Socialist Worker

We should stop the farce of calling human rights a farce

Issue No. 2424

The Tories’ own press release gave the game away. 

It proclaimed a BRITISH bill of rights would mean the deportation of TERRORISTS, FOREIGN CRIMINALS and ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS with children in the UK. TRAVELLERS wouldn’t be allowed the right to family life to get round planning laws.

Having had their copy written for them, a collection of right wing journalists nearly fainted from the excitement.

The Daily Mail yelled, “End of human rights farce: In a triumphant week for British values, Tories unveil plans to give Parliament and judges power to IGNORE the European Court and its crazy decisions”. And that was just the headline. The Express opted for “Human rights madness to end”. The Sun said the Tories aimed to put the “hated” Human Rights Act “in the dustbin of history” and “end Euro law madness”.

Rhetoric aside, it is strange indeed that the Tories plan a campaign with the message, “Vote for us, we will take away your rights”.

But they are lurching to the right to prove to frothing activists that they are right wing enough for those considering joining Ukip.

It is worth considering what the Tories are attacking.

Now rights tend to be gained and best defended by resistance rather than judges. But that isn’t an argument for bad laws. 

It is a little harder for cops to stop and search people because they are now forced to provide a justification.

A judge told campaigners stopped from joining a protest against the bombing of Iraq in 2003 that Gloucestershire Police had violated their rights. They were heading for RAF Fairford on coaches that were sent back to London.

In February last year Judge David Mitchell said the protesters had their rights to freedom of expression and of peaceful assembly breached under the Human Rights Act.

Blacklisted construction workers are currently pursuing human rights cases. Terry Brough and Dave Smith both have cases for breaches of Articles 8 and 11 of the European Convention of Human Rights.

These relate to the right to privacy and the right to freedom of association by the bosses. 

That alone makes Troublemaker oppose the Tory proposal.


People in Tierra del Fuego, Argentina, gave Jeremy Clarkson a great welcome last week. The odious presenter had gone there to film Top Gear. But he said he “hid under the bed” in a hotel after an “armed mob bayed for his blood”.

“Anti-British feelings still run hard and deep,” Clarkson whined.

Perhaps they are just anti-Clarkson feelings.


Thatcher as bad as you thought she was

The speech Margaret Thatcher planned to deliver at the Tory party conference 30 years ago this month was worse than previously thought.

She was going to name the individuals who were out to destroy democracy because they were “too blind or too wicked” to understand the harm they were causing. 

Bizarrely she planned to accuse Labour leader Neil Kinnock of having ceded control of the party to miners’ union.

The speech was never delivered, because at on 

12 October 1984 an IRA bomb blew up the Grand Hotel, Brighton, where Thatcher was staying. 


The Plaza Margaret Thatcher sign in Madrid has been vandalised for the second time since it was put up last month.

Jobless Spaniards renamed it Exiled Youth Square, after the exodus of young people forced to find work abroad.


Land Rover ended production of its Freelander car last week. To show their gratitude Jaguar bosses gave a gift to each of the workers who actually produced it at the Halewood plant in Merseyside. Everyone got a little cake similar to those in vending machines with a note on it “commemorating” the event.


Wonga woes good news for the poor 

Pay-day loan shark Wonga is writing off the debts of 330,000 borrowers.

The shamed firm admitted it was writing off £220 million for people who could not afford the repayments.

The firm charges a whopping 5,853 percent annually on loans.

In June it was ordered to pay compensation of £10 million after sendingout threatening legal letters from fake law firms.

Wonga’s founder, Errol Damelin, took a £4 million “farewell” when he left the day-to-day running of the firm last November.


Is the Co-op’s new-found commitment to ethics only skin deep? 

Its latest advert has the ad’s central character receive a “Ethics & Values” tattoo as a token of his belief in the Co-op’s integrity. The hedge fund-owned Co-op campaign coincides with job cuts.


Millions made as Yorkshire NHS is sold off 

Balfour Beatty made a multi-million pound profit from the sale of its stake in Mid Yorkshire Hospitals.

Balfour Beatty sold its 50 percent interest to an offshore company for £61.5 million. 

A PFI scam with RBS meant Mid Yorkshire Hospitals Trust leased the hospitals back from the companies over 35 years. 

The trust pays millions every month.

Balfour Beatty said the sale “exceeded” its expectations, and confirmed its profit was £42.2 million.


Keeping your cigars safe in Mayfair 

At last. Mayfair’s hedge fund managers finally have somewhere to store their cigars. Members’ club 

5 Hertford Street is developing “Cigar Keeps”, where high?rolling members can store any half-smoked Cohiba Esplendidos bought on the premises.

The accounts show a £465,248 profit on a turnover of £10.4 million.

It received a one-star rating for food hygiene from Westminster Council. 

The club has committed to “improving the quality of the food” by investing in a “central preparation kitchen”.


Spook of the week

Alex Younger, new head of MI6

  • MI6 said, “Alex enjoys music, sailing and mountaineering”
  • We are not supposed to print a picture of Younger because a D Notice has been issued calling upon the press to hold off from publishing any images of Younger
  • Rather odd then that MI6 sent out his photo (see this week's Socialist Worker) with the announcement
     

 


THE THINGS THEY SAY...

‘Raging intellect’

Artist Jonathan Yeo on prince Philip

‘Centre left with a tinge of environmentalism’

Tory MP Mark Field’s rather bizarre view of Boris Johnson’s politics

‘The impossibility of victory creates worry-free bliss’

Labour’s Paul Flynn says it’s not all bad losing elections

‘Scenes of celebrating with Tories aren’t going to go down well with the folks who voted Yes in my ward. Stand by for the backlash’

Aileen Colleran, chairwoman of Glasgow City Council’s Labour administration. She has since announced she will be stepping down

‘Because it’s unaffordable for most people to do this kind of thing’

Baroness Olly Grender explaing why the £300 a day expenses in the House of Lords isn’t enough

 


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Article information

The Troublemaker
Tue 7 Oct 2014, 17:06 BST
Issue No. 2424
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