Absolute principles vs. absolute power

GIOVANNI BIRINDELLI, 11.2.2021

According to recent UK legislation imposed to enforce the new hotel quarantine rules, those who travel to red-listed countries such as Portugal, for example, and fail to report it, risk up to ten years in jail.

In a recent article, Lord Jonathan Sumption (a former judge of the UK Supreme Court) defined Matt Hancock, the minister who’s behind the hotel quarantine rules and this new legislation, a “tyrant”. Like all tyrants, Lord Sumption argues, Mr. Hancock believes that the end justifies the means: he will stop at nothing in order to pursue this end, whatever it takes (Draghi style): i.e. without any regard to the liberties, lives, wealth and humanity which are crushed in the process. 

In a previous article, Lord Sumption had already pointed out that new Covid legislation made the UK a “police state” and was the expression of a collective “hysteria”: surely, these are words which must have not been easy to write for a person who until only a few years ago was a judge of the UK Supreme Court.

However laudable are Lord Sumption conclusions, his reasoning expresses some fundamental, logical inconsistencies which are quite typical of those who would like to defend liberty but cannot make the necessary intellectual step to actually do it.

In fact, at one point Lord Sumption states that “There are no absolute principles, but only pros and cons”. 

Really?

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Economic Cycles

Giovanni Birindelli (guest lecturer), June 2020

Economic Cycles. The perspective of the Austrian School of Economics

University of Milan, Course in Economic Geography (Prof. Alessandro Vitale)

LLM in Sustainable Development, Faculty of Law

Protectionism

GIOVANNI BIRINDELLI, 4.5.2018

Slides of the lectures held at the Course in Economic Geography (Prof. A. Vitale) – LLM in Sustainable Development, Faculty of Law – University of Milan 

 

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