Blogging from the Highlands of Scotland
'From fanaticism to barbarism is only one step' - Diderot

Monday, 23 August 2004

Tories could repeal Human Rights Act if elected

I have only just realised the significance of this news item, which I first caught on BBC News24 a couple of hours ago. David Davis of the Tories has been in the media today announcing plans to repeal the Human Rights Act which gives effect, in domestic law, to the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) to which the UK has been a signatory for fifty or so years (!) and which was largely drafted by UK lawyers, in the wake of the horrors of the Holocaust, etc, during World War II.

The ostensible purpose would be to reduce the amount of what is deemed to be spurious litigation. Perhaps there is something in this, up to a [very limited] point, but it is in reality a blatant attempt to spotlight what are probably a few negative consequences when compared with the largely positive consequences.

It will be recalled that the government's promise to implement this legislation was one of the reasons why it was not subjected to a humiliating defeat in a case to be brought before the European Court of Human Rights concerning the euqalisation of the age of consent for gays. Similarly, negative results for the government in cases brought before the European Court of Human Rights concerning the ban, at that time, on gays and lesbians serving in the armed forces were a further reason which shamed the British Government into legislating.

David Davis is well known as one of the most reactionary leading Conservatives of his generation in matters affecting social policy. His attempt to capitalise on what is a Human Rights issue, by conflating it as some sort of EU creation (when it is nothing of the kind!) is quite despicable. It truly reveals the depseration of the Conservative Party to reverse its electoral decline that it is dredging the bottom of the barrel with policies designed to appeal to the many bigots amongst us.

This so-called policy needs to be revealed for the sordid political ledgerdemain it is.

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