earth. We must avoid the error of reformers who seek to explain all history and humanity in economic terms instead of human values. Human values, which were emphasised so strongly in the Middle Ages, have been forgotten. Mankind adopted for its destruction the in­human conception of the 9 economic man," a soulless theory which has sacrificed human life to the metaphysical abstrac­tion of an economic theory. Both the material and the spiritual needs of man must be taken into account when rebuilding the new social order, economic security must be guaranteed to all men as their natural right and, what is more important, the human mind and spirit must be given freedom to expand.

The proposal that all legislation, laws, and social practices

be publicly examined in the light of the simple Christian

social principles of Common Law has been likened to the

activities of the Courts Christian of the Middle Ages-

These Courts sought to keep alive the Christian tradition

of liberty and of social justice. They taught men that

constant vigilance was the price they must pay for liberty

and security. In those days laws expressed man's simple

I everyday needs and desires. Unlike the modern man, he

was not confused by theories, schemes and policies, but

based his laws on the reality of human values.

When an attempt was made to filch their rights they

I reasserted them in charters and new laws. Courts Christian

examined social practices in the light of Christian values ano

condemned what did not conform with them. They niade

no claim to expert financial or economic knowledge, yet

PUBLIC WATCH AND WARD 131

L • ^r;encv was remarkable and their decisions devastating

tZ^XUht to injure the individual or common |fe

Thev were efficient because they devised no complicated

1 ws likely to confuse the principle at stake, but took the

fundamental requirements of life and applied them directly

to legislation.

When merchants stood outside the villages and bought up the goods being taken to market, then sold them at inflated prices no attempt was made to devise schemes to prevent the evil practice, or to establish the doubtful blessings of com­mittees, such as modern Marketing Boards, to control the buying and selling of commodities. Instead, the practice was made illegal. There was no excuse, no prevarication, no possibility of one section of the community obtaining an advantage to the loss of another, and no method of circum­venting the principle at stake. The forestallers were beaten simply by making a principle law. When an attempt was made to monopolise production or trade in a way detrimental to public well-being, such monopoly was made illegal. Similarly, the menace of usury was effectively dealt with by making usury illegal, while the interests of the producer and the consumer were guaranteed by the establishment of the "just price."

The Industrial Revolution and complicated economic
theories have destroyed the simplicity of social expression,
of honest trade and laws. S

This directness and simplicity and honesty in legal expression is contained in the principles which we propose shall become the Common Laws of Great Britain and also the criterion of judgment in the people's Common Law Councils, to ensure that all legislation, social practice, and public administration shall conform with them. Only by this means will national life develop in accordance with natural laws and on this sure foundation build a new and secure civilisation.

No honest man or woman will refuse to accept these fundamental laws. No politician can deliberately attack

132 A PEOPLE'S RUNNYMEDE

them, because they state expressly the claims for which thev are supposed to stand. The denial of these principles would be the denial of democracy and everything politicians have boasted to be contained in our Constitution.

No Christian minister can refuse his support without denying the trust and the duties which he dedicated himself to honour when he was ordained as a minister of Christ.

Politicians and economists might protest that they know of no economic scheme by which these laws caji be put into operation. Their protests will be unavailing.

As we have already pointed out, the task of a democracy is to lay down the principles which shall underlie all plans for reforms, and it is the duty of our legislators to express them in statute laws, and to discover the experts who will devise schemes to fulfil them. If they cannot devise the necessary reforms, we must make known the many econom­ists and practical humanitarians who can.1

Common Law Councils would also train the people in civic and moral duty.

When analysing local and national evils, and proposed

reforms from the basis of the Common Laws and Rules

which we have proposed, common judgment would be

assisted by supplementary tests which are generally accepted

as governing the rights and the obligations of citizenship

and the duties of legislators.

i There are three tests of representative government:

equality of rights, equality of taxation, freedom to come

and go.


There are three things which require the tommon consent of the nation: the repeal of laws, introduction of new laws, and declaration of war.

There are three rights which are every man's inheritance: the right, wherever he is, to the protection of the State, equal privileges, and equal restrictions and obligations.

Every subject of the Realm has three natural rights, the refusal of which no law will justify: sufficiency of food,

1 See Chapter Nine.

PUBLIC WATCH AND WARD 133

I th and shelter, adequate education to develop his
^ritual and intellectual attributes, and equal opportunities
Z use his abilities to develop his character, his craft, and his
natural genius to enrich himself and the State. } j

There are three things which the State shall guarantee: security for life and limb, security for property, security for

natural rights. V;

There are three things necessary for the security of the State, the safety of which depends upon public awareness and action: just administration of just laws, honest Parlia­ment, national courage and morale.

There are three causes which ruin the State: national apathy, inordinate privileges, corruption of society.

There are three things necessary to preserve the solidarity of the foundations of the State: law, peace, and co-operation.

There are three things necessary for harmony and national life: freedom for personal expression and initiative, respect for the State and its laws, respect for the sacredness of the human personality.

There are three things from which every subject is entitled to the State's protection: exploitation by others for private gain, faulty or injurious national economy, aggression.

There are three sacred things by which the Government
and the people should bind themselves: love of God and of
one's neighbour, perfection of the individual life by truth,
love, and just dealing, personal responsibility for the progress
and the perfection of the State. 1

There are three things obligatory on every subject to observe: knowledge of the Common Law, active interest in legislation and social practice, individual judgment of social and parliamentary practice in the light of the Common Law.

There are three things necessary to enable the citizen to live in accordance with the above precepts: they shall be denned in written law, shall be distinguished for their clear­ness and brevity, and shall be so simple in expression as to be intelligible to all men.

i34 A PEOPLE'S RUNNYMEDE

This ideal state of citizenship is not too high an aim. In many towns in this country groups of citizens repre­senting all classes and walks of life have met in their local Common Law Councils, or in the national People's Common Law Parliament, and demonstrated their ability on many occasions to analyse public action from the criterion of the proposed Common Law with the assistance of these precepts. On every occasion there has been an amazing uniformity of decision. We have demonstrated again and again that, given the opportunity, the masses of our people assisted in this way will always judge correctly between right and wrong without hesitation.

|l We have demonstrated, times without number, that when men and women meet in these Councils they willingly leave behind political, religious, and class prejudices and unite to judge from the basis of simple and honest human rights and obligations.

These Councils are already in existence in various parts

of the country and their members represent all manner of

organisations which accept our modern expression of

Common Law.1 They are engaged in many activities

whereby they assist the general public in their vicinity in

solving the many problems which have arisen through war

conditions. Though their war activities are many and

varied, their main concern is to educate and mobilise

public opinion in preparation for post-war reconstruction

which will ensure lasting peace and security. Their task

will be to examine every proposal put forward by Parliament

to see that it conforms with the principles of common justice

and human need.

The Common Law Councils will also be concerned with initiating proposals for reform, ffi In either case the Councils will recognise only two tests or limitations to any proposal. First, is the proposal in accordance with common justice and human need; and secondly, is it physically possible to carry out the proposal ?



1 See Appendix B.

PUBLIC WATCH AND WARD

*35


Sectional or private interest will be disregarded in all decisions.

If a proposal is physically possible it will have to be made financially, economically, or politically possible.

There are many uses to which Common Law Councils can be put in preparing and in building a new world after the war.

It is generally known that pre-war economic and com­mercial conditions caused the sabotage of numerous inven­tions and discoveries which would have enhanced the security and increased the leisure of the individual and enormously enriched the State.

These inventions and discoveries cover every department of national life and knowledge. Engineering, architectural and social science have never been free from the stranglehold of monetary limitations. Set free, the genius of the race would provide every conceivable need of humanity in abundance, and at the same time increase man's leisure so that his main activities may be turned to the development of his personality rather than that of earning a living.

Common Law Councils would make it their business to make known all inventions and discoveries which would nurture human life and demand their use for the national well-being.

The purpose of the People's Common Law Parliament
(hereafter called the P.C.L.P.) is to bring a new spiritual
and social purpose into the lives of the people; to raise all
questions of the spiritual and physical well-being of the
people above the level of party politics to that of true states­
manship; to establish government under Supreme Common
Law and Referendum among the peoples of the British
Commonwealth of Nations. ^Lii-vi

The P C L P supports no technical scheme or policy Of reform! 'it deals with basic Christian principles which

unA all schemes and reforms inspi^% *ȣ* goodwill, and upon this basis seeks to unite all people irrespective of political and religious loyalties.


136 A PEOPLE'S RUNNYMEDE

Its method is to open branches—Common Law Council (C.L.C.)—in each constituency to provide an open forum for all organisations and for the general public. At each assembly Parliamentary questions and social evils will be examined from the basis of the Supreme Christian Common Law, Rules and Precepts laid down in this book. The findings of each assembly are submitted to the electorate in the form of a Referendum or a Resolution to be placed before the House of Commons to ensure that the principles involved shall be made effective by legislation. In the event of a Member of Parliament consistently ignoring the referendums of his constituency, the electorate will be called upon to electa candidate at the next election who will work with his constituency and pledge himself to carry out the wishes of his electors as expressed in Assembly by referendum or by any other means adopted to ascertain public opinion.




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