Tories want to make stealing our human rights an election issue? Good – they’ll lose

Theresa May hinted that she would like to pull Britain out of the ECHR during the referendum campaign [Image: Steve Parsons/PA].

Theresa May’s decision to hold back work on stripping UK citizens of their human rights and replacing them with a limited, Tory-biased ‘British Bill of Rights’ is to be welcomed.

If it is delayed until after the UK has left the European Union it may become a general election issue. If so, the Tories will lose.

Nobody has any reason to feel their rights will be better-protected under the Conservatives.

Notable for the absence from any Tory discussions of their planned bill are:

  • The duty to investigate suspicious deaths and to prevent foreseeable loss of life – to be scrapped in order to allow the deaths of sickness and disability benefit claimants to continue with no prospect of legal redress, perhaps?
  • The prohibition of slavery or forced labour – which the Tories have already reintroduced with their mandatory work schemes.
  • The right to privacy – which the Tories have removed with their ‘Snoopers Charter’.
  • The right to freedom of expression.
  • The right to freedom of assembly and association.
  • The prohibition of discrimination.

The list goes on and on.

Once Tories have to admit they are planning to take away some of our most basic rights and replace them with limited permissions, granted by people who consider themselves to be our betters, it should be ‘game over’.

Perhaps they expect their supine mass media friends to help them.

But in the wake of the ‘fake news’ controversy, this may not be greeted with the trust it has previously received.

So let us applaud Theresa May for this brave move.

It should bury her party and her career.

Theresa May has accepted that she will have to put David Cameron’s plan to publish a British bill of rights on hold until after Brexit, and perhaps beyond the next general election.

Cameron, May’s predecessor as prime minister, had planned to repeal the Human Rights Act, passed by the Labour government to enshrine the European Convention on Human Rights in domestic law, and replace it with a distinct and more limited British bill of rights.
The justice secretary, Liz Truss, reaffirmed that policy in August; but No 10 has now accepted that it would create too much of a backlash among restive Conservative MPs. “We have got a lot on our plates at the moment,” said one Downing Street source.

Source: Ministers put British bill of rights plan on hold until after Brexit

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10 thoughts on “Tories want to make stealing our human rights an election issue? Good – they’ll lose

  1. NMac

    Extremely Nasty by name and extremely Nasty by nature. These are the sort of “reforms” that Adolf Hitler imposed on the people of Germany in the early 1930s.

  2. Barry Davies

    We already had the majority of the laws mentioned in our unwritten constitution before the eu nations caught up with us, and yet no one seems to remember that whenever the so called european rights are brought up.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      The UK constitution isn’t unwritten – it just happens to be on several documents.
      Whether we had most of those laws or not, the Tory aim is to get rid of them all and replace them with a limited number of privileges that a Tory government decides.
      I’m sure you agree that is undesirable.

    2. Florence

      Well Barry, I’ve seen you post this many times. Perhaps you should also highlight that the UK was instrumental in developing the concept of Human Rights at the UN? Of course you should also mention that the tidying up and enshrining in law was a requirement to stop resting on.our laurels and actually make HR law a reality here. After that all that needs to be said is that belonging to the EU had ensured we stayed legal and decent, and that removing our Human rights legislation doesn’t actually affect our universal Human rights, it just makes the UK a rogue state; it already is an abuser of human rights of the vulnerable in society, and it had already been told so by the various bodies. The bleet that “we had it before” holds no water. We “have it” now, and perhaps that needs to be upheld?

    3. Haravikk

      The UK was also a principle founding member of the EHCR, your point?

      The Tories have campaigned to leave the EHCR multiple times in the past on the basis that it prevents them from doing whatever they like to “suspected” terrorists, which should give you a pretty clear picture of what they want; the whole point of human rights is to prevent the idea that you can just do whatever you like to people you deem to be enemies of the state, the moment you let the Tories do it is the day that free speech and democracy are dead, because it won’t be long before we have death camps full of political prisoners.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      We do have them.
      I suppose in a Tory-run country you have to demand observation of them before anything happens, rather than it happening automatically, as should be the norm.

      1. Jim Round

        What human rights did David Clapson have, and all the others harassed by the DWP for starters.

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