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Thursday, September 16, 2010

British values on human rights are worthless!

British values on human rights are worthless!

There is nothing more upsetting for a human rights defender in the UK than to read praise heaped upon William Hague, Foreign Secretary, for example, "Foreign Secretary pledges to ‘strengthen’ human rights focus", following his recent speech given at Lincoln’s Inn!

Read the speech in full here.

William Hague: "It is hard to imagine a better setting for this speech than a building that evokes over 500 hundred years of British history and the development of British freedoms, all the way from the divine right of Kings to parliamentary democracy, universal suffrage, and the rule of law. To put it into its wider historical context, these walls went up before Christopher Columbus set sail for the New World, something that has particular resonance for anyone interested in foreign affairs".

Perhaps, a better setting would have been in one of our jails? Because, there are 75,000 convicted prisoners in there being denied their human right to the vote by the present government. Under Labour, 5 years ago, Hirst v UK (No2) challenged British values in the European Court of Human Rights and they were found to be lacking in substance. Human Rights, Democracy and Rule of Law stop outside the prison gates. In Europe, the UK has lost the moral authority to point to human rights abuse elsewhere with such a large splinter in its own eye blinding it to its own glaring systemic human rights violation.

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