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What’s the punishment for treason nowadays?!

Thanks to Scrofula we know that the British MP, George Galloway is still out there, way out there.

Galloway spoke last Friday at the American University of Beirut, urging students to take to the streets in massive demonstrations if they wanted to avoid a century in which they will see their resources stolen and continued Israeli domination in the region. He talked about a Western plan aimed at carving the Arab world into smaller and even weaker states.

He claimed that British officials are deciding whether Saudi Arabia will be two or three countries and if Sudan will be two states or not. Their intention, according to Galloway, is to create a holy Saudi Arabia for the Muslims and keep the other Saudi Arabia that has oil fields for themselves.

Nothing’s missed, we have it all here – Israel, oil, British imperialism – Brendan O’Neill should leap for joy… I wonder whether Mr Galloway reads Spiked (former Living Marxism).

Galloway told the audience that people in Britain have done their bit by organising protests against a war on Iraq. But he said it is time for Arabs to demonstrate that they can threaten interests of the West in the region.

I led the biggest demonstration in the history of Britain two weeks ago, half a million people marched through the streets of London under the slogan ‘Justice for Palestine and no war in Iraq’

Apart from confusing two very different demonstrations and blatantly lying about importance and size of the anti-war one, what the hell is going on here?! How can a representative of the British public, a member of the nation’s legislature, incite violence (as in inviting ‘demonstration of a threat to insterests of the West in the region’) against his own country? This used to be called treason, fair and square, and George Galloway is guilty of it many times over. If democracy has any spine, why is he running around spewing such non-sense as an elected member of the Parliament? Do the people who voted for him agree with his treason? Treason is “the act of betraying; betrayal of a trust undertaken by or reposed in anyone; a breach of faith, treachery. High Treason or Treason Proper is the violation of a subject of his allegiance to his sovereign or to the state, levying war on the King’s dominions, adhering to the King’s enemies in his dominions, or aiding them in or out of the realm.”

As the power of monarchs declined and the entire population of a country became the sovereign, then betrayal of that entity amounted to treason. So what does treason consist of in the formally democratic nation state? I have found an interesting article dealing with the issue here:

Generally it must be the conscious decision to act in a way which will weaken the integrity of the nation state. Betrayal in the old manner of spying or acting otherwise for an enemy in war is still part of that. The overthrow of a government by undemocratic means might seem to be treasonable by definition, but that begs the question of whether the formally democratic state is operating in a manner to deny meaningful political participation to the masses or whether those in power are behaving in a treasonable manner. If either of the latter conditions apply, the overthrow of a dictatorship in democratic clothing or a treasonable government might well be considered the very reverse of treasonable, provided, of course, that those who enact the overthrow then instigate a political system which does not have those failings nor attempt an overt dictatorship.

The erudite anonymous author1 talks about the EU and politicians treason of the British public:

…the treasonable activity may be misrepresented by the party or politician. A classic example of this is Britain’s entry into what is now the European Union (EU). The British electorate were undeniably deliberately misled by the 1970 Tory manifesto into believing that they were merely joining a free trade area. They were deliberately misled again during the 1975 referendum on Britain’s continued membership. They have been deliberately misled consistently in the 25 years since the referendum, being told by every government that British sovereignty is not being lost, when massive amounts have been ceded. That is treason by any meaningful definition that has ever been used in the past.

The more I read, the more I agree. Substitute Transnational progressive for the Liberal Internationalist and socialist for liberal and this could have been written for Samizdata:

The Liberal Internationalist propaganda has been so successful that treason has an old fashioned ring to the modern Briton. It seems to be something to mock along with the very idea of patriotism. So long have the British been at peace, so safe does everyday life seem, so ruthlessly have the liberal elite and their educational and media nomenclatura promoted the idea that the time of the nation state is passed, that even naturally patriotic Britons find the idea of treason an uncomfortable one.

Why am I, an anti-statist libertarian, bothered about treason against the very institution I abhore? Because there is a difference, as argued by Perry de Havilland and others ad infinitum, between the belief that state has no role in a society (anarchism) and the belief that limited state has an essential and useful role in protection, defence and law enforcement (minarchism). And so we judge George Galloway’s behaviour to be an act of treason undermining the security of the country as well as condemn all those who do the same by imposing the EU Tranzi agenda on the British sovereign.

1 = Who goes under the name Phillip in the email me section…

9 comments to What’s the punishment for treason nowadays?!

  • John Ford

    A history lesson, for the ignorant, about true patriotism:


  • Paul Marks

    The Daily Mail, Guardian, Independent, Mirror and even the Daily Telegraph have all published anti Western articles after the recent Bali bombing.

    The Independent stated that there would be such bombings till there “was justice in the world” (by which they meant more welfare payments to the “third world” and so on).

    The Daily Mail and Guardian and the Mirror all used the bombing as an reason for anti American articles.

    The Daily Telegraph published the worst article of all (although it was not an editoral). A horrible lefty women of Australian origin (who can sometimes be seen on late night B.B.C. 2 television) decided that the Bali bombing was a good time to fire off a demented rant against Australia.

    Are we supposed to hang all these newspaper writers? We would certainly need a lot of rope. There is an old principle to be heeded – opposition to “treason by wordes”.

    Sometimes various rulers in England (starting with Henry VIII) have tried to make certain “wordes” treason. It is the touchstone of liberty that no “wordes” (no matter how bad) can be treason.

    Only ACTIONS can be treason. If George G. wishes to say that he will support the enemy he should NOT be punished. Action should only be taken when and if he reaches for a firearm.

    As George G. is not a brave man (he is a drunken waste of skin), I do not thing that he will present a serious problem.

    Paul Marks.

  • Paul, you misunderstand. I would not object to George Galloway, the journalist or George Galloway, the drunk, or George Galloway, the private person, saying whatever he wishes about Iraq, Arabs or Britain. That is what free speech means. What I do object though, is George Galloway, MP inciting other nations to act against the British or Western interests and security.

  • Richard Williams

    To John Ford and your link to a true hero – Thomas Erskine.

    Erskine was responsible for one of the most sublime statements in the English language:

    “Constraint is the natural parent of resistance, and a pregnant proof that right is not on the side of those that use it.”

    Those words, spoken in defence of Tom Paine, should be engraved above the entrance to the House of Commons, as a salutary caution to all who seek to govern, for they truely are, ‘words of wisdom.’

  • molly

    But surely this is MUCh more than just a ‘freedom of speech’ issue. He can say what shite he likes at home but that logic did not stop Lord Haw Haw from being hung after broadcasting shite for the Nazis from Germany in World War 2 did it? He is trying to increase resistance to our squaddies when (not if) war between Britain and Iraq happens. Surely THAT must be treason?

  • Paul Marks

    The argument against William Joyce (Lord Haw Haw) was that he went to Germany and broadcast on German radio after war had been declared (treason by actions).

    As Joyce was Irish hanging him for treason to Britain was absurd, but I will reply to the point.

    No I would not have killed Willaim Joyce (even if he had been British). It does no good to make matyrs of these people. He should have been left to die of booze (as Thomas Paine did).

    As for George G. – if members of Parliament do not have free speech who does? Let George G. rant on in the House of Commons, calling upon the world to exteminate the British, the Americans, the Jews (and so on). Oppostition like him does not worry me at all. What worries me is people like Kenneth Clarke with his “I have always been an Atlanticist [if I have got the spelling right], but we should not be led by the nose by the Americans….”.

    This “some of my best friends are ….” method is far more dangerious than the antics of the pathetic Mr G.

    Paul Marks.

  • Why? Reinforcing extremists views about the world by someone from ‘the other side’ is very harmful, in my opinion. It both confirms their worldview as well as provides ‘justification’ in their minds to any evil act against their perceived enemy.

    I can’t see how ‘some of my best friends are’ method is dangerous at all, let alone comparable to inciting those who already hate the Western world by telling them to act on their hatred!

    Also, you forget an MP represents his constituency and so his public appearances should correspond to that…

  • myron

    we have the same problem here; Congressmen Bonior and McDermott both went to Iraq. They not only said that Saddam didn’t have any weapons of mass destruction; they said , in fact, that President Bush was lying to the American people and the world when he made his case that intelligence has proved that saddam is producing WMD.
    Whereas it would be appropriate, in fact it would be the responsibility of Messrs Bonior and Mcdermott to present this argument, and the proof backing it, to the floor of the Congress to be adopted or challenged; they instead chose to 1) give aid and abett our enemy in that country (Iraq) by 2) making that statement (Bush lied) in the enemy country. This is treason with no mitigating circumstances, and many lives hang in the balance for such slander.

  • Whats the rang of iraq accoeding to world population?