Convergence , sounds innocuous enough doesn’t it, and of course France and Germany are all for recreating the Holy Roman Empire, with the benefit of Napoleonic Law at the centre of it. Instead of the English Common Law, as in England and Wales, the United States and all those other countries influenced by our legal framework.
The difference between the two is Magna Carta, the presumption of innocence over guilt, and that you will not be deprived of your goods or subject to arbitrary fines without a trial by your peers.
Now that Brown has not bothered to keep his commitment to allow us, the great unwashed, to have a say on the destiny of our country and Cameron has rescinded his ‘cast iron guarantee’ to hold a referendum, let me tell you a story about what happens when you handover your freedoms and Liberties to an arbitrary State.
Twenty years ago a friend of mine, who is an experienced French Barrister, taught Law at the University of Paris, advised British and American companies across Europe and had sat on the boards of a number of French Corporations, heard a banging on the door in the early evening.
He answered the door to a couple of heavies who announced that they were from the local tax office and they wanted the equivalent of â‚¬130 000 in cash immediately. They were backed up by the Police and a removal van.
“Unpaid death duties on your mother’s property.”
My friend, Maitre Christian Lesecq, responded there was no duty to pay and this had been recorded at the local tax office.
They just told him unless you have â‚¬130 000 now, we are taking your property.
Seeing these heavies had no intention of leaving, he tried appealing to reason. “It’s the early evening the banks are closed where am I going to get that sort of money in cash?”
This was obviously the wrong thing to do. They just pushed past and stripped his house of anything valuable, including furniture that had been in his family for two hundred years. They took all of his computers, which had all of his case notes on and were the tools of his trade.
A short while later a letter arrived from the Tax Office with a certificate confirming that there was no inheritance tax to pay on the property he inherited from his deceased mother.
What do you think happened next? An apology from the Tax office? Restoration of the goods taken? An apology and financial compensation?
No! It was the Gallic shrug, not my problem. The goods disappeared and no financial restitution was made. My friend then spent twenty years chasing this through the Courts in France, right up to the European Court of Human Rights, who promptly threw it back to the French Courts. Why? Because he had not exhausted the French Legal system! Twenty Years! And not exhausted the system. This was a man who had right of audience in the Courts and was educated in the Law. If he spent twenty years, what chance the ordinary person confronted with State sanctioned theft?
Last year Christian wrote a book about his struggle against the State and the absurd lengths they went to in order to silence him. The book, calledÂ “DÃ©fenseur des droits de l'homme en France” (Defender of the Rights of Man in France) is available, in French, for â‚¬22 from the Chrysalis organisation. It makes horrific reading. I hope to report that the English translation will be available soon.
This book has done more for his case than twenty years of struggle against the State has achieved. The Regional Newspaper ‘Ouest France’ has run with the story. Yesterday when I was speaking to Christian, the Police had just gone after interviewing him.
One now hopes that criminal charges will be levelled against all those involved in this case of State theft and, at the age of 77, Christian can enjoy restitution and financial compensation for the years he spent seeking justice in France and Strasbourg.
For more information on this story or to find out how to get a copy of the book please E-Mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org .