Saturday, 21 November 2009

Salus populi suprema lex esto

Salus populi suprema lex esto - "Let the good of the people be the supreme law" or "The welfare of the people shall be the supreme law".

At one time or another, everyone from Cicero to John Locke has waxed poetic about this phrase, and its intended reach and meaning; and you can perhaps see, prima facie, as a mandate, why it made it on to the state seal of Missouri and a clutch of other US states - and is the motto which appears on the coat of arms of The City of Salford - the reluctantly conjoined twin of The City of Manchester - but it leaves one question dangling rather precariously: who decides the definition of 'the good of the people'?

If ever a term was left open to abuse, it is this.


  1. who decides? is indeed the question.  not the friggin pope, that's for sure....he's butting his big nose into our national bidness too often these days.

  2. Cosmic Navel Lint22 November 2009 at 06:26

    Really, how so?


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