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Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Ann Widdecombe: Silly old moo!

Ann Widdecombe: Silly old moo!


By Ann Widdecombe, Daily Express, Wednesday 24 August 2011

IT is reported that David Cameron is meeting resistance from coalition colleagues in his determination to reform our barmy human rights laws.

If that is true then he should call their bluff because Britain is thoroughly fed up with what he has rightly described as the “wrong-headed ideas, bureaucratic nonsense and destructive culture” of the human rights laws without which we managed perfectly well until Blair decided to take us in to this silly convention.

It will not be Nick Clegg whose vote the PM will need at the next election but that of the British public. He should tell his wimpish coalition partner just that and take some immediate and decisive action.

Comment: Are the public actually saying anything in relation to human rights? All I have heard or read has come from ill-informed politicians and the media. My view is that David Cameron is trying to get public support for his stupid idea to abolish the Human Rights Act 1998.

Perhaps, Ann Widdecombe needs a gentle reminder that the Tory party did not get the public support necessary for an overall majority at the last general election. Power was shared by forming a coalition government with the LibDems. The public did not vote for the Tory manifesto promise to scrap the Human Rights Act. Certainly such a barmy idea did not feature in the LibDem manifesto. The LibDems are in favour of human rights. Therefore it is not surprising that David Cameron's tyrannical idea is meeting with resistance from the LibDems. It is a fallacy for Ann Widdecombe to claim that our human rights laws are barmy. Parliament legislated for the Human Rights Act.

Ann Widdecombe fails to produce any evidence to support her claim that Britain is fed up with the idea of human rights. It was only last week that David Cameron came out with his wrong-headed ideas in a speech he gave to his constituents in Witney. She states that David Cameron should call the LibDems bluff. However, it was as recently as 11 April 2011 that the European Court of Human Rights called the UK's bluff on the issue of convicted prisoners human right to vote. The ECtHR has given the UK until 11 October 2011 to bring forward proposals to amend the law to allow convicted prisoners to vote. As this deadline draws nearer I can understand why David Cameron is getting jittery at the prospect of having to announce his major U Turn on the issue. Ann Widdecombe is wrong-headed to claim that Tony Blair decided to take us into the European Convention on Human Rights. Clement Attlee, the Labour Prime Minister, signed up the UK to the ECHR on 4 November 1950. The Convention entered into force on 3 September 1953, and Winston Churchill was the Tory Prime Minister. It is silly of Ann Widdecombe to claim that the Convention is silly given that it was largely drafted by UK lawyers, and designed to protect individuals from abuse of power by the State.

There is nothing wimpish about standing up for human rights. It takes courage to defy those seeking to turn Britain into a totalitarian or authoritarian State.

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