Tuesday, 12 May 2015

We can't let the Tories take away the hard won freedoms of the human rights act

With the election barely over the Tories are starting the way they mean to go on, determined and uncaring. Vying for first place in their priorities with more punishing cuts the Tories are determined to do away with the Human Rights Act. Not content with joining up with the Lib Dems in their first term to do massive damage to welfare, public services and remove morality from decision making entirely. Content with taking away many of the things the state can do for citizens, David Cameron now wants to go one better and attack liberty itself and attack the protections in law.

For information these are the rights in the HRA

Right to life
Freedom from torture and inhuman or degrading treatment

Right to liberty and security
Freedom from slavery and forced labour
Right to a fair trial
No punishment without law
Respect for your private and family life, home and correspondence
Freedom of thought, belief and religion
Freedom of expression
Freedom of assembly and association
Right to marry and start a family
Protection from discrimination in respect of these rights and freedoms
Right to peaceful enjoyment of your property
Right to education
Right to participate in free elections

You have to come to a point where you wonder what will be left in the wake of the Tories? Which of these rights they wish to do away with? I find it perplexing in the extreme to even imagine which of these principles could be that bad, Right to life? No punishment without law? Freedom of expression? 

Human rights have developed internationally over the last few centuries. When people started to consider that individual freedoms should be explicitly protected in law. To temper the power of governments and to make them be held to account, so they can't act like they wish. So people can't be discriminated against, imprisoned of have their individual freedoms and liberties threatened without cause. One of the reasons human rights even exist, was the collective horror of people over the activities of dictatorships, Stalin's Soviet Union and Hitler's Germany chief among them. People came together fought in world wars so we can live in a better world, a fairer world and a freer world. We must be very wary of a government that wishes to give itself more power, by taking power of off it's citizens. The Tories latest move threatens to attack the very nature of liberal democracy and the rule of law.