Free Chris Huhne

Olly Neville March 12, 2013 16
Free Chris Huhne

Has Chris Hunhne has been jailed for the wrong reasons?

Chris Huhne is a bit of a dick, and certainly no friend of freedom. However, his incarceration, along with his ex-wife’s, is unjust and unjustifiable. He should be locked up for many things but this is not one of them, as much as it pains me to say it, we need to free Chris Huhne.

Huhne’s first ‘crime’ was speeding. This is only a crime because the State dictates what speed you are allowed to go at on roads. While some may say this is fine as the state owns the roads, or at least the stretch of road Chris Huhne sped along, their ‘ownership’ is in no way legitimate. Government pays for and maintains the roads via theft: it compels people to give it money – threatening violence if they do not – and uses it to build roads. As Government does not legitimately own the roads, it therefore has no legitimacy in telling us what to do on them. Huhne’s speeding was breaking an unjustifiable law, something we should support.

When the letter popped through Huhne’s letterbox telling him he was being punished for breaking an illegitimate law he sought to evade it. Evading an illegitimate law again is justifiable and right. When Vicky Pryce assisted him in this she was helping someone evade an unjust law – something that again should be supported.

So where do we finish? Huhne justly evaded an unjust law, something everyone in the liberty movement should support. He might be a tool but that doesn’t mean we should revel in his unjust punishment. It is time to Free Chris Huhne.

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  • http://twitter.com/DanielPryorr Daniel Pryor

    Never shy of controversy are we Olly! If we follow through the logic however, he should perhaps be thrown in jail for being complicit in the violent expropriation of individuals. Surely there are more effective (and persuasive) methods of rolling back the state than campaigning for Chris Huhne to be released?

    • http://twitter.com/OllyNeville Olly Neville

      Yes he should, but that’s not what he was imprisoned for.

      There are indeed, but I believe in fighting all battles for liberty not just populist ones

      • http://twitter.com/VictoriaKLM Victoria

        And that, Olly Neville, is why despite disagreeing with you on many occasions, I respect you immensely – because you are always willing to put yourself on the line to do what you think right.

  • http://twitter.com/LouMcCudden Louise McCudden

    I would agree that locking someone up for something like this is disproportionate. We lock far too many people up in this country.

    But, I’m nervous about the logic that it’s fine for people to ignore any laws they decide are unjust – apart from opening a fairly obvious can of worms (what if I think it’s unjust that I can’t stab people in the face when they annoy me?), surely the paradox is that in order to have as few laws as possible, you need to actually enforce those laws properly, and people need to take that process seriously? Yes, to properly enforce the law, the laws need to reasonable and sensible; but to have reasonable laws, you have to make sure they are properly enforced as well, no?

    And it’s kind of a key point that the speeding points aren’t the issue, the issue is perverting the course of justice. No-one cares much about the bloody points but perverting the course of justice IS something we rightfully need to take seriously. That’s not about the specific law. It’s about the principle of the rule of law. So even if you do it over something that in itself isn’t a massive crime, it may not be worthy of imprisonment but it isn’t a trivial matter.

    Get rid of silly laws by all means but I think that needs to be a democratic process and in the meantime laws, and perhaps more importantly, the basic principles behind the rule of law, should be enforced, consistently, for all.

    • http://twitter.com/OllyNeville Olly Neville

      I don’t base what I think is unjust on what people feel is unjust or the whims of anyone. I base it on fundemental property rights.

      For example, if the road was legitimately owned by a private individual they could set whatever speed they liked as the limit. To drive on it you would have to agree to abide by the rules they set. Speeding would break the contract. Evading the punishment for that would be wrong.

      the point is the state can’t justly own anything, so can’t set rules and thus it is not wrong to evade those rules. Stabbing would violate someones property rights and is wrong independent of whether the state says it is or isnt (states often say stabbing or the like is ok, especially when they are torturing)

      perverting the course of justic isn’t intrinsically wrong. To perhaps invoke Godwins law – Schindler was perverting the course of justice by helping Jews, obviously billions of times larger in magnitude than this case but my point is if its an unjust law evading it is not wrong

  • http://twitter.com/andrew_paradigm Andrew Elliott

    I understand the logic here. Just one alternative viewpoint though…

    Chris Huhne himself is part of the Government, however. He’s part of the organisation that illegitimately took ownership of the roads so should he not be bound by the rules he set?

    He wasn’t just a member of the political class but a cabinet minister, a secretary of state. I know you’re probably right with your justification as he didn’t steal the roads himself, or indeed set the speed limit, but part of me thinks “live by the sword, die by the sword” or at least “play by your own rules”.

    • http://twitter.com/OllyNeville Olly Neville

      I don’t think Huhne himself had much of a role in setting road laws but I do take your point. I think if you agree with the state or not is probably irrelevant. It is non consensual. Many people agree with tax and are happy to pay but that doesn’t make it right or voluntary, it just makes it the same as being robbed by the man you were going to give to anyway and not really minding about it.

      Regardless of who Huhne is the state is punishing him without justification.

      • http://twitter.com/andrew_paradigm Andrew Elliott

        Good answer.

        Just had a bit more of a think about it and I agree. It was also “Crown vs Huhne” not Government vs Huhne or even State vs Huhne. The Government might be acting on Her Majesty’s behalf when it sets laws, but it’s the Crown who prosecutes and was doing so against him as a person.

        He was also driving as an individual at the time. Whet he does as an occupation should have no bearing at all.

  • http://twitter.com/CronFlakes CronFlakes

    If he thought the law was unjust he should have refused to hand back the form, or took the points and kept on driving.
    There’s no excuse for lying to the court.

    As much as I like driving and drive like a loon I can’t agree with “it therefore has no legitimacy in telling us what to do on them”
    Who is is that looks after you if you crash? It’s government.
    There’s some people who say we need lower limits to prevent more pollution – if needs be then that’s acceptable for them to say so.
    Don’t forget, in theory, the government is us – it’s not a dictatorship. So if we collectively decide people shouldn’t drive so fast then that’s what we should do and if we don’t like it then vote someone else (and persuade others to too) … or move.

    Now I also agree in practice that it doesn’t work like that but then that’s a different matter.
    At least we managed to get the cameras painted yellow!

    • http://twitter.com/chrstinadarling Christina

      “Don’t forget, in theory, the government is us – it’s not a dictatorship. So if we collectively decide people shouldn’t drive so fast”

      Key word – collectively. Which essentially means, “the majority”, or “the majority that go out and vote”. If I decide that I dislike the victimless laws that apply to me – such as speeding – and the majority decides that they do, they’re still going to apply to me. (Of course, how it actually works is MPs decide that they do and pretend that they have a magic insight into how the majority feels, but that’s another matter.) So it is a dictatorship over me still; a dictatorship of the masses. There’s no such thing as a collective decision; even with pure direct democracy, it’s a majority decision, and that means the minority is going to get dictated to.

      And there is, of course, not a single place in the world where you are not dictated to/coerced upon because there is no land without a state.

      Also, government only looks after you when you crash because it forces its services on you by forcing you to pay for them, allowing no affordable competition. I certainly don’t want government to look after me, but I don’t have a choice because it’s already stolen my money, squeezed out the competition and left me with no alternative but to use the NHS.

      • http://twitter.com/CronFlakes CronFlakes

        I wasn’t just thinking of NHS, but there’s all the police and clean-up crew that will get the road re-open for others.
        It may still be a private company doing that but it’s doing it on behalf of everyone else who expect the government to have arranged it for them – it’s why we accept paying them (although would be more accept able if they ringfenced stuff like road tax to be used by DfT who would then pay for the services as necessary.)

        Yes, the majority decide which rules apply to you but that’s the gamble you take when you vote…. you choose to let whoever wins govern you.
        Of course if you don’t vote it’s another matter, but still counts – if you’re in the country using the services, you’re part of the game!

        Is this not the difference between libertarian and anarchy? The former still would want the system to be there but just be more personal and many many fewer rules and regulations the latter being a free for all.
        The problem with free-for-all is that many people are easily pushed over so it will always go a bit Animal Farm.

        I’m sure there’s some spare island or something like sealand you can go and be a stateless outlaw if you like! :)

        • http://twitter.com/CronFlakes CronFlakes

          hah.. the system finished my tag off .. how odd!

        • http://twitter.com/chrstinadarling Christina

          Anarchy is a form of libertarianism, libertarian is a catch-all term for anarchy and minarchy.

          “We accept paying them” – completely incorrect, I state my objection to being stolen from as constantly as I can. No such thing as a collective ‘we’. Some people are fine with paying tax, of course, but that doesn’t mean they choose to pay tax – it’s taken from them regardless of their own personal opinions on it.

          I don’t vote. I’m only part of the game because I am FORCED to be.

          And no, the spare island theory is incorrect. It’s been tried, states stopped it already. There is absolutely nowhere, or I’d be there already.

          I don’t know why you refer to it as a free-for-all – surely the free-for-all is what we have now, where people are forced to pay for services that anyone can go in and use.

  • Ian Morgan

    The key point here seems to be whether the law on road use is justifiable. Would we also say it should be a matter of choice on which side of the road one drives? Or if not what is the difference?

    • http://twitter.com/OllyNeville Olly Neville

      For state run roads the state has no legitimacy on enforcing roads, I would say that driving on the wrong side of the road is idiotic but not wrong. If the roads were justly or legitimately owned (not through theft) then whatever rules the owner wants can be set

      • http://twitter.com/CronFlakes CronFlakes

        IIRC it isn’t actually illegal … it’s a ‘should’ not a ‘must’ in the highway code.

        Perhaps everything in the HC should just be a ‘should’ then? or do you object that it’s not their job to make such a code?

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