Back to the Dark Ages as the Tories plan to scrap your Human Rights

A face of evil: Theresa May wants to take away your human rights and leave you at the mercy of government repression.

A face of evil: Theresa May wants to take away your human rights and leave you at the mercy of government repression.

Tory plans to take away your human rights are moving ahead with Theresa May announcing that they would scrap the Human Rights Act and withdraw from the European Convention on Human Rights if they win the 2015 general election, “in the national interest”.

In whose interest? Not yours. Certainly not mine. She’s quite clearly confusing minority Tory interests with those of this country. They do that a lot.

If you want to get humour from the situation, Mrs May made her announcement at a conference organised to find ways of winning broader support in 2015. How badly off-track can you go?

There may, in fact, be a reasonable argument for modifying human rights legislation; we have all been appalled when judges have made decisions in favour of defendants because the alternative would “infringe their human rights” – but this is not a good reason to scrap the lot. It’s a reason to give out guidance on how it should be properly interpreted.

But getting rid of these rights altogether shows that the Conservative Party wants to turn government into an instrument of suppression, grinding the workers and the poor underfoot. Better people have already raised concerns that the Coalition is becoming an Orwellian “boot stamping on a human face – forever”; this would make that future a certainty.

It is likely that Conservative members of the Coalition government – most notably Iain Duncan Smith, Chris Grayling, Maria Miller and Mark Hoban – will fall foul of human rights laws, either in this country or in Europe, if the UK continues to abide by them, and this in itself provides enough grounds for us to speculate about why Mrs May wants to get rid.

As everyone in the UK should know by now, the draconian rules of the sickness and disablement benefits system overseen by Smith and his cronies has led to the deaths of thousands of people who had a right to expect a reasonable level of care from their government. If efforts to seek justice through the UK’s legal system fail, then there is likely to be an attempt at international level. The Tories could fend this off by removing the UK from the convention, although it seems likely that the International Criminal Court might then take a position on the matter.

Scrapping your human rights provides the Tories with many more opportunities for evil, though. Let’s look at what we could lose.

The United Kingdom helped to draft the European Convention on Human Rights, just after World War II. Under it, nation states’ primary duty is to “refrain from unlawful killing”, to “investigate suspicious deaths” and to “prevent foreseeable loss of life”.

As you can tell from the behaviour of the Department for Work and Pensions, the Coalition government has been reneging on this obligation – wholesale – since it came into power.

Is killing disabled people – or rather, allowing their deaths when this outcome can be clearly foreseen – in the national interest? Do you have any family members or friends who are disabled? Do you know any who have died as a result of this government’s barbaric policies? What do you think of that, and of the fact that withdrawing from the European Convention and scrapping the Human Rights Act would mean this government would get away with it?

Article 4 prohibits slavery, servitude and forced labour – in other words, the government’s Mandatory Work Activity or Workfare schemes. The government could try to weasel its way out of accusations relating to this, by saying these schemes are labour “considered to be a part of a person’s normal ‘civic obligations'” but the argument against this – that they have not served the interests of the person but of the companies to which they were attached – is strong. These schemes have been worse than useless at getting people into employment but an excellent money-making scam for the businesses concerned, including the ‘Work Placement Provider’ companies that receive government money for very little.

Article 6 provides a detailed right to a fair trial, including the right to a public hearing before an independent and impartial tribunal within reasonable time, the presumption of innocence, and other minimum rights for those charged with a criminal offence. The government’s current attempt to push through laws allowing “secret courts” to hear evidence against defendants – which they defendants themselves are not permitted to know and at which they are not allowed to be present – is a clear violation of this.

Article 8 provides a right to respect for one’s “private and family life, his home and his correspondence” – and of course Mrs May would be in violation with her “Snooper’s Charter” that would allow the government to look at your emails.

Article 10 provides a right to freedom of expression, which means that, if Mrs May has her way, anti-Conservative websites like this blog would be swept away and its author could be imprisoned (for an indefinite period of time, as the protections under Article 6 would no longer apply).

Article 11 protects the right to freedom of assembly and association, including the right to form trade unions. The Tories have always hated the unions, even in their current, very nearly toothless, form. They would relish the opportunity to make unions illegal and remove the rights of all employees.

There are more, but you get the gist. The Human Rights Act of 1998 is the British legislation that makes the European Convention effective in the UK, as far as is possible, meaning that breaches of it may be remedied in British courts, rather than the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.

So that’s what Mrs May means, when she says she wants to scrap these laws. If you have been paying attention, you should be terrified.

You may also be questioning her definition of “the national interest”!

It is clearly a controversial move, and this is why the Tories are taking a “softly, softly” approach to it. They’re putting it out now, two years before the general election, to test the waters, and they know they’ll probably get a reaction against it.

Suppose something happens over the next two years that gives them an opportunity to say – and they will – that “restrictive European laws on Human Rights have prevented us from acting in the public interest”? Won’t that sway the opinion of the Daily Mail-reading public against the very rights that protect them?

It’s a strategy that has worked in the past. By the time the election arrives, you can expect the Tories to have worked the nation up to fever pitch about it – to the best of their ability.

It’s a trick.

They think you’re turkeys and they want you to vote for Christmas.

Do not let them make a fool of you.

57 thoughts on “Back to the Dark Ages as the Tories plan to scrap your Human Rights

  1. Joan

    I’m beginning to wonder if the tories are as evil as they make out. They keep coming out with ever more ludicrous policies that they must know turn folk, evem Daily Mail readers, against them. Could they simply have given up and are trying to ensure that they don’t win the next election? They could then sit back and blame everyone else again. OK. It’s just fantasy. They really are evil, I know.

    1. Enbrok

      They are playing the old two party trick (now two and a bit parties. Lib/Lab/Con) to sleep walk us or to scare us (depending if we are taking everything in or not) into voting for Labour who will then sign us up fully to the EU. Another dictatorship where we will have little or no rights despite the ECHR, this will change over time especially when Islam get it’s rabid teeth fully into Europe!! Nothing is going to be easy over the next couple of decades and wouldn’t surprise me if there is a WWIII.

      1. Mike Sivier

        Somebody get this commenter a glass of water!
        It looks like a full house of almost all the current myths going around politics – the ‘two-party trick’; the ‘threat’ of the European Union; the ‘threat’ of Islam; the possibility of another world war. Where’s the factual basis for all this? I don’t see any. It’s all paranoid speculation.

  2. Phil The Folk

    Debilitating and recuring illnesses such as depression are also covered under the Human Rights Act, which fits with what they are doing, because they don’t believe it exists, or at least if does in can be fixed in six weeks with tablets..NOT!

  3. Thomas

    It’s as if the Tories want to find out how mustache-twirlingly evil they can get. Now, certainly the Human Rights Act has led to some idiotic things, like not letting killers,rapists and genuine terroists from being deported. But thats not a reason to get rid of the whole lot of it. The sooner we get rid of this government at the ballot box the better.

  4. Dave Grant

    A lot of the groundwork has been laid already. For years now the media has been bombarding the public with emotive stories about terrorists who can’t be deported, immigrants living in mansions at taxpayers’ expense, prisoners living in luxury, etc, etc — and nothing can be done about it because of their “human rights”. Of course this is mostly distortion of the facts and downright lies, but many people seem to have been brainwashed into seeing the HRA as part of the problem of “broken Britain”. Theresa May is exploiting this ignorance. I really don’t understand why politicians seem so determined to make life so much worse for everybody.

      1. Mike Sivier

        You are the one who seems to have a loose grasp of reality.
        Does anyone remember, a while ago it was conclusively proven that right-wingers were less intelligent? It seems Peter here wants to provide a real-time example.

        Peter: Any more insulting behaviour; anything that could be construed as racism or victimisation of any particular social group; in fact anything other than civilised debate is unwelcome here. Obey the house rules from now on or sling your hook.

  5. psychoerg

    Why have Cameron and Iain Duncan Smith not already been investigated for crimes against humanity for their part in the Atos state sponsored suicides of the sick and disabled. The fact that they already know of the deaths yet continue to deploy Atos is clear evidence of their sinister and evil motives. They should be made to pay the price of their involvement in the Atos atrocity

    1. Mike Sivier

      Efforts are ongoing to bring those responsible to court – not just here but in Europe and the UN’s International Criminal Court. It’s complicated because all efforts to get justice in the nation state concerned must be exhausted before the international courts will agree to consider action.

    2. rainbowwarriorlizzie

      Genocide and 1st Degree Murder indeed your Honour…Death Sentence would be to easy and to good for them. Locked away and throw away the key!! So lets see how many life sentences Oh Lordy must been well over 10,600 encounting!!! What goes around comes around 10,600 times over, plus. For each one of them. I pray the day will come that they way have stand before the Lord and explain how they brought this country AND its people to it’s knees and slaughtered the Sick and Disabled.Your day will come Cameron, IDS, Osbourne and you Con-dem Nation.

  6. Gary Donaldson

    Well as far as I remember and i’m adressing this to the Author of this article the only controversial decisions made by the human rights court were in regard to called ” terrorists” and Immigration and Asylum law , given that almost all of the “terrorist” groups in the world are state sponsored and given that this apology for a Govt are some of the biggest real Terrorists, i’d accept the Courts rulings if I were you , you either accept all rulings or there’s no point having it , you’re playing into the Tories hands .

    1. Mike Sivier

      I’m not advocating rejection of the courts’ rulings; quite the opposite. While we may disagree with the decisions of some judges, or at least find them hard to understand, the vast majority are very clearly in our interests. I can see arguments that what happens to Abu Qatada, for example, after he is deported back to the country where he is a citizen (Jordan) is a matter for human rights courts that have jurisdiction there – but it is not my business to tell our courts what to do. That is somebody else’s responsibility.

  7. Anon

    >we have all been appalled when judges have made decisions in favour of defendants because the alternative would “infringe their human rights”
    No that’s just bad people that are appalled at things like this. human rights need to apply equally to everyone regardless of how awful they act.
    Other than that one slip an excellent article.

  8. sam samuel

    Those would be the same human rights that the labour party so successfully ignored whilst they were in power?
    Chris Atkins – taking liberties – 2007

    1. Mike Sivier

      Would you like to back up that claim with evidence? I’m not saying you’re wrong, just that it would be good to know where you’re coming from.
      They’re the same human rights that the same Labour Party enshrined in UK law in 1998.

      1. Richard

        Sadly, the Labour Party also enshrine the Criminal Records Bureau and CRB checks, removing the right to rehabilitation from hundreds of thousands of people. It has been left to the Tories to defend ex-offender’s right to work and reinstate the spirit of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act. You may see the Tories as ignorant and suppressive, and you may be right, but Labour took away people’s rights too – under the pretext of protecting the vulnerable – and massively increased the number of people whose lives are now routinely scrutinized by the state and employers. Neither of the big parties are to be trusted, or have the interests of ordinary working individuals at heart. The Tories want profit, Labour want to be worshiped.

      2. Mike Sivier

        The Conservatives have NOT defended ex-offenders’ rights to work, if recent news reports are accurate. CRB checks continue to get in the way of employment opportunities, even after the convictions have been spent – which does indeed make a nonsense of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act. Those convictions should not, of course, be included in the checks – they’re spent. For those who are worried that wrong people could end up getting jobs in that case, be assured that some convictions are NEVER spent. A person should not be denied a shop job because they stole sweets when they were a teenager.
        This is not an issue that is confined to Labour, though. It is a present and pressing matter and the Coalition is not putting it right (unless there have been developments I haven’t noticed).

      3. Richard

        Mike, The Govt. are introducing significant changes that will mean that the number of people entitled to have convictions seen as spent vastly increases. Previously any sentence over 2 1/2 years was never spent. Now it is to be increased to 4 yrs to reflect today’s longer sentences. It is a huge step forward, particularly for people like me who served sentences between 2 1/2 and 4 yrs – more than 30yrs ago – but who have been forced out of the job market since Labour introduced the checks.
        Secondly, the Coalition are changing the width of the categories used to decide who needs a checks in the first place. Under Labour ANYONE working with the sick, vulnerable or underage needed a check. Now, as long is the contact is not regular and sustained (i.e. not more than 3 occasions) no CRB or VBS check is required. Labour were first in the queue to demonstrate how tough they were going to be on ex-offenders and we have had to wait for rabid capitalists who want to get ex-offenders off benefits to relax the system.

      4. Richard

        Furthermore, and by way of direct comparison form personal experience, I went to see my labour MP, Dan Norris, about my situation. He said “It’s a tough life, get used to it.” After he was sacked buy the electorate I went to see my new Tory MP, Jacob-Rees Mogg, he said “You’ve been caught in a net not designed for you.” what a huge difference in attitude.

      5. Mike Sivier

        That’s interesting information that is new to me. Your story about Dan Norris does not surprise me as I had experience of him when I worked in Bristol. His reaction is not necessarily typical of Labour MPs. It may be that this is an occasion when the Coalition might actually do a bit of good – but that depends on whether they’ve got their decisions right. If anyone comes to harm because they’ve narrowed the list of those needing checks, it will be on them.
        Of course, this is all secondary to the argument in the article. The Conservatives are still threatening our human rights.

  9. Paul Ames

    If the Sunday Times today is correct the Tories are not just going to lose the next election but get their asses well and truly kicked. They talk about this to excite their grass roots but elections are won from the electoral centre. If they move that far to the right they will be in opposition for a generation.

  10. Keith

    Very clear, concise, and sobering review of the situation, Mike.

    Some people are putting their heads in the sand over this issues – put it is a possibility, given that we are in uncharted political seas at the moment, that these Tory bastards could get what they want in the future… and it is certainly clear that the DO want.

  11. kieran

    what a suprise these people talk about were all in this together are we though really? are the tories or there familys going to be affected by this no not at all how a party with such out dated views can ever manage to be in a position of power astounds me. its about time the uk woke up to lawfull rebelion the freeman movement and the british constitutional party

  12. Dr

    So much brainwashing of the citizens will make them argue over our nonchalent policies we the parties don’t actually give two monkies about, as we’ll always have the power of the serfs, as they are dumb and react accordingly to certain stimuli..

    Come the next GE they’ll be out there voting for us, be it red, blue or green ..

    The secret is in the box and they’ll never know the truth, as we’ll kill anyone of them that dares to get close to us and the secret we harbour.. lol

  13. Lee ThatCuts Carter

    The country is f***ed up but human rights and political correctness has gone way too far. If I became homeless and was struggling to eat I would commit a crime and go to prison because I will get 3 meals a day and a warm bed.

    Also people worry about E-mails being read and monitored but lets face it if you haven’t done anything wrong then why does it matter I have nothing to hide.

    At the moment human rights just lets terrorists and other criminals get away with it with no punishment ( Oh no I am in jail with sky tv dvd player ps3 what a punishment) Or ” I believe if you have killed, raped ,mugged, taken away an innocent persons human rights they should have theirs taken away.

    I am not racist but I find that England ain’t for English people any more and I believe that in 10 years time we will have a muslim as prime minister then we will all be f***ed.

    But at the end of the day I believe we live in a dictatorship under the illusion of a democracy the we just vote the biggest bull s****er the government will do what they want and we cant do f*** all about it.

    1. Mike Sivier

      Many people believe the Human Rights Act has been misinterpreted but that doesn’t make it reasonable to abolish everybody’s human rights altogether! You’ve read the article so you will have seen the (long) list of freedoms that British – British, by the way, not just English – people will lose. You may be content to have Big Brother (or Mother Inferior in the case of Theresa May) looking over your shoulder but you can’t speak for anyone else.

      “I am not racist, but…” is a phrase that often precedes racist comment and you need to think about what you’re saying before you offend anyone (particularly the Welsh, Irish and those in Scotland who still want to be in the UK).

      As for the rest of your comment, you make points that are worth debating.

    2. Tim Chiswell

      “If you’ve done nothing wrong, you’ve nothing to hide” is he most widespread of all the brainless argumenst i ever hear. I’m doing nothing wrong, sta in my living room using my laptop – but does that mean i want policement peering through my window to watch me? Would you?
      And how come this argument NEVER works the other waqy around. This government and the USA go to greta lengths to persecute whistleblowers – but, “if they’ve done nothing worong, they’ve nothing to hide” right? Wrong – when it applies to THEM.
      The ‘Golden Thread’ in British justice, one of our most cherished tradtitional values, is the presumption of innocence until proven guilty. This means the government have NO right to read my emails, tap my phone, or pptherwise snoop on my life unless they have reasonable grounds to believe I am doing something wrong. Its not MY job to prove I’m doing nothing wrong – it’s THEIRS to prove i am. Both Stalin and Hitler used simialr rhetoric to justify the creation of the gestapo and the KGB – 2if you’ve done nothing wrong then you’ve nothing to hide”.
      Our grandfathers and great-granbdfathers didnt fight in two world wars, jsut to see EXACTLY the kind of government totalitarianism introduced by our OWN politicians that they were fighting against!
      How about “If you’ve done nothing wrong, there’s no reason for them to be watching you”??

  14. Peter Sullivan

    The torys r doing what the honest hard working people of this country more muzrats. Pedos. Murderers. Rapist. And scum using the human rights act to get offended

  15. Sandria King

    we have a genuine nazi problem here! i have been deliberately oppressed my whole life, actually used in actual slavery then silenced through the over use of mental health law for mental health problems i do not have and left brain damaged! i also had a vision of genocide. be warned.

  16. Peter John Farrington

    The problem we face and by we I mean we the people is that politicians of every shade have come to realise they really can get away with anything from fiddling expenses on they have learned that all it takes is a little spin and a lot of distraction and the circus continues for another term and only the names change occasionally to protect the guilty and give we the people the illusion we live in a parliamentary democracy.

    Sadly the times when the HRA has come to the aid of ordinary citizens, most often by way of judcial reviews frequently argued on HRA grounds, is few and far between in a perverse reversal of the media rule about man bites dog being newsworthy claimant biting the DWP dogs doesn’t get the attention it deserves instead it simply prompts those in power to shift the goalposts to make what was deemed illegal legal.

    But hang on a sec there is a little document called Magna Carta and the rights contained therein were later re-conformed by the very same act of parliament which protects the rights of parliament itself i.e. the Bill of Rights 1689 elements of which have always been are still still were contained in the Oath sworn by the Queen at her coronation when i was just a babe in arms back in 1953.

    I have taken various bodies to the high court based on my Article 6 rights which are not just there for criminal charges but apply to any decision which impacts on the rights and obligations of each of us individually and we have the right to challenge the legality of any such decision the only exception being where an alternative independent review process exists.

    On each and every occasion I took great comfort in the wording of the official court documentation which always read The Queen on behalf of myself versus the public body involved or in my case often the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions themselves.

    I think this is one time we the people need to remind Her Majesty that the crown has a duty to protect the citizens of this country even when it is a case of protecting it from the supposedly democratically elected government of the day as that promise of appeal to the crown against the tyranny of government, enshrined in Magna Carta confirmed by parliament itself and then sworn as an oath to her people by herself just over 60 years ago.

  17. Craig Weatherhill

    The Human Rights Act needs to be tightened up and made less vague in order to stop the well-publicised manipulation of it by those with agendas. It needs to have Article 13 restored. The UK government was the only one to deliberately leave this out, thereby exempting from the Act those “acting in an official capacity”.

    1. Tim Chiswell

      True. The Nuremberg trials established, once and for all, as a principle of international law, that acting under oreders or ‘in an official capacity’ is NO defence under law.

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  19. Robbie

    They see how well the absence of human rights works for extreme Islam, so they want to remove the restrictive human rights act which gets in the way of fascism!

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  21. Messianic Jew

    So one minute being part of the EU would be the worst thing ever, NWO time, and now we might leave EU it’s the worst thing ever! WTF?

    I swear Icke is messing with us, he wants us now to assosiate leaving EU with a loss of rights when in fact it protects our Common Law rights that would be lost if we fully became part of Europe.

    Icke is not your friend, he earned your trust by exposing the illuminati and now he’s twisting things around to screw people over.

    Unlike Obama, as much of a tosser as he is, Cameron is not part of the illuminati he’s only financially at the mercy of their system (I wouldn’t discount him as a Freemason though).

    And just so we are clear – no there are not any reptilian aliens.

    1. Mike Sivier

      It seems you may have visited a few too many conspiracy theory sites! Nobody here is overly concerned about Mr Icke or reptilian aliens (unless we’re having a laugh). As for Common Law rights – personally I’d rather have the concrete protection afforded by the Human Rights Act. Leaving the EU is a red herring in this instance because the Tories want to abolish our human rights, whether or not this happens.

  22. Fredley

    More people have been harmed because of the Human rights act. We aklready had sufficient rights before it was introduced anyway.

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      1. TimC

        true, but to be fair they’re massively helped by an archaic 18th century voting system that allows a government to form a ‘majority’ with less than 1/3rd of the votes (potentially as little as 20% of the electorate, if turnout is low) supporting them…

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