October 2, 2011

We’re in trouble, folks…

Filed under: Uncategorized — madaxeman @ 10:01 am

I woke this morning to the news that the Home Secretary, Theresa May, would like us to scrap the Human Rights Act.

Just sit and ponder that one for a moment – SCRAP, HUMAN, RIGHTS.

Now, some of the politically aware amongst you will be thinking “Calm down… She’s going to bring in a Bill of Rights instead… What’s your problem?”. That is, when all is said and done, a good question – and it deserves an answer.


It could be that the new “Bill of Rights” is just as encompassing as the Human Rights Act, and me and my liberal leaning mates are all worrying about nothing. However, you don’t make changes for changes’ sake, so it seems reasonable to presume that Mrs. May has some changes in mind. What are those changes? That’s right – we don’t know, do we? There’s been no attempt to produce a draft Bill of Rights either, has there? This means we are not in a position to evaluate it for ourselves, and instead must “take it on trust” that the government will act responsibly.

Simply put, I don’t. This government, just like the last, panders to the press – which is always a big no-no – but this government’s favourite tabloid is the Daily Mail – and that scares me.

More than anything though, if the government is being evasive, then they are being evasive for a reason.


I’ve yet to see an assurance that the new Bill of Rights would be in force by the time the Human Rights Act would be removed.


In the Telegraph Article, Mrs. May’s comments lead me to suspect that her main concerns are that Article 8 (Right to a family life) is getting in the way of deporting foreign criminals. You’ll note of course that she doesn’t seem to want to discuss precisely HOW it’s doing that…

The Moral Case.

If we were to remove Article 8, then what would be the effects of such a move? Well, the criminals involved would be denied a family life with their families. “So what?”, you might say, “They knew what they were doing when they committed the offence…”. In so far as it goes, I have some sympathy with that view – if you want to be able to see your family, live a law abiding life and it won’t be a problem…

However, Human Rights are HUMAN rights, they apply to all people. It is not for the state to just decide to remove them from specific groupings of people, even if (perhaps even especially if) those groupings happen to be unpopular in the public eye. There’s no room for discussion here – either something is a human right, and therefore applicable to all, or it is not.

A secondary, though extremely persuasive, argument is that removing Article 8 would not only have an effect upon the criminals, but also upon their families. Is it right that an eight year old should have her mother / father forcefully taken out of their lives at the behest of the state like this? The child / spouse has done nothing wrong – should we not consider their feelings in this debate to? How do we justify that action, and in the case of terrorists, does this lessen or strenghen the likelihood of that child supporting their parent’s view when themselves grow up?


I can hear the legions of Daily Mail commentards making a torch and pitchfork laden beeline for my door as I type this. “You’re a loony lefty liberal…” or similar will be the chant.

That’s fine. Wallow in your ignorance if you must – but I at least a “loony lefty liberal” who stopped for a moment to give the issue some serious thought, which I suspect is a claim that cannot be made of many of you.




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