As those of you who can read know there’s a been a lot in the press recently about my government scrapping the Human Rights Act and if you’re one of those lefties or somebody who’s read lefty literature, such as 1984, then that can sound scary. I’d like to take 10 minutes today explaining my plans to put you all at ease.
If you’d gone to a decent school then you’d know that in the 1930s a spot of trouble kicked off in Germany and a lot of people were treated in a fashion that even ATOS would find pretty shocking. After that was all sorted out Winston Churchill wrote down some rules to prevent it from ever happening again. To be fair he mainly cribbed these from the American Bill of Rights, but he did the spelling properly and had the sense to ditch the one about bearing arms, so it was a pretty solid document. That document is the foundation of the European Court of Human Rights and it made the world a better place.
Back then Human Rights were applied sensibly, Dixon of Dock Green fashion, and if anybody with a touch of the tar-brush had tried to use them to avoid being deported to Bongo-bongo land (as our friends in UKIP might say) they’d have been told to sling their hook and have gotten a quick trip down the station steps and steerage passage on the next ship out of Dover.
Since then, however, things have gone badly wrong.
Things started to go wrong in 1998, when Tony Blair’s Labourish government introduced the Human Rights Act, with broad cross-party support that I’m not going to mention again. This terrible, dangerous,
popular act took dear Winston’s rules, which had been intended to calm down a lot of excitable foreigners, and adopted them into British law. The ECHR, which was was designed to prevent terrible governments slowly chipping away at your rights, has now become so twisted that it’s stopping my government from slowly chipping away your human rights! I think that we can all agree that this is a frightful situation.
To make things worse Winston’s laws are being ‘interpreted’ by judges, both at home and in Strasbourg, and they infrequently come to decisions that Theresa May doesn’t like. Also, hand on heart, we’ve been a bit cavalier with writing things off as happening “because of human rights” when the real situation is more complicated, more embarrassing or just a bit too nuanced for a Daily Mail headline, so now they want us to fix it.
However, the truth is that there’s a compelling list of reasons for scrapping the HRA that don’t look like non sequiturs if you read them quickly:
- We’ll be getting rid of Labour’s Human Rights Act.
- In cases that the media have trivialised to absurdity evil judges are using human rights to make Christians bake gay cakes, or to jail women who have loud sex.
- And they’re unelected judges! Having unelected people running the country makes our dear old Queen cry.
- Even terrorists, criminals, foreigners and people on benefits have human rights!
- Quite frankly we’ve got the Mail and Express readers wound up into such a frenzy that we have to do something!
And we’ll be replacing the HRA with a British Bill of Rights, that will guarantee good solid English values; the right to a proper cuppa, the right to have a good old moan about it on Twitter, the right to Songs of Praise on a Sunday, etc. We’re just busy sorting a few of the details, so that it’s as comprehensive as the legal highs act.
Hopefully this chat will have reassured you that my plans are in your best interests, and will allow my government to both get on with ruling the country and, if needs be, to suddenly and drastically redefine what your best interests are. If, however, you still have any questions then feel free to write them on a postcard, address it to ‘In retrospect voting based on who looked best with a bacon sandwich was a mistake’ and post it to early May. I’ll be back in a few months to talk about how we’ll be cutting winter heating bills with a few public book-burning events.
Yours until next time (or until I leave my drink unattended when Boris is around),