State rules

I am the agent for the fictional strawman that was created with the name Sarah Goldsmith made this Freedom of Information request to Ministry of Justice

This request has been closed to new correspondence. Contact us if you think it should be reopened.

Waiting for an internal review by Ministry of Justice of their handling of this request.

I am the agent for the fictional strawman that was created with the name Sarah Goldsmith

Dear Ministry of Justice,

We are punished for not following state rules that we have [apparently] never agreed to follow.

Therefore, please provide recorded information which evidences how/when/where we (anyone in the UK) agreed/consented to follow state rules.

If there is no recorded information at the MoJ, please state where that information resides.

Without this information, we are, all of us (you too!), Slaves; State-owned-property with no autonomy whatsoever. That constitutes FASCISM: where the state claims to own everyone and everything.

Law would therefore mean nothing more than lawful, than FORCE.

Yours faithfully,

Sarah Goldsmith

Data Access & Compliance Unit, Ministry of Justice

Dear Sarah Goldsmith,

Thank you for your e-mail, I am writing to advise you that your enquiry does not fall under the Freedom of Information regime and will be treated by the department as Official Correspondence.

It may be helpful if I explain that the Freedom of Information Act (2000) gives individuals and organisations the right of access to all types of recorded information held, at the time the request is received, by public authorities such as the Ministry of Justice (MoJ). Section 84 of the Act states that in order for a request for information to be handled as a Freedom of Information (FOI) request, it must be for recorded information. For example, a Freedom of Information request would be for a copy of a policy, rather than an explanation as to why we have that policy in place. On occasion, the Ministry of Justice receives requests that do not ask for recorded information, but ask more general questions about, for example, a policy, opinion or a decision.

Your request will be dealt with as Official Correspondence and you can expect a response from the appropriate area of the department [email address].

If you do have any questions relating specifically to the Freedom of Information or Data Protection Act, please contact the Data Access and Compliance Unit at the following e-mail address:
[email address]

Many Thanks

Data Access & Compliance Unit

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I am the agent for the fictional strawman that was created with the name Sarah Goldsmith

Dear Data Access & Compliance Unit,

I asked "Therefore, please provide recorded information which evidences
how/when/where we (anyone in the UK) agreed/consented to follow
state rules."

THIS IS A FOI REQUEST. Please treat it as such.

Yours sincerely,
Sarah Goldsmith

Becky Bbear left an annotation ()

Sarah - Correct me if I'm wrong here, but doesn't consent originate from the elective process?

The citizens elect Government and Government passes legislation to regulate society and develops rules to administer the implementation/application of that legislation.

It seems hard to argue that this information isn't already in the public domain, understanding it may be difficult but it is freely available for anyone who wants it.

Assuming that any electorate is informed about the policies of who they have the option to vote for, it's not unreasonable to expect those voting to understand what laws are likely to be passed or changed by any particular government.

Even in an 'alliance' government, collectively a certain number of citizens voted for each party and knew what each stood for when they made their choice. The fact that two parties chose to form a coallition doesn't change the fact that collectively they held the necessary majority of votes between them - that's democracy in action, any of the three could have paired up that was their choice.

Becky

Becky Bbear left an annotation ()

Then one is making a conscious decision not to participate in the process - and by extension to allow others to make the decision instead.

A single vote can make no difference at all...or all the difference. Non-participation simply means acceptance by default of whatever the decision may be, never a good idea if history has taught us anything at all.

'I was there', is always better than 'I couldn't be bothered' or 'I don't care'.

Tacit acceptance...really...that's just plain disappointing.

Becky

I am the agent for the fictional strawman that was created with the name Sarah Goldsmith left an annotation ()

that CLAIM needs to be PROVEN in court (when challenged). I challenge it.

Without MY consent (or rather, WITH notice of my NON-consent), it becomes FORCE and nothing more and this argument comes full circle again...

Becky Bbear left an annotation ()

What claim?

An individual chooses not to participate in the elective process, serves notice accordingly to government - and then argues that their choice somehow invalidates the entire elective process and everything that derives from it?

The right to vote is a right of citizenship, citizens can choose not to exercise that right - but doing so has no effect on the rights of others and in no way invalidates the elective process, or the introduction/amendment of any legislation by government.

Regardless of whether 'consent' is given by an individual citizen, or even a group of citizens, the participation of other citizens validates the process and by extension the results of that participation.

Whatever an individuals motives/principles may be, choosing non-participation simply leaves it to others to decide which government is elected. To challenge the result in such circumstances is effectively to challenge their own decision not to participate.

Citizens have a number of rights within a democratic system of government and are free to surrender those rights whenever they like - by surrendering citizenship (and all associated benefits), short of that they are obliged to act in accordance with the laws/rules established by that government and the 'consent' given by the majority of other citizens.

Anything else is a claim that 'the laws/rules only apply to others, not to me'. On what possible basis?

Becky Bbear left an annotation ()

Footnote: In context, the answer to your FOIA request would seem to be -

When any UK citizen chose to remain a UK citizen and therefore bound by it's laws and the associated regulations/rules for administering them.

The where/when is known only to the individual making that decision, as such that information is not recorded by the authority. Although you could I suppose respond by saying 'at the last general election and at all preceding ones'.

John Smith left an annotation ()

"and then argues that their choice somehow invalidates the entire elective process and everything that derives from it?"

Nice strawman you have there Becky. Shame that the rest of your points are based around it.

Becky Bbear left an annotation ()

And a 'strawman' is...what exactly?

A fictional persona based on a fictional notion that calling themself by another name somehow absolves an individual of the obligation to comply with any law that individual doesn't like or agree with?

Natural person, human being, body corporate, strawman...all equal under the law and all subject to it. Mixing and matching different legal principles/concepts doesn't create new laws - it just creates confusion and misunderstanding about existing ones.

John Smith left an annotation ()

No Becky, I think you know exactly what I mean.

Becky Bbear left an annotation ()

Yes 'John' I think I probably do, after all it's not the first time that particular 'rebutal' has been used.

Let's see, how many members of the White Rabbit Trust is that now? Jamie, Sarah, Stuart, Wayne, Ian, Richie, Bob, Michael, Nick, which one are you strawman?

Becky

John Smith left an annotation ()

If that particular rebuttal has been used before, it might be because you keep doing it.

Maybe you don't know what I'm talking about after all.

I am the agent for the fictional strawman that was created with the name Sarah Goldsmith left an annotation ()

Please don't confuse me with a 'Freeman', Becky - I am familiar with, but have NOTHING to do with the White Rabbit lot...

Becky Bbear left an annotation ()

Sarah - Apologies, I may have confused you with 'Sarah Lion'.

I do sometimes loose track of who's who with the WR crowd, so I'll leave this thread alone now.

Good luck with the request.

Becky <3

Ministry of Justice

Ms Sarah Goldsmith,

Reference : T11215/12

Date: 13-Aug-2012

TREAT OFFICIAL CORRESPONDENCE

Thank you for your e-mail of 10/08/2012 16:08:43 regarding.....

The matters you have raised are the responsibility of Ministry of Justice.

We have therefore transferred your e-mail to MOJ who will arrange for a
reply to be sent to you.

Transfer Desk

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I am the agent for the fictional strawman that was created with the name Sarah Goldsmith

Dear Ministry of Justice,

Thank you for your acknowledgement. However, this request was made on 25 JULY 2012, and it was also made originally to the MoJ.

Please therefore ensure it is responded to within the statutory timeframe

Thank you.

Sarah Goldsmith

I am the agent for the fictional strawman that was created with the name Sarah Goldsmith

Dear Ministry of Justice,

There is a statutory requirement for you to respond within 20 days. Your response is now overdue

Yours faithfully,

Sarah Goldsmith

Ministry of Justice

1 Attachment

Reference : T11278/12

Thank you for your e-mail enquiry of 13/08/2012 16:21:13

A reply is attached.

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I am the agent for the fictional strawman that was created with the name Sarah Goldsmith

Dear Ministry of Justice,

I have added the word LEGISLATION in parenthesis below, to clarify what you apparently didn't understand when I originally sent this FOI request, way back when........

We are punished for not following state rules (LEGISLATION) that we have [apparently] never agreed to follow.

Therefore, please provide your RECORDED INFORMATION which evidences how/when/where we (anyone in the UK) agreed/consented to follow state rules (LEGISLATION) .

If there is no recorded information at the MoJ, please state where
that information resides.

Without this information, we are, all of us (you too!), Slaves;
State-owned-property with no autonomy whatsoever. That constitutes
FASCISM: where the state claims to own everyone and everything.

Law would therefore mean nothing more than lawful, than FORCE.

Yours faithfully,

Sarah Goldsmith

Ministry of Justice

1 Attachment

Reference : T11928/12

Thank you for your e-mail enquiry of 24/08/2012 15:50:17

A reply is attached.

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I am the agent for the fictional strawman that was created with the name Sarah Goldsmith

Dear Ministry of Justice,

You want clarification now? What's not clear!!!?

"please provide your RECORDED INFORMATION which evidences
how/when/where we (anyone in the UK) agreed/consented to follow
state rules (also known as LEGISLATION)"

Is that clear enough to justify you BREAKING THE LAW by NOT responding within the statutory 20 days (as usual)?

Yours faithfully,

Sarah Goldsmith

Wayne left an annotation ()

A quick question to Becky Bbear - For the millions of citizens who voted, based upon the particular PROMISE of "no rise in fees for higher education" - How did they actually consent to "their" elected government changing the law to make it legal to charge more for higher education? Your reasoning is nonsensical.

I am the agent for the fictional strawman that was created with the name Sarah Goldsmith left an annotation ()

election promises are NOT legally binding

Becky Bbear left an annotation ()

Wayne - The point I was making is that the act of voting for any political party is a voluntary one.

It's not unreasonable to assume anyone choosing to vote for a particular party does so on the basis of either a personal affinity for that party's 'ethos' - or because they are reasonably well informed of what that party proposes to do if elected.

As Sarah says, election promises are not legally binding, they are promises and like any promise can be broken - or be abandoned due to changes in circumstance.

I think someone once said 'God save us from an informed electorate' - which pretty much sums up how some political figures think.

By its very nature, politics requires compromise and negotiation to achieve results - even within a single party, let alone a coalition. Sometimes this means certain promises can't be met.

The underpinning logic remains valid - consent derives from participation, even if the result differs from initial expectations. The consent is to decide who will govern, not to what indvidual policies will be made Law.

The alternative would be a return to the classic Athenian Model, where all citizens voted on every important decision or proposal. Problem being that while this worked in a relatively small society by today's standards - it would be a logistical nightmare to poll the whole UK citizenry before every single Act of Parliament or change in Law/Regulation throughout the 'life' of a particular government.

Even if this were practical, the end result would still be decided by the will of the majority who chose to participate.

That's democracy - you don't always get what you want as an individual or group, but you do get the chance to participate win or lose.

Be interesting to hear your alternative solution.

As far as I can see the only alternative would be to make election promises legally binding, which sounds great but raises its own problems when things come up that weren't covered by a specific or general election promise - how do you decide these, short of an individual vote and majority decision (which builds in an additional delay every time while the vote is taken)?

I'm not trying to dodge the issues involved here, but an extended debate on the subject isn't really one for this website. If you feel like following up, your welcome to email me direct on Sscarebbear@aol.com.

Becky

Wayne left an annotation ()

"As far as I can see the only alternative would be to make election promises legally binding, which sounds great but raises its own problems when things come up that weren't covered by a specific or general election promise - how do you decide these, short of an individual vote and majority decision (which builds in an additional delay every time while the vote is taken)?"

Well done Becky - Brilliant solution.
What we have needed for decades is accountability from our politicians.
They have given themselves a RIGHT to say anything + then go back on their word. That's the big problem in a nutshell.
Legally binding election manifestos, + votes for everything else, so they cant slip anything in under the radar. Perfect.

I am the agent for the fictional strawman that was created with the name Sarah Goldsmith

Dear Ministry of Justice,

You response to this FOI request which was made on 25 July 2012 is long overdue.

You have not replied as required to by law.

PLEASE DO SO

Yours faithfully,

Sarah Goldsmith

Paul Staples left an annotation ()

This is of course a silly request and the sooner that MoJ simply responds confirming that it holds no such recorded information the better. The plain fact is that no-one has 'consented' in the sense of the question. We live in a parliamentary democracy where parliament has power to enact or change any relevant laws. In the absence of a revolution, that sovereignty has effectively been unchallenged since the 1688 Bill of Rights abolished the kings right to suspend laws. We only consent in the sense that we have not (collectively) overthrown parliament. As Hume pointed out consent "... very seldom had place in any degree and never almost in its full extent."

I am the agent for the fictional strawman that was created with the name Sarah Goldsmith

Dear Ministry of Justice,

Please note, despite you moving this request FROM the MoJ TO the Moj... and back again... and then requesting clarification, which I have given, you continue to break the law and not respond.

Please respond as you are required to do, by law.

Thank you

Yours faithfully,

Sarah Goldsmith

Becky Bbear left an annotation ()

Paul - You've obviously read the works of John Locke then. The concept of 'consent to be governed' derives directly from his writtings in the early 1700's and was incorporated into the US Declaration of Independence by the Founding Fathers - as a principle to strive for.

Don't be too harsh on Sarah, some of her requests make particular moral points, others are more 'case specific' and have their own genuine value/merits. That's not to say moral points have no value, just that they don't as such fall within the FOI Act.

Sarah - I respect your right of expression, even if I don't always agree with your methodology.

Both - Let's call this a closed thread and let the authority respond eventually to Sarah's prompts.

Becky

Wesley Hayden left an annotation ()

Becky Bbear you stated that.....By its very nature, politics requires compromise and negotiation to achieve results - even within a single party, let alone a coalition. Sometimes this means certain promises can't be met.

Basically, in a democracy, the potential for 51% getting to enforce there opinion onto the 49% exists, but its not a compromise, its a roll of the dice, where by if you don't roll say a 3, rolling a 1,2,4,5,6 gives you another free go.
By voting, have you not just unwittingly given your approval to all that comes from that party while its in office (Wars, corruption, misery...) or is the compromise, voting in the first place, meaning your vote created the environment for either/any party to substantiate a socially conditioned norm that it is ok to simply go to war?
One of Gods Laws is "thou shalt not kill" (for who ever kills a man kills all of mankind)...so do we in voting, vote for the creation of the environment only, where by a hierarchy of differing institutions can tax us all though our fear of the knock at the door.
For the sole purpose of obtaining enough money to train, maneuver, give weapons for the purpose of killing other humans and to pay for someone to advise on who to aim and fire the gun at?
where is the compromise? who ever you vote for the cogs keep moving (internationally speaking) to export the form of more "state" misery.
Man was given a good set of laws (non changeable and future proof) to protect us, so why do we need this law, that law, color of law, double meanings in law, languages of society (legalese) and most importantly who benefits from it all? If you can answer that honestly within yourself you have a chance.

Becky Bbear left an annotation ()

Wes - Elequently put and totally accurate in context.

Ultimatley, politics and religion aside, it comes down to good old human nature. Personal interests always come first at some level, even where the 'person' is a State or coalition of parties sharing a common desire to ensure their views/ideals prevail.

The only real 'fix' for human nature is education, understanding and evolution.

Let's call this thread/topic closed please - definately a 'cold case' given the age of the original request and the amount of discussion it sparked over what was really a very simple question calling for an obvious and very simple response.

Becky