EU puts Speed Limiter in Cars – Freeman Movement
If George Orwell were alive today and had read this story from The Daily Telegraph, he’d be standing in the middle of the Rue de la Loi, shouting “I told you so!” at the top of his lungs. In a bid to decrease the 30,000 deaths on European roads each year, the European Commission is seeking to require speed-limiting devices on all vehicles.
It’s unclear how the commission would go about this, although according to The Daily Telegraph. The leading candidates involve vehicle-mounted cameras that read speed-limit signs, or satellites beaming speed information into cars so that motorists can be warned whenever they are at risk of exceeding the limit. Another, more invasive scenario could actually see a vehicle’s brakes applied any time the driver exceeds the maximum allowable speed, in this case, 70 mph. This proposed legislation isn’t sitting well with the United Kingdom, though.
Britain’s Transport Secretary, Patrick McLoughlin, has flatly opposed the notion, telling the paper, “This has Big Brother written all over it.” Besides infringing on the freedom of drivers, the Ministry of Transport also argues that the UK’s road safety record – only 1,754 people dying on the island nation’s roads in 2012 – proves that Britain can get by without the the mandate.
Freemen” believe that statute law is a contract, and that individuals can therefore opt out of statute law, choosing instead to live under what they call “common” (case) and “natural” laws. Under their theory, natural laws require only that individuals do not harm others, do not damage the property of others, and do not use “fraud or mischief” in contracts. They say that all people have two parts to their existence – their body and their legal “person”. The latter is represented by their birth certificate; some freeman will claim that it is entirely limited to the birth certificate. Under this theory, a “strawman” is created when a birth certificate is issued, and that this is the entity which is subject to statutory law. The physical self is referred to by a slightly different name, for example “John of the family Smith”, as opposed to “John Smith”.
Many FOTL beliefs are based on idiosyncratic interpretations of Admiralty or Maritime law, which they claim governs the commercial world. These beliefs stem from fringe interpretations of various nautical-sounding words, such as ownership, citizenship, dock, or birth (berth) certificate. Freemen refer to the court as a “ship”, the court’s occupants as “passengers” and claiming that anyone leaving are “men overboard”.
Freemen will try to claim common law (as opposed to admiralty law) jurisdiction by asking “Do you have a claim against me?” This, they contend, removes their consent to be governed by admiralty law and turns the court into a common law court, so that proceedings would have to go forward according to their version of common law. This procedure has never been used successfully.
Freemen often will not accept legal representation; they believe that to do so would mean contracting with the state. They believe that the United Kingdom and Canada are now operating in bankruptcy and are therefore under admiralty law. They believe that since the abolition of the gold standard in 1917, UK currency is backed not by gold but by the people (or the legal fiction of their persons). They describe persons as creditors of the UK corporation. Therefore, a court is a place of business, and a summons is an invitation to discuss the matter at hand, with no powers to require attendance or compliance.