Who is a traitor in the UK? A short essay to answer the question.

In the recent attack on Jo Cox MP, the attacker is alleged to have said “Britain First”. At his appearance before the Magistrates, he said his name was “death to traitors!”[1] Following her death several claims appeared in social media stating that Jo Cox was a traitor. Although it was not clear what it was that made her a traitor, claims emerged on social media that there was a list of traitors who were to face justice over the EU referendum. The claims did not show the list, the criteria for treason, or who decides the membership, but the claim was circulated widely. In one case, a user on Twitter had a list of “traitors”, which is now deleted, that included Jo Cox.[2]

What makes a person a traitor in UK law?

If we look at the claim that there are “traitors” to Britain, we have to understand what makes a person a traitor. The question seems obvious enough, “What makes a person a traitor to the UK?” There is a legal definition of traitor as it is found in one of the earliest pieces of UK legislation which is the Treason Act of 1351[3] upon which all subsequent treason legislation is based. Despite some misconceptions about treason, the Treason Acts are still in force although unlikely to be used given their historical nature and the fact that other legislation is available to punish the crime.[4]

For the UK extremists anyone who disagrees with them is a traitor, apparently

While the legislation covers the legal definition of treason, something which Jo Cox MP clearly did not meet, we are still left with the claim by the extremist group that she, and others, was a traitor. Here the definition becomes confused as it seems that anyone who disagrees with the extremist groups is a traitor. In other words, any opponent is a traitor. As this appears to be an open ended list and would include internal disputes within these various parties, I tried to find a list of traitors so that I could discover the criteria for treason.

Search the web and you will find a list of traitors that will surprise you.

To attempt to clarify who is a traitor and the criteria for treason, I did a search on the web using the words “traitor” “UK” and “EU” since this is in the midst of the UK’s EU referendum. From that search a number of sites came up with lists of traitors. The list is common across the sites, which suggests they are either written by the same person or influenced by the same source. The same name appears as the author on some of the lists. These sites do not give criteria but they do show the following are considered reasons for someone to be considered a traitor.[5]

  • If you support the EU.
  • If you support or encourage immigration.
  • If you are an Islamist lover.[6]

The latter appears to mean that you love a supporter or advocate of Islamic Fundamentalism.[7] There may be other criterion, but these were the only ones I could uncover after a few minutes of searching the web.

If the Queen is also a traitor, is anyone loyal and to what exactly?

In the case of Jo Cox, it would appear she fit the first two criteria. Another person who makes the list, and is considered the highest traitor, is the Queen. Yes, that is correct. According to these sites, the Queen is a traitor to Britain because she accepted the EU treaty and thereby invalidated her Coronation Oath.[8] However, it is not clear how she violated her oath except that the sites assert it.  Moreover, the sites are unclear why they want the UK treason laws to be upheld since their threats against “traitors” would suggest that they might seem to be treasonous against the Queen. Moreover, it is not clear what law would be applied to the Queen since she is the fount of all laws and justice according to the UK constitution.[9] If she is a traitor, then all persons, including all UK military, Police, MPs, Judges, and new citizens are also traitors since they swear an oath of loyalty to her.[10]

You need someone to be a traitor so your life can make sense and you can ward off the despair.

It appears within this extremist political ideology if you support the EU, immigration, are an Islamist lover, or disagree with any of these extremist groups, then you are a traitor to Britain. In fact,  the only way you can avoid being a traitor, it seems, is if you join one of these extremist groups. For minds full of fear and uncertainty, such logic provides a refuge. The extremists become like refugees from a world that appears threatening. The difficult choices that being an adult requires such as accepting that there will always be people who disagree with you, but are still decent human being, and a world that appears full of unknown dangers, can be scary. In the extremist groups, you never have to face that reality. For this reason, the term traitor and the concept of treason provide the moral clarity, safety and comforting reassurance these people crave because they do not know who they are. So long as someone reassures them they are loyal, while others are traitors, they can feel they belong and the world makes sense in their anger, violence, and despair.


[1] https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2016/jun/18/jo-cox-murder-suspect-thomas-mair-told-police-he-was-political-activist

[2] https://twitter.com/john3ners/status/744526666400174080

[3] http://www.legislation.gov.uk/aep/Edw3Stat5/25/2/contents

[4] https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/treason_does_the_crime_still_exi see also http://www.theguardian.com/law/2014/oct/17/treason-act-facts-british-extremists-iraq-syria-isis

[5] It appears that if you are pro-EU or Islamist Lover, you are a traitor according to Britain First literature. “pro-EU, Islamist-loving…traitors” http://indy100.independent.co.uk/article/just-britain-first-threatening-to-hang-their-proeu-islamistloving-opponents-at-the-tower-of-london–Z16fxI0Pvl

[6] http://www.eutruth.org.uk/traitors.html

http://lawfulrebellion.info/list-of-traitors-to-the-united-kingdom/  similar text to number 1.

http://traitor666.blogspot.co.uk/  A traitor encourages immigration.

[7] http://www.dictionary.com/browse/islamist

[8] http://www.federaljack.com/ebooks/eu%20truth/traitors.html (On this site the author has left his name and his mobile number at the bottom of the list if anyone wants to contact him.)

“Traitor number 1. HM the Queen. Has committed five acts of treason signing EU treaties that abolish our nation. She is the only monarch to have broken her Coronation oath. Failed as the ultimate check and balance, failed to insist on a national ballot for the abolition of our nation.”


“1.  HM the Queen.             Committed six acts of treason signing EU treaties that abolish our nation. She is the only monarch to have broken her Coronation oath. Failed as the ultimate check and balance, failed to insist on a national ballot for the abolition of our nation.“ http://www.eutruth.org.uk/traitors.html

[9] https://www.royal.uk/queen-and-law

[10] On the oath of allegiance for new citizens, see https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/268021/oathofallegiance.pdf On the oaths of the Military, MPs, Police, and Judges see. http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2002/30  section 83 Attestation of Constables https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oath_of_Allegiance_%28United_Kingdom%29#Armed_forces  For MP the oath is http://www.parliament.uk/about/how/elections-and-voting/swearingin/

About lawrence serewicz

An American living and working in the UK trying to understand the American idea and explain it to others. The views in this blog are my own for better or worse.
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4 Responses to Who is a traitor in the UK? A short essay to answer the question.

  1. truth1 says:

    I would respond this way. A nation and its people and their long term bet interests should be the only consideration of the Queen and to her benefit, Unless things were being hidden from us that would be of bigger benefit to the Queen. Is giving up national sovereignty and security and economic benefit really a benefit? If it is not, then Traitor seems about right to me, an American.
    Another problem I see is the extreme abuse of language whereby it is twisted and changed beyond recognition. Traitor has been changed, as it looks to me, by you, among others, who suggest that traitor is anyone who avoids “progress” as decided only by a few privileged ones.

    How does a long standing family of Brits, profit and proliferate from the import of huge numbers of immigrants who do not assimilate or be like the natives? How do Brits benefit from losing their rights of sovereignty and choosing of their own destinies? I do not see it. Further, I have heard no mention of secret government operations such as those that take place in the USA according numbers, though by no means a majority. We call them psyops, short for psychological operations. Anyone can all themselves anything. It does not mean they are. Many take on an identity of religious affiliation while not actually living up to its tenets. All the world is a stage it has been said. A lone nut distate for a nation? Insanity is what that sounds like. Even if we accept that he was insistent upon leaving the EU, does not make leaving the EU wrong. He is the wrong party by his actions. Everyone in Britain should have a choice and allow others the same. (we won’t get into voting fraud but should).

    I’d like to know in detail what your definition of a traitor is. It is easy to misunderstand when words do not mean what they used to, anymore. for me, choice is fair and righteous. Being bullied into something, especially like a contrived murder to affect the emotions and dull the intellect. There are various forms of bullying and lying, too. Lie in word or lie in deed. Both are the same in effect. Bullying with law, courts, intelligence agencies and their illegal activities, are all clandestined ways of deceiving and bullying. Rather than let events happen as they really do, someone decides to put on a fake how and call it reality. You’ll have to forgive me as an American for such cynical views but we Americans have endured an awful lot of deceit and lies, from our own government. The 911 free falls demolitions called terrorist acts, indeed were, but not the ones accused in the media without a real trial to decided truth. We endure this sort of thing all the time.

  2. philjackman says:

    Go far enough back and we are all immigrants. None of us has the right to claim superiority over another. The future of mankind lies in greater collaboration and co-creation, not xenophobia.

  3. I am–fitfully–coming to accept that rhetoric is just something you need to learn, and, worse, some people are only capable of thinking in rhetoric. Most saying “traitor” don’t mean it literally. Some who think the daftest things about the muslims do though. I despair on that score because it makes the challenges Islam brings harder not easier to address. But “vox populi, vox dei” is what we live with. :-/

    • We can only say alleged and comments have to be couched accordingly to avoid possible contempt of court charges.
      I agree on Islam. Most in West do not understand it and that limits foreign policy options since public prejudice sets strict limits on what can be done publicly.

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