Thursday, 22 October 2009

Tory's True Colours Shining Through

It appears that the Tory's are taking drastic action with someone who doesn't agree with them. No not Nick Griffen. In this case it is Keir Starmer the director of public prosecutions. The issue is the Human Right's Act.

Before the MPs expenses scandal distracted all voters from the parties' European messages this was one of the key planks to the Conservative manifesto. Yeah they didn't want to have the rights of UK citizens protected equally across the length and breadth of Europe, they wanted to tear it up and make it "more British". Mr Griffen would have been proud.

What Mr Starmer had the audacity to say at the Crown Prosecution Service annual dinner last night was:

"It would be to this country's shame if we lost the clear and basic statements of our citizens' human rights provided by the Human Rights Act on the basis of a fundamentally flawed analysis of their origin and relevance to our society.

"I am proud to be part of a society that regards these rights as part of my entitlement as a member of that society.

"They are basic; they are fundamental; and I venture to suggest that, for the majority of us, they are so much a part of our way of life that we take them for granted.

"I cannot think of any way in which such basic human rights are either so foreign to England and Wales that they do not reflect those principles that we hold dear, or which for some other unspecified reason are thought not to be relevant ... to each and every member of our communities the English Channel is odd and, frankly, impossible to defend."

Hardly inflammatory stuff you would think. Well unless you are David Davies MP (that's with the 'e', not the one who resigned as a liberty champion last year). Speaking to the Torygraph he said:

"We should tear up the Human Rights Act and replace it with something that protects law-abiding citizens from violent criminals. And we should tear up [Starmer's] contract as well."

Another Davies, Philip the MP for Shipley added:

"Keir Starmer is wrong. He is out of touch with public opinion. While he is qualified to be head of the CPS, this has nothing to do with him. His job is not to tell us what the law should be but to prosecute on what the law is. He should concentrate on doing his job rather than lecturing parliament."

Interesting that a DPP has to execute sound judgement based on the law. If he believes it is grounded in basic honourable principles surely that makes it easier to fulfil that role. We hear a lot of Tories recently talking about the rules of natural justice which is something that Starmer seems to suggest the Human Rights Act is far more than any decision over MPs expenses.

In fact considering the number of lawyers in the Conservative's list of candidates I wonder how many of them would be qualified to be head of the CPS. But of course these lawyers are wanting to get elected so they can tell us what the law should be.

David Cameron says he wants rid of the Human Rights Act saying it puts the rights of criminals before those of law-abiding citizens, yet at the same time his party wants to withdraw also from the European cross-border policing agencies. Guess that makes it easy to avoid the Tories' British only Bill of Rights then. Have a Eurostar ticket ready before you commit a crime against the law-abiding Brits on their wee island state and toodle-loo.

1 comment:

  1. The Tories in power would be a disaster for human rights but i wish the current mob at Westminster would do far more to protect its citizens from an increasingly police run state. Whether it's cctv in our towns, plans for ID cards, retension of dna samples or the outrageous liberties taken by the police at peaceful demonstrations, the government gets it wrong every time.

    And i won't start on the human rights of civillians in Iraq which were, in so many cases, trampled under the feet of an illegal invasion. Or those of the subjects of Saudi Arabia to whom this government disgustingly cuddles up at every opportunity.

    Adoption of the Human Rights Act has had no impact on these abuses. On human rights, Labour should hang its head in shame.