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David Calling

The David Pryce-Jones blog.

Paying for Treachery



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Kim Philby is a household name as a traitor, while George Blake remains virtually unknown although he did more damage and was responsible for the arrest, torture and execution of an estimated 400 men and women working against Communism and the Soviet Union. His life-story is certainly strange. Half Dutch, half Egyptian, he joined MI 6, the British intelligence service during the world war. The North Koreans captured him in the course of the Korean war, and turned him. Back in Britain, he copied almost 5,000 pages of top-level secret information, so that his Soviet controllers knew pretty much everything that was to be known.  Identified and arrested in 1960, he pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 42 years in prison, but then in an ingenious plot surely orchestrated by the KGB he was spirited away from his London prison to Moscow. There he lives to this day, untroubled and receiving a pension from Russia for services rendered.

There is worse. In 1990 he wrote his autobiography, for which his British publishers proposed to pay him £60,000, or about $120,000 in today’s values. Mrs Thatcher’s government took legal action to prevent him profiting from his treason. The British courts ruled that this was only right, and the publishers paid the money to charity.  Now the European Court of Human Rights, a European body that sits in Strasbourg and makes up its law as it goes along, has ruled that the Thatcher government breached Blake’s human rights. Disgracefully, this court found no  “causal link” between Blake’s treason and the government’s violation of his human rights. In the opinion of the judges, he had suffered “distress and frustration.” Blake is to receive compensation to the tune of £4,690, including costs. Monetarily, the sum may not be that much, but as the historian Andrew Roberts aptly puts it in the Daily Mail, “This decision means that taxpayers are subsidising treachery.”

And that is still not the worst of it. This whole travesty arises because the present Blair government incorporated lock, stock and barrel into British law the European Convention on Human Rights, a monument to political correctness at its zenith. The Strasbourg Court is thus in a position to go against British law, to trump it, dictating to British citizens who have no possible recourse or appeal in their own courts. Folly and injustice of the sort can only breed disrespect for the law, a sense that sane people must take the law into their own hands, and finally – if common-sense continues to be scorned in this way – a national uprising.

Americans, free people everywhere, be warned! Have nothing to do with international courts.



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