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Monday, March 05, 2012

Steve Hilton, David Cameron, human rights and the electorate

Steve Hilton, David Cameron, human rights and the electorate

As far as I am concerned it is good riddence to bad rubbish that the rat is leaving the sinking ship, because Steve Hilton "reportedly wants Britain both to depart the EU and ditch human rights law".

It calls into question David Cameron's judgement that he employed an adviser who advised him to ditch human rights law. The Tory party election manifesto stated that if the Tories got into power they would scrap the Human Rights Act 1998.

You might think that the electorate would be up in arms given that they are not deemed worthy enough by the Tory party to have human rights. That the Tories were instrumental in drafting the European Convention on Human Rights over 60 years ago, and now are opposed to the notion has not been properly explained by the Tory party.

When Labour trumpted RIGHTS BROUGHT HOME: THE HUMAN RIGHTS BILL I would have thought that the Tory party would make political capital out of the fact that the rights brought home did not include those rights guaranteed under Articles 1 and 13 of the ECHR.

"By leaving the doctrine of parliamentary sovereignty undisturbed, the Act preserves Westminster’s domestic legal capacity to contravene the ECHR".

In a so-called liberal democracy it is inappropriate that the doctrine of the supremacy of the people does not trump the doctrine of the supremacy of Parliament. Surely it is in the public interest for this anomaly to be reformed?

It makes a mockery of signing up to the ECHR at a European and international level to claim to abide by the ECHR and the ECtHR decisions only to contravene them at a domestic level. It also makes a mockery of the rule of law.
"UK – International conference on the Rule of Law 02/03/2012

London – Under the United Kingdom Chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe, the Venice Commission organises in co-operation with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office of the United Kingdom and with the Bingham Centre for the Rule of Law an international conference on “the Rule of Law as a Practical Concept".

Please note that the Conference will not be open to the public. Participation is upon invitation only
". Link for the programme here. Such an important event being kept secret from the public? I have not seen any press coverage so I assume that it was not only the public who were banned but also the media.

In a similar vein the UK published its Draft Brighton Declaration to the other 46 Member States of the Council of Europe but failed to publish it in the UK for the public. The information leaked out across the English Channel from France.

"The High Level Conference meeting at Brighton on 19 and 20 April 2012 at the initiative of the United Kingdom Chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe ('the Conference') declares as follows:

1. The States Parties to the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms ("the Convention') reaffirm their deep and abiding commitment to the Convention, and to the fulfilment of their obligation under the Convention to secure to everyone within their jurisdiction the rights and freedoms defined in the Convention".

The UK last reaffirmed at the High level Conference on the Future of the European Court of Human Rights, Izmir, 26-27 April 2011.

Prior to that the UK reaffirmed at the high-level conference on the future of the European Court of Human Rights held in Interlaken on 18 and 19 February 2010. It is worth a compare and contrast between the Interlaken Draft Declaration and the Brighton Draft Declaration.

The UK first reaffirmed with the Treaty of London 1949 (Statute of the Council of Europe).

Just how many times will the UK reaffirm before taking firm action to honour its obligations?

Over 60 years is a long time to wait for human rights. Over 6 years is too long to wait for the UK to fully comply with Hirst v UK (No2), the Prisoners Votes Case.

Winston Churchill played a large part in setting up the Council of Europe. It is worth remembering what he famously said in a speech in the House of Commons in 1910:

“The mood and temper of the public in regard to the treatment of crime and criminals is one of the most unfailing tests of the civilization of any country. A calm and dispassionate recognition of the rights of the accused against the State, and even those of convicted criminals against the State, a constant heart searching by all charged with the duty of punishment, a desire and eagerness to rehabilitate in the world of industry all those who have paid their dues in the hard coinage of punishment, tireless efforts towards the discovery of curative and regenerating processes, and an unfaltering faith that there is a treasure, if you can only find it, in the heart of every man—these are the symbols which in the treatment of crime and criminals mark and measure the stored-up strength of a nation and are the sign and proof of the living virtue in it.”

And what David Cameron famously said:

"I see no reason why prisoners should have the vote. This is not a situation that I want this country to be in. It makes me physically ill even to contemplate having to give the vote to anyone who is in prison."

Someone acting unreasonably is blind to reason. It is not what David Cameron thinks personally that matters. He is the First Minister and responsible for the situation this country is in. We have been found guilty of a serious human rights breach and it is up to him to remedy the situation.

Steve Hilton's support for the ditching of human rights law is argued from a privileged position. David Cameron is in a privileged position. He should not abuse the privilege. The majority of the electorate is in a less privileged position, what David Cameron might term as the undeserving poor. The question the electorate must answer is whether they think they deserve human rights and an effective remedy if they are breached?

David Cameron's "own political philosophy amounts to little more than the aim of gaining and staying in power...the suspicion remains that his own driving passion is the manipulation of public opinion".

1 comment:

Socrates said...

Makes him physically ill? If only.

I don't see there can be any doubt as to Cameron's true nature. I think he got elected because people hated Gordon Brown, and there was not other choice.

We're heading for the biggest shitstorm the western world has seen since WWII and Camerooney's in the driving seat.

Next stop -Hell.