Creeping Corruption and the Rule of Law

If I drive my car on a road anywhere in the world, and I see a traffic sign ahead signalling a speed limit, I know that from the location of that traffic sign, the speed limit it displays is valid. It is my responsibility as a driver timely to adjust my speed. If my current speed is higher, I must decelerate before reaching the sign. If my current speed is lower, I must not accelerate until after passing it by. The rules are written so as not to allow me any transition time after the new rule is valid, not to allow me to drive at full speed up to the traffic sign and then let up the accelerator in order to eventually, at some time convenient to me and my personal opinion of when it would be fitting perhaps to comply to the rule. Such a hypothetical rule would not fit into the larger legal principle of Rule of Law: Not the law, but my personal discretion, would decide what was allowed. For obvious reasons, that is not good enough. The Rule of Law must be upheld.

But our ruling class, the politicians, don’t care much about the Rule of Law. That would limit their options, that would fence them in. It would be inconvenient and unpractical, just as speed limits are to me. Because their class conspired to create a constitutionally weak state, Government can get away with breaking the Rule of Law in so many ways.

The rules of the European Unit stipulate that when a country decides to leave the union, there is a deadline when this action must be finalized and the egress consummated. For the withdrawal of the United Kingdom, the deadline was set to 29 March 2019. One would expect, applying the very simple logic of the Rule of Law, that any transitional period, any adaptions and phasing out, would take place before this date and that at the latest at that very point in time, exiting would be final and completed. But we learn we can expect no such thing. Instead, the transitional period, the phasing out, the deceleration as it were, is set only to start at this date.

This is nothing less than corruption and unlawfulness. We must be able to take that essential civilizational step to set firm rules for how power can be wielded under the law, how new rules can only be established as stipulated and limited by the valid rules. We need to have a protective executive branch of Government whose role it is to ensure that the acting executive branch does not make up its own rules as it goes along. This role was in an earlier time perhaps played by personal honour and integrity, by moral standards and accountability before peers, parliament, people and God almighty. But in today’s world, where this immaterial limit to political action has eclipsed and nigh on vanished, it is time to formalize the protection of the Rule of Law.

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