Tag Archives: Magna Carta

Cameron will cancel your human rights in the name of Magna Carta

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It will soon be farewell to your hard-won human rights, if David Cameron follows through on his plan to ditch the Human Rights Act in favour of a ‘Bill of Rights’ forbidding you any liberties that don’t benefit Tory donors and fatcat bosses.

David Cameron has attacked Labour’s Human Rights Act, saying that it has “distorted and devalued” the good name of human rights, and it is up to his “generation” to restore their reputation – but we know that David Cameron speaks with a forked tongue.

This is the man who said he would not raise VAT – and then raised VAT.

This is the man who said the vulnerable would be safe under his government – and a petition to establish how many have died under his government’s policies currently stands at 120,000 signatures after nearly two weeks.

This is the man who said the National Health Service was safe in his hands – and has been selling it off piecemeal since 2012.

You should never trust this man.

Note that he raised the question of human rights during a speech to mark the 800th anniversary of the signing of the Magna Carta – an event that is often seen as the beginning of the journey that allowed every UK citizen the freedoms they enjoyed… until Margaret Thatcher started restricting them again in 1979.

In fact, the so-called ‘Great Charter’ promised the protection of church rights, protection for the barons from illegal imprisonment, access to swift justice, and limitations on feudal payments to the Crown, to be implemented through a council of 25 barons. The Magna Carta did nothing to free ordinary people from the yoke of feudal lordship – it was all about rights for the Church and the Barons – the fatcat bosses of the time.

So it is no wonder that Cameron, whose premiership has consisted almost entirely of appeasing fatcat bosses in order to encourage them to donate money to his party, quotes Magna Carta when he talks about taking away your rights.

He knows you’ll think he’s talking about giving normal people more rights, when he’s really taking them away and helping his friends.

You see? David Cameron speaks with a forked tongue.

Today’s letter to the Prime Minister from the Labour Party puts the issue in a nutshell. It states:

“The Universal Declaration of Human Rights – adopted in 1948 – which Conservative politicians contributed to – enshrines:

  • The right to life, liberty and security
  • The right to a fair trial
  • Protection from torture
  • Freedom of thought, conscience, religion, speech and assembly
  • The right to free elections
  • The right not to be discriminated against

“Which of these rights do you not agree with?”

The answer should be obvious.

When it comes to anybody who doesn’t own a major corporation or a lordly title, he’s against all of them.

Cameron’s comments – and Labour’s response – also allow us to turn, again, to working people who voted Conservative last month, and ask:

Did you realise that Cameron would be taking away all of your rights, forever?

Follow me on Twitter: @MidWalesMike

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Cameron’s speech: The false claims of a failing politician

Don't you think he looks old?

Don’t you think he looks old?

Was that really it?

After the barrage of new policy plans from the Labour Party last week, David Cameron’s big revelation, at the end of the most disappointing Conservative conference since – well – the last one, is a hint that the Tories want to take benefits away from anyone under 25 who isn’t in work or education, if they win in 2015?

More repression, then. In a speech that we’re asked to believe is about making the UK a land of opportunity, of aspiration? A “land of hope and Tory”?

Land of hopeless Tories, more like!

Let’s look at those options. Put someone aged between 16 and 25 back into education and you put them into debt (unless they have very rich parents) – we have the Liberal Democrats to thank for that, after they betrayed their own manifesto promise and supported a massive increase in student fees.

Force them into work and its an employer’s market, isn’t it? They can hire or fire under any conditions they like – and the minimum wage will be no problem. You don’t like zero-hours contracts? Too bad – it’s a choice between being listed as employed but unlikely to get any paying work, or losing the pittance you live on anyway. Part-time wages putting you into debt? You’ll be homeless a lot faster without any benefits!

Whatever happens, of course, the benefit bill comes down and fewer people are classed as unemployed.

Just like George Osborne’s plan to put the long-term jobless on indefinite Workfare, this will falsify the employment figures to make it seem the Conservatives have improved the economy when in fact they are making matters worse.

The rest of it was a web of lies and waffle. It has been suggested that Cameron wanted to re-use his speech from last year, rewriting it minimally in the hope that nobody would notice, and that it would be worth finding out if this is true – but that would not get to the heart of the matter, which is that the Conservative Party has completely run out of momentum.

They’re at a dead stop and all they have to support them is falsehood.

Cameron’s speech started with a claim that the Tories are on the side of “hardworking” (it’s hard-working, David – learn some English) people. While he waffled, I had a look at some of the Tory slogans and tried to match some facts to the claims. So we have:

“A tax cut for 25m people” – but they put the cost of living up and wages down so “hardworking” people are worse-off.

“The deficit down by a third” – two years ago. It has been years since they made any notable progress.

“More private sector jobs” – that don’t pay “hardworking” people a bean because they’re part-time or zero-hours. They have also cut the public sector – and given those jobs to people on Workfare.

“Welfare capped” – so poor people are forced towards destitution or suicide

“Crime down” – because police are discouraged from recording crimes against “hardworking” people?

“Immigration down” – because the UK isn’t attractive to “hardworking” foreign people any more.

To these, Cameron added:

“Helping young people buy their own home” – by creating a debt bubble and asking the taxpayer to foot the bill.

“Getting the long-term unemployed back to work” – in order to falsify employment statistics.

“Freezing fuel duty” – and doing nothing about the huge, unjustified, price increases demanded by energy companies.

“Backing marriage” – with less than 20p a day for the poor.

“Creating wealth” – for whom?

“We are clearing up the mess that Labour left” – Labour didn’t leave a mess. Bankers left the mess. Why have the bankers not been cleaned up? Why has Mr Cameron thrown money at them instead?

He referred to the fact that Theresa May (finally managed to have Abu Qatada deported. She wants to get rid of the Human Rights Act, claiming it is necessary if the government is to be able to – among other things – deport suspected terrorists, right? So her action has proved that repealing an Act that protects the rights of British citizens isn’t necessary.

“Who protected spending on the NHS? Not Labour – us.” Wrong. At last count, spending on the NHS under the Conservative-led coalition was down. The plan was to spend £12.7 billion more by May 2015, but by December last year this meant the government needed to find more than £13 billion for this purpose.

He referred to the Mid Staffs hospital scandal as a Labour disaster – look to the Skwawkbox blog for the facts (hint: it’s not as clear-cut as Cameron pretended).

“When the world wanted rights, who wrote Magna Carta?” he said in all hypocrisy. Is he telling us the British people – who demanded those rights in the first place – are now demanding that he divest us of those same rights by repealing the Human Rights Act?

“When they looked for compassion, who led the abolition of slavery?” Fine words from a man whose lieutenant, Iain Duncan Smith, has been working hard to restore slavery for the unemployed, sick and disabled – even going to the lengths of pushing through a retrospective law, after his rules were found to be illegal.

“Whose example of tolerance – of people living together from every nation, every religion, young and old, straight and gay – whose example do they aspire to?” Perhaps someone should point him to his Home Secretary’s advertising vans, which preached intolerance of anyone who wasn’t demonstrably white and British by encourage people on the street to tell anyone else to “go home” in what Owen Jones called the language of knuckle-dragging racists.

His plea for Scotland to remain in the UK must have seemed particularly hypocritical, as the man who has passed more divisive policies than any other Prime Minister, possibly in British history, called for “Our Kingdom – United”.

There was more, much more – and if you have the stomach for it, you can find it here.

The underlying theme was that he wanted to appeal to British citizens to let the Conservatives back into office with a majority government in 2015, so they could “finish the job”.

If we let his party finish the job, we’ll be left with a ruined country, a wrecked system of government, and an elite ruling class laughing all the way to the offshore bank.

I made my opinion clear in a message to the BBC’s ‘live coverage’ page (which of course wasn’t used). I’ll repeat it here:

This speech is really distressing.

Cameron has learned nothing from the last three years, in which his policies have caused suffering to millions of hardworking people.

There is nothing in his words for hardworking people to support.

No growth, no hope, no health…

No future.

Court privatisation – what happened to the Lord Chief Justice’s objections?

Laying down the gavel: It seems that InJustice Secretary Chris Grayling is determined to sell justice to the highest bidder - ending a prohibition on the sale of justice that goes back to 1215 and the Magna Carta. Are you going to let him?

Laying down the gavel: It seems that InJustice Secretary Chris Grayling is determined to sell justice to the highest bidder – ending a prohibition on the sale of justice that goes back to 1215 and the Magna Carta. Are you going to let him?

Have a look at this, from a Ministry of Justice press release today. It quotes a letter to judges in England and Wales:

“Given the financial stringency which will be applied to HMCTS [Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunals Service], as to everywhere else, we are examining every realistic option…  for example, whether the current structures could be transformed, or whether an alternative structure, such as a more independent public interest corporation, would better ensure a sustainable future.”

In other words, We Are Going To Sell Justice.

The release is signed by Sir Jeremy Sullivan, senior president of tribunals; Lord Igor Judge, the Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales; and of course Chris ‘Failing’ Grayling, Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice.

It is no surprise that Grayling’s name is attached to the document. He is the “absolute tit” (thank you John Finnemore and the BBC) whose strategy to privatise Legal Aid and put people who are still innocent until proven guilty into the hands of his corporate friends who have a financial incentive to make them plead guilty, no matter what.

Sir Jeremy Sullivan’s involvement as head of the Tribunals Service indicates that a forthcoming change in fortunes, for example, if you are an Employment and Support Allowance claimant appealing against a wrong decision by the DWP/Atos. At the moment, the number of appeals has been increasing rapidly, with almost half achieving a ruling against the government department. Do you honestly think that will continue if Tribunals are run as a commercial concern, with the government as a major investor?

(Yes; I am saying this seems a transparent plan by Grayling, possibly with his former master Iain Duncan Smith, to clear a major obstacle to their project to drive the sick and disabled off the benefit books, possibly to their deaths. Many people who did not appeal have already died – for reasons which are not clear, although it seems unlikely this would have happened had the DWP not interfered. Privatising the courts may be seen as a bid to deter people from launching appeals.)

Of even more concern is the appearance of Lord Igor Judge as a signatory. Only last month, he was warning Grayling not to undermine the independence of the judiciary.

In a letter to Grayling, he warned that the proposed changes would revoke constitutional arrangements dating back to – and including – “the prohibition in Magna Carta on ‘selling justice'”.

Why is he now happy to allow justice to be sold – and to be influenced by a right-wing government with an agenda of oppression?

The Guardian, reporting on Lord Judge’s letter, stated that the Ministry of Justice had “denied that wholesale privatisation of the courts service is being considered”. It seems that was untrue.

Why is Lord Judge now, apparently supporting this?

Is it because the privatisation threat comes towards the bottom of the letter, while an assurance that “justice is and will remain a core function of the State” is right at the top?

The reason given for the need to change the way the courts and tribunals work is “current financial pressures”. Readers of this article should be aware that there are NO financial pressures on the government other than those its ministers have invented in their own minds – as an excuse to cut services or sell them off.

In short, we are being governed by a gang of spivs.

Press releases such as this prove that the Coalition government has no desire to rule in the best interest of the nation; it is here to cut the state down to nothing; to sell off those public services likely to provide a profit to the private sector – into which ministers may well retire; and to exploit the vast majority of the population for the enrichment of ministers and their friends in business.

Readers are advised to write to their MPs and to Mr Grayling, opposing these plans; to point out that any pretend “financial pressures” may be alleviated by investment in the UK economy, to create jobs and tax returns; by the closure of tax loopholes that allow the super-rich to avoid paying their fair share; and by the end of so-called ‘sweetheart deals’ with large corporations that allow them to avoid paying their fair share of tax.

The evidence is right in front of us all. We should not allow ourselves to be hoodwinked.

How to regain your reputation with one simple sentence

Clint Eastwood. What a guy.

You may recall a while ago I was one of the many who took issue with Mr Eastwood for his bizarre interview with a chair during a Republican convention in the United States. I wrote an article asking why celebrities have to belittle themselves by declaring their support for political parties, and basically said that it can’t do their reputation any good at all.

Well, it seems I misjudged the great man.

Collared by an interviewer who demanded to know what possessed him, Eastwood’s response was the stuff of legends. “If they’re stupid enough to ask me to a political convention,” he said, “they have to take whatever they get.”

Genius.

One person for whom I doubt this response would work is David Cameron, who was outed as a dunce on David Letterman’s US chat show last week.

It isn’t stupid to ask what “Magna Carta” means. After all, my next-door-neighbour’s four-year-old can work it out.

Perhaps Letterman could have started him off with something easier, though – like maybe, when his party didn’t win the election and never stated that it planned to do so, why has he sold off so much of the NHS in England to private companies, and why does he have plans to sell off so much more of it?

The old argument that it creates more choice is clearly nonsense because people were, reasonably, expecting the choice to be theirs. Instead, they have been presented with the company that has bought the contract and told, “This is your choice of NHS supplier. Don’t catch anything too serious or you’ll be paying it off for the rest of your life.”

Or, in the words of an iconic Eastwood character: “Do you feel lucky?”