The European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), enacted into UK law through the Human Rights Act 1998, and which is to be a legally binding part of the European Union Constitution, is by no means perfect.
In many areas, which were not prevalant in society 50 or so years ago when the ECHR was written, such as Genetics or Data Protection it needs to be strengthened so as to address these explicitly.
Why then are the Conservative Opposition under Michael Howard, attacking the whole Human Rights Act, threatening to repeal it altogether, if they win the next General Election ?
The Conservative Party advert in several Sunday newspapers today:
"I BELIEVE IN FAIR PLAY.
THE SAME RULES SHOULD APPLY TO EVERYONE.
I DON’T BELIEVE IN SPECIAL RULES FOR SPECIAL INTEREST GROUPS.
WE ARE ALL BRITISH. WE ARE ONE NATION.
TOO MANY PEOPLE TODAY SEEM TO THINK THEY DON’T HAVE TO PLAY BY THE
RULES AND THEY’RE USING SO-CALLED HUMAN RIGHTS TO GET AWAY WITH
DOING THE WRONG THING."
There are no "so called" human rights, there are only fundamental human rights which politicians should not be allowed to deny to anyone.
IF YOU WANT TO BUILD A NEW HOME YOU HAVE TO GET PLANNING PERMISSION FIRST. BUT IF YOU ARE A TRAVELLER YOU CAN BEND PLANNING LAW BUILDING WHERE YOU LIKE THANKS TO THE HUMAN RIGHTS ACT.
IT’S NOT FAIR THAT THERE’S ONE RULE FOR TRAVELLERS AND ANOTHER FOR EVERYONE ELSE.
So why is it "fair" to discriminate against the "Traveller" ethnic or social groups, when we are all meant to be equal under the UK and European and International law ?
THIS IS ONE OF THE REASONS WHY THE CONSERVATIVE PARTY IS REVIEWING THE HUMAN RIGHTS ACT. AND IF IT CAN’T BE IMPROVED WE WILL SCRAP IT.
If the planning laws are wrong, then change the planning laws, but why attack our still inadequate Human Rights and Civil Liberties, by threatening to repeal the Human Rights Act ?
FAIRNESS MATTERS. BRITAIN NEEDS A GOVERNMENT THAT STOPS PEOPLE USING HUMAN RIGHTS AS AN EXCUSE FOR BENDING THE RULES.
A Government and an Opposition that did not conspire against our civil liberties and human rights, for short term , pre=election name calling purposes, would be welcome.
ARE YOU THINKING WHAT WE’RE THINKING ? CONSERVATIVE
What we are thinking. is that this advert and policy is another betrayal of British fundamental moral principles.
Promoted by Gavin Barwell on behalf of the Conservative Party both of 25 Victoria Street, London SW1H 0DL"
Are a few unsightly gypsy / traveller encampments, which, crucially, are not on squatted public or private land, but on land which the travellers themselves actually own really such a vote winning issue with the vast majority of the electorate ?
If there are actually problems with Traveller "nuisance neighbours", why do the (mostly Conservative) rural local authorities not make use of the Anti-social Behavior Act 2003 ?
The Nu Labour Government's failure, under the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott, to sort out any decent policy on the issue of providing enough Traveller / Gypsy / Roma caravan sites, seems to be a continuation of the policy started under the previous Conservative government. What is so difficult ?
Even from a purely political viewpoint, the Tories should be showing that they care more about these fundamental British human rights values than the Nu Labour Government nomenklatura does, and who have been ramming primary Legislation through Parliament which makes it exempt from the Human Rights Act. Instead, the Cinservatives seem to be pandering to Not In My Back Yard (NIMBY) tabloid newspaper stories.