It’s about you.
When the right wing press blather on about how Human Rights legislation is getting in the way of business, it’s your rights they are talking about. It’s about the right not to be bullied by overbearing bosses. It’s about my right to say this and your right to disagree if you want to. It’s about the right to protest about injustice. It’s about respect, freedom and the rule of law and that, more than anything else, is what Britain is about.
The ruling class, vested interests, the elite, call them what you want, have done everything they can to undermine human rights legislation – without actually saying why, other than sloganizing.
The chances are you haven’t read the “Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms”, but if you’re interested – click on the link and you can read it on the Council of Europe’s website. If not, in a nutshell, here’s what it says:
- The signatory countries must make sure that everyone within their jurisdiction are accorded the rights contained in the convention
- Everyone’s life is protected by law, except those executed by order of the court. Exceptions are, self defence, in order to effect a lawful arrest, to quell a riot or insurrection
- Torture is prohibited, as is inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment
- Slavery and forced labour are prohibited, except prison work, military service, in the case of an emergency, normal civic obligations
- The right to liberty and security of person – except in accordance with a sentence carried out by a court, or temporarily pending investigation
- Right to a fair trial
- No punishment without law
- Right to respect for private and family life
- Freedom of thought, conscience and religion
- Freedom of expression
- Freedom of assembly and association
- The right to marry
- The right to an effective remedy should an individual’s rights be contravened
- Prohibition of discrimination on any grounds such as sex, race, colour, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, association with a national minority, property, birth or other status
It then goes on to say that these rights can be derogated in times of national emergency, and a few other things to do with the European Court of Rights, and States rights.
There is nothing in there that a normal or sane person would want to overturn, unless these rights prevented them from exploiting to the full the ordinary people to whom these rights have been accorded.
People like these:
The thing is, these rights are so watered down and so couched in terms that give national governments wriggle room, that they are incredibly weak compared to what they should be. But importantly, they represent a marker in the sand, a minimum wage of human rights below which governments can’t go. Conservatives would like to get rid of these very basic rights, because to them money is more important than humanity. We should resist this with everything we have. Because, this isn’t about them, it’s about us.
So, the next time someone says to you that we need to get rid of the Human Rights Convention, remember that it’s all about you and your kids. We’re the humans they are talking about.