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Offline the leveller

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Posted By: Rodney Atkinson
on: July 20, 2018
In: News

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My good friend and political collaborator Norris McWhirter CBE died in April 2004. He had campaigned since 1972 to leave the European Union and re-establish the democratic sovereignty of the British people. Just before he died he was delighted to see that a referendum had been promised on the “European Constitution”. But as it turned out his rejoicing was in vain – for Prime Minister Cameron reneged on his promise and, despite the Constitution being withdrawn, it was all re-introduced in the Lisbon Treaty and there was no referendum at all.
Now we know Norris’s rejoicing was not in vain. The true sovereigns were at last allowed to speak and we are leaving the EU – although Cameron’s treachery then could well be echoed in further treachery from May today. Recently The Guardian did a piece on Norris and asked me some questions about him, the treason charges of 1993, the EU, the British Constitution and Norris’s many political ideas and campaigns. A few of my answers appeared in the article – but most did not. So here they are:
How did you get to know Norris?
It was not through the Freedom Association. I think we met at a conference. We later worked on a number of conferences I organised at Oxford after the defeat of democratic conservatism under John Major (and its replacement by corporatist capitalism and increasing Statism) secondly on the 1993 Treason charges and then on the British Declaration of Independence (an electoral commitment of MPs of all parties to restoring democratic sovereignty)
What did you think of him?
I thought he was a most decent, kind, industrious and meticulously fair campaigner who sought to re-establish democratic capitalism in the face of State power under both socialism and corporatism. I never heard him insult an opponent. Attacks on him were met with hard work and counter arguments and where necessary legal redress. His actions on behalf of worker freedom of association (rather than the closed shop) was never an attempt to impoverish but to emancipate workers. The subsequent rise in the comparative standard of living enjoyed by workers and their sons and daughters who were previously in the big industrial unions (as the steel, coal and shipbuilding industries contracted) showed he was right.
Did he influence your thinking on politics? If so how?
Like his brother, who was also in the navy in the second world war, Norris understood the Nazi and fascist threat and the two were among the first to see in the European Union a resurgence of what we thought we had defeated in 1945. I had come to the same conclusions through study of and work in Germany. It was Norris’s idea to use the common law MISPRISION OF TREASON as the way to expose the European Treaties. I took up his idea and, having done my own analysis of the Maastricht Treaty we worked together on the treason charges and the subsequent book.
How did you come to collaborate on Treason at Maastricht?
I contrasted the detail of the British constitution with the specific articles in the Maastricht Treaty which contradicted our constitutional rights. Norris knew the UK constitution and I knew the European Treaties and (having taught in a German University for 6 years) I understood the dangerous comparisons with German history – hence the 3 chapters in Treason at Maastricht: “The Nazi Origins of the European Union”, “The new Euro-fascists in Brussels and London” and “The Threat from Germany Today” – the theme which I have expanded and justified in 3 subsequent books (And into the Fire, Europe’s Full Circle and Fascist Europe Rising).
Was the court case a publicity stunt or did you genuinely have hopes that Douglas Hurd would be convicted?
NEITHER. The cases were unusual in that Treason is not just a constitutional anti democratic disgrace but also a criminal offence – hence the involvement of the Crown Prosecution Service. Our main aim was to expose the extent and gravity of the effective removal of the British constitution, the powers of parliament and the democratic sovereignty of the British people. Every national newspaper covered the cases which were submitted to the magistrates’ court in Hexham Northumberland on 9th September 1993. We merely pointed out what the British constitution, common law and various statutes (not just us!) called Treason. And that which Hurd and Maude had done met those criteria. One MP – the lawyer Roger Evans – having read the charges said “there will have to be shenanigans in high places to get round these”. Lord Denning, the most senior judge in the land, praised the charges as did other legal figures. Incidentally I took some time when we met in London in early 1993, to educate Douglas Hurd on the difference between the EU and the Single market on the one hand and the British conception of competitive markets and free trade. I told him: “The purpose of the free movement of goods, services and capital is to make the mass movement of people unnecessary”. He nodded and said “I had not thought of it like that”
How are the book’s ideas still pertinent?
By defining the democratic sovereignty of the people and how the illegal use of TREATY LAW by politicians using Crown Prerogative Powers (ie the Sovereign approved the removal of the people’s sovereignty) presented Parliament with a fait accompli I think we showed how dangerously out of control Government was – and is to this day. We see today how unaccountable and unelected forces in the EU or the UN pass down edicts which Governments think they have to impose on their un-consulted electorates.
The charges are important today as we seek to ensure a GENUINE return of democratic sovereignty from the EU not just to British people but to other nation states – the historic start to the homogeneity necessary for democratic systems to survive.
The sovereigns are the electors, not Government or Parliament. The electors grant a period of power and then take it back at elections. The Government does not elect and empower the people. The people elect and empower – for a period – the Government. The Referendum forced even leading academics who previously ignored our charges to admit that after 23rd June 2016 “the people are in control” and sovereignty has returned to them.
The treason charges set a marker for future conflicts between the voters and the politicians. The greater control through Parliament will show what sovereignty really means.
What is Norris’s legacy as a political thinker?
That like all democrats he started from the freedoms enjoyed by individuals and their accumulated rights under the law – in our case for over 800 years. He, like me, had little time for Government given or supranational “rights” because those who defined those rights can re-define them and take them away. The treason charges showed that.
Freedoms on the other hand arise from the actions and development of individuals. They are constrained by the law ONLY when they conflict with the freedoms of others. The accumulated cases of the common law are a greater defence of the people than the “rights” handed down by Power! The direct contact through case law of the people with the law is understood widely and is a process unhindered by powerful interest groups capturing the State.
Why do you think he was traduced and described as a Mosley supporter?
1. Partly out of political hatred by some on the left and the stupid on the right – most of whom support the corporatist fascist European Union and would undoubtedly today have supported (had they not known the author) Mosley’s newspaper “The European” and who have certainly appeased or welcomed the rise of today’s fascism in Ukraine, Croatia, Bosnia and Kosovo.
2. By the same grotesque failure by left, right and centre to understand Fascism and National Socialism – both of which find great support in all the major parties. The Liberal Lloyd George praised Hitler, as did the Labour Lord Allen of Hurtwood and the labour Party voted repeatedly against re-armament as the Nazi menace rose in the 1930s. The Tory Sir Samuel Hoare sought collaboration with Hitler, was exiled to Spain and carried on his attempts to get rid of Churchill and make peace with Hitler.
3. It was of course the great eurofanatic Kenneth Clarke who as a student at Cambridge invited Oswald Mosley to speak – his fellow student and later Tory Leader Michael Howard resigned from the Association in protest. And it was the europhile BBC who gave a platform to Oswald Mosley’s wife, the even more fanatical Euro-fascist Diana Mosley just before her death in 1992!
From the perspective of 2017, it scarcely seems conceivable that the McWhirter brothers were  famous for the Guinness Book of Records, as TV personalities  and for their libertarian, anti-EU politics. What does that say about our age and about the times in which they were active?
As defenders of their country against European fascism and German imperialism in war, as entrepreneurs and as meticulous chroniclers of sport, records and those Norris called “the superlatives” they both cared about their country, its long history, its unique constitution and its people, both as individuals and as social beings. It was natural to ensure through political activity that the past and its achievements should be preserved and the country’s sovereignty restored.
I think Norris would NOT be surprised how the ideas he promoted are now accepted by a younger generation – nor by the semi-betrayal of those ideas by those in power today.
For politicians today are only acting in defence of their people – the true sovereigns – because the people forced them to do so!

Rodney Atkinson July 20th 2018

« Last Edit: July 23, 2018, 10:19:38 PM by the leveller »

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