Quite an interesting article by Melanie Philips in yesterday's Mail
and well worth a read.
To cut a long story short and I certainly recommend people read Melanie's article, but according to her- a wider culture of so called human rights legislation, anti-discrimination laws, political correctness etc. have helped play a role in laying the groundwork for a police state in the UK (although she herself doesn't yet like that term). She says:"It may be thought a curious irony that the Human Rights Act was introduced in 1998 to tackle precisely the concerns expressed last weekend of a slide into tyranny - and yet liberty has been seriously eroded in the past decade.
In fact, this isn't curious at all. Although the campaigners would sooner cut off their hands than admit it, the one has followed directly from the other. The idea that human rights law expands freedom was always a serious mistake. It has the opposite effect."
It's a pretty interesting article, of course a lot of people know Melanie Phillips and either love her or hate her but I don't believe any serious conservative grass roots campaigners against the police state in the UK represents anything like the culture she describes, although others may do.
Sometimes I've referred to something like the European Court of Human Rights, not because I think it's necessarily ideal and that it would in an perfect world supersede national laws but because the system has been so skewed, become so entrenched and the whole thing such a mess now, and the UK such a damaged blot that's what's there currently in this big mess.
And even if the culture Melanie describes is historically on the right lines, things like the European Court of Human Rights also happen to be rebuking the national Labour regime over things like their vile DNA stock-piling
Certainly though Melanie could well be correct about a lot of it as far as it goes. I think these things probably have helped create the framework for a lot of this, and loosely you might throw these things under the heading of internationalism, post World War II.
Organizations like Liberty
advocate a culture of human rights and egalitarianism rather than freedom per se, and the media tend to do a good job of obscuring this and presenting a case about 'civil liberties and human rights'. And this has the implication that the notion of freedom must be bound to other concepts as a kind of intellectual taxation and must now be 'handed down' rather than something you just have with inalienable implications.
And actually in fact I would quite expect the media to advocate, or some organizations to play up to the very notions Melanie is complaining about. I.e to promote people who are anti-police state but somehow enveloped in a culture of political correctness or maybe pro-hate laws or have some flavor of that about them; having the effect to slightly dilute and distract from the the real message and the main issue people are fighting against. It certainly wouldn't surprise me.
And certainly Melanie is absolutely correct to suggest that human rights, or in particular the culture that has now become associated with human rights should not be seen as any kind of a replacement for liberty and freedom.
I did see a leaflet for an event I think it was called 'Taking Liberties' off the top of my head (And I believe our friends at Irdial
may have attended) and it listed Germaine Greer and Peter Tatchell as main speakers on a panel. And I agree that they may not like the police state but they are also not necessarily representative shall we say but represent something else.
This isn't an issue to do with feminism or gay activism.
Of course sometimes we all have to find common ground on those issues that are serious and important with widespread implications and that's a good thing, and I don't believe that is incongruous to anything else, but certainly that must be without loosing sight of what those big issues are.
What Melanie didn't mention of course is this police state/surveillance culture is being cultivated in the United States and Europe too. I don't know if you can pick Britain out in that way other than it's way ahead of the others.
Labels: European Court of Human Rights, Human Rights, Melanie Phillips, police state, political correctness, privacy, surveillance