Is This the Most Dangerous Queen’s Speech in Living Memory?

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The talk of coming out of the ECHR is all hot air because rights are natural and inalienable, it would therefore mean that these rights are not rights but privileges. Looking to the etymological origins of the word privilege, privi is private and leg is law, thus privileges are private laws which can and will be taken away. Courtesy of Mary Riddell @ The Telegraph:

Ten years ago this summer, I rode a motorbike through the eight countries newly welcomed into the European Union. As I travelled the 1250 miles from Estonia to Slovenia, a flourish of a British passport took me through frontiers closed for half a century by the Iron Curtain and the Cold War. New motorways were replacing farm tracks, and it seemed that hope had triumphed over repression.

A decade on, the European dream has soured so fast, for some at least, that Britain stands on the road marked EU exit. With an In/Out referendum enshrined in this week’s Queen’s Speech, our relationship with Europe will be one of the defining issues of this Parliament and this century. On a separate front, the Government is toying with another rupture.

The pledge to scrap the Human Rights Act and replace it with a British Bill of Rights, even if delayed for a year, is intended to break the “formal link” with the European Court of Human Rights and make our Supreme Court the ultimate arbiter. Though the Strasbourg court is independent of the EU, many Tories view it as a mechanism for European meddling in British justice.

It is possible that, by the end of this Parliament, Britain will not only be gone from the EU but will also have renounced the European Convention on Human Rights designed to bind together, in a universal code of decency, nations shattered by the Second World War. Two such momentous issues require a deft government and a valiant opposition. Britain can rely on neither.

Mr Cameron’s referendum campaign began badly, and possibly fatally, with evidence that France and Germany have made a deal for further eurozone integration without the need to re-open treaties. Our Prime Minister can only achieve his more ambitious aims, such as a Commons veto over EU legislation, through treaty changes which now look less likely than ever. Continue reading

Are UKIP a real alternative or does Nigel Farage look like Admiral Ackbar?

With the recent gains that UKIP have made in local elections, are they actually a real alternative or just another puppet front?

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Immigration

Straight from their website:

‘UKIP calls for an end to the age of mass, uncontrolled immigration. Since 1997 immigration has added almost four million new people to the British population; this figure does not include illegal immigrants, the exact number of which is unknown but is probably at least one million and possibly much higher.’

Basically they don’t like foreigners and in particular ‘sandy looking people’. It’s easier to blame our problems on foreign immigrants rather than actually putting the blame at the politicians feet for poor policy.

Tax

“18 pence in the pound goes on servicing government debt.” Untrue as expenditure is 3% of GDP or 6% of public sector spending.

The coalition boasts it has cut the annual deficit by 25%, yet anyone with a calculator and an IQ of 4+ can figure out to reduce national debt the reduction needs to be 125% otherwise it continues to grow. A 100% reduction would balance the books, and lead to no debt in the long run but this is not how our debt based system works.

“Historically, time and again, it has been proven that reduction in tax rates boosts the economy and paradoxically does not reduce the tax take.” Complete lies.

“The earnings of employed people are not a legitimate target for taxation”, sounds good, inheritance tax they want to abolish and corporation tax which they want to reduce. Sounds very Tory.

Defence

UKIP are in favour of bolstering military spending.

Same sex marriage

They’re against same-sex marriage because they don’t want religions to be forced to marry homosexual couples, which wouldn’t happen and they don’t want the government to interfere in marriage. Just ridiculous.

Energy

Climate change denial

“More and more scientists are challenging the conventional wisdom on Global Warming.”

“The slight warming in the last hundred years is entirely consistent with well- established, long-term natural climate cycles — the Roman Optimum, the Dark Ages, the Mediæval Warm Period, the Little Ice Age. And now we seem to be moving into a new, natural 21st century optimum”

“We do not however regard CO 2 as a pollutant. It is a natural trace gas in the atmosphere which is essential to plant growth and life on earth. ”

ECHR Stance

I’ve discussed this previously in my blog but this is a brief list of instances where the ECHR has held the government to account when British courts and laws were insufficient:

Requiring that when somebody is killed by the state there must be a proper independent investigation, and that armed personnel should be trained properly (McCann et al v UK)

Preventing the government informing paramilitaries they know will kill someone of that individual’s location, to execute by proxy (Shaghan v UK)

You can’t put an ethnic individual in a cell with a racist offender and take bets on how long he’ll last (he died) (R on the application of Amin v SSHD)

It led to safeguards and legal standards for wiretapping (Malone v UK)

You can’t “interrogate” prisoners by forcing them into certain positions or depriving them of light and sound (Ireland v UK)

The legalisation of homosexuality in Northern Ireland (Dudgeon v UK)

Stopping contempt of court from infringing on freedom of the press (Sunday Times v UK)

The mentally ill who voluntarily commit themselves to an institution are owed the same duty – suicide watch etc – as those who are sectioned (Rabone v Pennine Care)

Ensuring that existing prisoners still get access to solicitors (Golder v UK)

Ensuring that workers maintain rights to join trade unions (Wilson v UK)

Giving the police an obligation to act if somebody is being dangerously stalked (Osman v UK)

Preventing indefinite detention under the declaration of a national emergency (A v SOS for the Home Dept).

Preventing public birching of children by the police in the Isle of Man (Tyrer v UK)

Retention of DNA & fingerprint data by the state must have limitations (S & Marper vs UK)

So the ECHR has held the government to account but they wish to abolish it, this is a draconian step backwards and I look at this move as morally repugnant.

So are UKIP a real alternative? No they are not, they’re just hard line Tories with no real policies for change. Does Nigel Farage look like Admiral Ackbar….yes he does.

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Tories explore possibility of temporary withdrawal from European convention on human rights

As reported in the Guardian and the Mirror, the UK is considering temporary withdrawal from the European convention of human rights. Why would they need to withdraw and when would it be re-instated?

The issue stems from Abu Qatada and the governments inability to deport him. The inability stems from the fact that the European Court of Human Rights and our own British courts both believe and have found Qatada shouldn’t be deported. Both courts believe that he should not be deported to Jordan because he may be tried with evidence obtained under torture. For anyone who has watched Zero Dark Thirty recently enhanced interrogation techniques = torture, banned under the ECHR and rightfully so.

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Abu Qatada is a minor issue in himself but a political nightmare for Cameron and May. I personally can’t believe what they are suggesting and what it says to the rest of the world about Britain. It is a massive step back in freedom and policy, not forward. How can we claim to be spreading democracy and freedom through the world when we are withdrawing basic human rights for our own citizens? We cannot opt out of human rights when it suits us!

What are the articles of the ECHR and are they relevant? Here’s just section 1 listed and there are 13 Protocols filled with articles:

Article 1: Obligation to respect human rights
Article 2: Right to life
Article 3: Prohibition of torture
Article 4: Prohibition of slavery and forced labour
Article 5: Right to liberty and security
Article 6: Right to a fair trial
Article 7: No punishment without law
Article 8: Right to respect for private and family life
Article 9: Freedom of thought, conscience and religion
Article 10: Freedom of expression
Article 11: Freedom of assembly and association
Article 12: Right to marry
Article 13: Right to an effective remedy
Article 14: Prohibition of discrimination
Article 15: Derogation in time of emergency
Article 16: Restrictions on political activity of aliens
Article 17: Prohibition of abuse of rights
Article 18: Limitation on use of restrictions on rights

I’ve read through all the articles and protocols and they make sense if we live in a democratic free society. To remove them in order to save face and deport 1 man, maybe 2, maybe more, is a petty act of a desperate government. What it says to me is it would be willing to void your rights to make a point and avoid political embarrassment. The government no longer serves the people, it seems to serve a different agenda.

Is all hope lost? Certainly not, speak to your friends and family, social network and write to your MP and MEP. I use Write to them as they are rated on their ability to write back and in a timely manor. Raise awareness and let people know the truth about human rights. They can never be suspended if we do in fact live in a fair and free society. From an international perspective, the claim of spreading freedom and democracy while removing domestic freedoms is a hypocritical and despotic act.