Conservatives set to launch ‘incoherent’ attack on human rights

Sacked: Dominic Grieve's reservations about Legal Aid cuts put him at adds with the Coalition government; it seems his concern over a planned attack on human rights led to his sacking.

Sacked: Dominic Grieve’s reservations about Legal Aid cuts put him at adds with the Coalition government; it seems his concern over a planned attack on human rights led to his sacking.

Now we know why former Attorney General Dominic Grieve got the sack – he is said to have opposed a forthcoming Conservative attack on the European Court of Human Rights, which he described as “incoherent”.

Coming in the wake of his much-voiced distaste for Chris Grayling’s cuts to Legal Aid, it seems this was the last straw for David Cameron, the Conservative Prime Minister who seems determined to destroy anything useful his party ever did.

The European Court of Human Rights was one such thing; Winston Churchill helped set it up after World War II and its founding principles were devised with a large amount of input from the British government. It is not part of the European Union, but is instead connected to the Council of Europe – an organisation with 47 member states.

It seems the Conservatives want to limit the European Court’s power over the UK, because they want Parliament to decide what constitutes a breach of human rights.

The opportunities for corruption are huge.

Considering the Conservative-led Coalition’s record, such corruption seems the only reason for the action currently being contemplated.

The plan could lead to the UK being expelled from the Council of Europe, and the BBC has reported that Mr Grieve had warned his colleagues that the idea was a plan for “a legal car crash with a built-in time delay”, an “incoherent” policy to remain a signatory to the European Convention of Human Rights but to refuse to recognise the rulings of the court which enforces it.

This blog has already discussed the Tories’ plan to take away your human rights but it is worth reiterating in the context of the latest revelation.

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”.

The Department for Work and Pensions has been allowing the deaths of disabled people since 2010. Withdrawing from the European Convention and scrapping the Human Rights Act would mean this government would be able to sidestep any legal action to bring those responsible to justice.

Article 4 of the Convention prohibits slavery, servitude and forced labour – in other words, the government’s Mandatory Work Activity or Workfare schemes. The government has already faced legal action under this article, and has been defeated. It seems clear that the Tories want to avoid further embarrassment and inflict the maximum suffering on those who, through no fault of their own, do not have a job.

Article 6 provides a detailed right to a fair trial – which has been lost in the UK already, with laws allowing “secret courts” to hear evidence against defendants – which the defendants themselves are not permitted to know and at which they are not allowed to be present. The Legal Aid cuts which Mr Grieve opposed were also contrary to this right.

Article 8 provides a right to respect for one’s “private and family life, his home and his correspondence” – and of course the UK’s violation of this right has been renewed only this week, with the Data Retention Act that was passed undemocratically within a single day.

And so on. These are not the only infringements.

Clearly the Tories want to sideline the European Court so they never have to answer for their crimes against the British people.

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29 thoughts on “Conservatives set to launch ‘incoherent’ attack on human rights

  1. Barry

    The court was set up to deal with the atrocities committed by nazi germany, it has overstepped the mark with a lot of the minor cases it deals with. It should be there for real human rights abuses not minority items which seem to be its bread and butter these days. Also it should not be able to overrule the constitution of a nation such as preventing prisoners from voting, which would cost an absolute fortune to implement as many prisoners are in prisons outside of their constituencies, and therefore the security involved in allowing private voting for their own MP would be intensely difficult.

  2. ellie guest

    we should be allowed to deport scum rapists murders etc from our shores permently exclude them rather than have innocents at risk or tax payers money keeping them in prison ,,,,,but the rest this Nazi style lot want is just to deprive us allof any protection from there evil

  3. Mr.Angry

    This is truly scary stuff but it’s all fitting in to place, if only the media would expose this, but they wont as they also are gagged.

  4. bookmanwales

    Regardless of Human Rights and regardless how many breaches no member of the government will ever have to answer for them.
    The people of this country suffer short term memory syndrome, i.e they forget what happened under each successive government.

    Subsequent governments will not hold any enquiries nor will they be interested in bringing anyone to justice for the wrongs that have occurred.

    The Labour government will wring it’s hands in mock frustration at being unable to change anything (as they did under Blair re Maggies union slaughtering) blaming the Tories and then renewing the attack on the most vulnerable as they continue to be the easiest targets.

    The draconian laws put in place are never changed as they suit the incoming government and keep us further oppressed which, let’s face it, all governments these days want.

    My suggestion is to spend the next year building a clear case for asylum in one of the European countries on the basis that as a sick / unemployed / disabled person your life and wellbeing are almost certainly at risk in this country.

    1. Mike Sivier

      You don’t know what Labour will do.
      The suggestion that Labour will only carry on the Tories’ work makes it more likely people will leave the Tories in place.
      You do the Tories’ work for them by saying such things.
      As for your asylum suggestion, what are the rest of us – the able-bodied – supposed to do?

  5. gusman

    “prevent foreseeable loss of life”. It seems also that the dreadful TTIP, will also allow for corporations to f=ride roughshod over any thing deemed against profits, selling poisonous food, tracking poisoning our water supply. Oh blimey, I really am a resource not a human.

  6. Colin Thompson

    This is disgusting. This is possibly the most corrupt, totalitarian, and tyranical european government since the nazi party of germany and fascist movement of italy of the 1930’s and 40’s. Why the hell are this cancerous regime not being brought to heel by the queen? They have utter contempt for the inhabitants of this country who are not in the 1% of wealth, and are constantly rewriting laws to make their illegal behaviour retrospectively legal. If this was happening in an asian country europe and america would be up in arms to impose sanctions or even invade and ‘liberate’. I wouldn’t be surprised if the next bit of legislation fast tracked by the tories is to take the vote away from those who are not highborn toffs, and to make it illegal to vote for anyone but conservative. Camermoron will be crowning himself king next. They are pissing on the british constitution if I was monarch I would have the lot rounded up by the army and arrested for treason. Let’s hope her majesty see’s sense and ends this madness.

  7. hugosmum70

    well was saddam husseins country part of the European convention???didnt do him much good. right will out. wrong will be punished.if not in this world,definitely in the other.

  8. buddyhell

    Reblogged this on Guy Debord's Cat and commented:
    Excellent blog from Vox Politica on the Tories’ hatred of human rights. They want to create a “British Bill of Rights” in place of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR). which they often deliberately conflate with the European Union. If their efforts in other areas are anything to go by, then their “Bill of Rights” is likely to be a dog’s breakfast of the worst kind. It will place caveats on civil liberties and detention without trial will become the norm.

  9. Samuel Miller (@Hephaestus7)

    Britain withdrawing from the European Convention of Human Rights (ECHR) would seriously threaten the human rights of its sick and disabled people. Note this passage from http://www.theguardian.com/society/2013/oct/01/bedroom-tax-breached-human-rights:

    Opening the way for a series of other challenges, the judge said the woman’s rights under the European convention of human rights had been breached “without justification”, leaving her in rent arrears for three months.

  10. Thomas M

    Whilst there are undoubtedly cases where criminals have misused human rights, the Tories want to use that as an excuse to take them away from everybody.

  11. jaypot2012

    Unfortunately, the Queen will not use her powers over this coalition.
    What we have needed all along is the people of this country to stand together and overthrow the evil buggers. But that’s not going to happen either…

    1. Mike Sivier

      If the Queen took a stand on any political issue, there would be a constitutional crisis. She’s there to attract tourists and sign her name to every Act of Parliament, whether she likes them or not.
      You’re right about the people.

  12. Pingback: Restoring Fairness | Hello from Raging Crip

  13. Sasson Hann

    I read through the Human Rights Act, and it strikes me now as a kind of Magna Carta; ‘rights’ only given to certain members of the public due their own status. So you can only obtain justice if you can pay a good solicitor, a good home if you have the money to rent or buy etc.

    I’d say that progressive governments have broken almost every human right on that list, which makes it a bit of a farce. Yes, of course, whilst the act is still in place, we can challenge any authority who contravenes it, but then again, poorer people with no power have little access to legal support now that legal aid is removed.

    For example, an element of my care package was removed, along with others when I had my care assessment 2 years ago, which is illegal. If there is an assessed need it cannot be removed. I was told that I could put the costs against my care fee, but then I had a financial assessment and was told that I couldn’t. When I said that this was illegal, the assessor grinned and shrugged his shoulders. He knew that I would not be able to fight it both in financial and physical terms.

    The law is just broken over and again or changed to suit without any consideration for the individual’s rights. At present one person is under continual house arrest for supporting a family (legally) who were victims of sexual abuse. He returned to court last week and his case was adjourned to January 2015. He does not yet know the charges against him: how can this happen?!

    Another victim who has been speaking out about abuse in a now closed children’s home was taken from her home and put in prison last week under false charges, similarly to silence her. Her abusers remain free.

    Dozens of cases of people whose homes were bought and paid for being evicted by their bank and their properties forfeited.

    The poor denied food and a basic level of support in life due to illegal sanctions of benefits, many decisions that have been contrived.

    There are many more examples of unfair, unjust and plain illegal treatment of people that the mainstream media don’t cover.

    We need to wake up to the fact that we lost our rights in the UK a long time ago and we live in a potentially dangerous and corrupt country.

  14. jess

    “Winston Churchill helped set it up after World War II and its founding principles were devised with a large amount of input from the British government”

    Much of that ‘input’ was a determination to ensure that the court’s remit did not extend to ‘colonies’ . You have to remember that the French colonial empire regarded their conquered territories as ‘French soil’ whereas the the British Empire was either part of an ‘Imperial Federeration’ (Canada, Australia etc) or Crown Colonies (Africa)

    In the latter there was about as much respect for the concept of human rights as there is amongst the coalition sociopaths and their ukip fringe

      1. jess

        I would suggest that ‘rationality’ has hardly been a feature of coalition policy so far, and after the recent shifting of chairs on the titanic, is less likely to become so..

        The basic problem (for them) is that Cameron has never ‘lead’ his backbenches or party, he has always responded to their demands (and those of the tabloids) in the way any PR person would.

        He attempts to re-frame debate, not on rational lines, but in response to what he thinks will pacify the noise.

        And he now has Crosby whispering in his ear about fighting a ‘blue’ election campaign that will satisfy the demands of wronga donors et al

        So, unfortunately, the rhetoric will get worse, and so will the demands of his fruitcakes get louder

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