Hooray for Britain


by Kulvinder
25th May, 2007 at 3:41 am    

There was always a degree of certainty about amending that most hated of laws – the Human Rights Act; it was always just a question of what angle would be used to justify it. It looks like we have an answer. The thing that immediately struck me about these ‘terror suspects’ was that, well, they don’t want to kill anyone in Britain. They apparently don’t want to blow up any nightclubs here, they just want to fight the forces of those that illegally started a war in a foreign land. In any other circumstance they’d be labelled ‘freedom fighters’ Obviously since they wish to fight against us in our illegal war, they’re hateful terrorists bent on a path of ill-thought destruction.

There is such a chasm between me and anyone who wants to repeal a law that protects them from the state, then I’m not quite sure what to say other than you are a cuckold. If you honestly think laws designed around human rights are an inherently bad thing so be it.

But let’s stop any pretense of fighting for the greater good in far off lands. To paraphrase what I’ve said in other threads: the way those of us in this ‘War on Terror’ are behaving towards anyone that dissents is as bad as the “evil states” we fight. We and the Americans may not abuse the liberty of as many people as Iran but we cannot deny the abuse itself. The Great British Public may as well torch the parliment and let the government issue a fire decree. I hope anyone who agrees with concepts like ‘house arrest’ have the intellectual honesty not to criticise the detainment of Aung San Suu Kyi.


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    [...] plenty of good comments around regarding the latest hard line comments from John Reid – I recommend Pickled Politics, Ministry of Truth and Not [...]




  1. G. Tingey — on 25th May, 2007 at 10:01 am  

    I’m very sorry, but I have to agree with you.

    Part of the problem is the absurd prohibition on “intercepts” being used in court eveidence. Because other European countries do allow such, and they have less of a legal problem as a result. Note I did not say that their human-rights records were any better …..

    If there is evidence against people, lets’ see it!
    If it is not justified to lock them up, then the next-best alternative is NOT house arrest, but surveillance, and non-intrusive, at that.

    But the “control order” regime, as presently used, is quite unjustifiable.

  2. Refresh — on 25th May, 2007 at 10:44 am  

    Excellent piece! Well thought out and challenging.

    Lets have more from this sharp writer.

    However, I have often thought that sometimes even the pretense to being a decent individual expecting decency in how our executive behaves actually saves lives in far off places.

    Now we are at a stage where that pretense is being challenged. Will that mean a more honest but openly brutal country?

  3. soru — on 25th May, 2007 at 10:45 am  

    If you honestly think laws designed around human rights are an inherently bad thing so be it.

    Yes, human rights _law_ is an inherently bad idea. It replaces the transcendant and universal idea of human rights with a local administrative decision made by one particular set of human judges.

    The buddha who sits in a courtroom is not the real buddha. Better education is not the same thing as improved exam results.

    The consequence is you lose any ability to criticise a Hitler, lose any vocabulary that can make a theoretical distinction between the nazis and the municipal council of Stockholm: both are/were legal, both are tax-funded state institutions. Both of them had a certain number of legal decisions made against them made by one or more courts.

    Is there something missing from that picture?

    Nazis aside, by surrendering the idea of human rights to a state mechanism, you also lose any ability to argue for improvements, to support progress. When progress does happen, when scientific advances or a larger economy improves the effectiveness and discrimination of the legal system, you have no language in which that can be acknowledged or refuted: it is completely linguistically invisible.

    When a political solution resolves the threat from a serious, organised and experienced terrorists, and replaces it only with bungling amateurs, you have no language to express the idea that things are now better, so should change.

    With no possibility of such a thing as progress, the discussion is completely frozen in an eternal present where the forces of evil are always just one ruling away from imposing tyrrany. If your only argument is fear-mongering, you have to continually up the pitch of the language used each year just to get the same amount of attention.

    As your language gets more and more shrill, you start to sound silly: shortly afterwards, your voice becomes inaudible.

  4. The Common Humanist — on 25th May, 2007 at 10:55 am  

    “The thing that immediately struck me about these ‘terror suspects’ was that, well, they don’t want to kill anyone in Britain. They apparently don’t want to blow up any nightclubs here, they just want to fight the forces of those that illegally started a war in a foreign land. In any other circumstance they’d be labelled ‘freedom fighters’”

    So many market places to bomb, so little time?

    And here’s me thinking that human rights are universal and a crime is a crime is a crime……

  5. Inders — on 25th May, 2007 at 11:19 am  

    There is a concept called the ‘social contract’.

  6. Sunny — on 25th May, 2007 at 11:28 am  

    They apparently don’t want to blow up any nightclubs here, they just want to fight the forces of those that illegally started a war in a foreign land.

    So it’s ok if they blow up innocent people in a market place in Baghdad, if it’s not here?

  7. Boyo — on 25th May, 2007 at 11:42 am  

    “they just want to fight the forces of those that illegally started a war in a foreign land”

    They “just”? I don’t know who you are or your nationality or indeed who you THINK you are, but I think this throwaway comment goes to the heart of what is wrong with your post.

    These “forces” consist of their (and possibly your) fellow citizens. We live in a democracy and even if we do not agree with the actions of our govt. (and I disagree strongly with it) that does not give us licence or make it acceptable to seek members of OUR armed forces out and kill them.

    Maybe you are not British. Maybe you don’t live in a democracy or agree with the principle. Maybe the lives of your fellow citizens mean nothing to you. Or maybe you’re just an over-articulate imbecile.

  8. Kulvinder — on 25th May, 2007 at 12:00 pm  

    So many market places to bomb, so little time?

    As far as im aware they wanted to fight/kill American and British soilders not bomb innocent people. If they desired the latter not only could they accomplish it in Britain, but they’d have been prosecuted for any attempt to do so.

    And here’s me thinking that human rights are universal and a crime is a crime is a crime……

    Thats pretty much my point – you can only say what America and Britain are doing isn’t in the same (numerical) order of magnitude as the axis of evil.

    If human rights are universal you have to condemn both sides, but if you think human rights are a bad idea (ie scrap the legislation) then its better to drop any allusion of ‘fighting the good fight’

    If we can’t defend our own freedoms against the government there is no point in defending our government or country in its quest to defend those same freedoms in the name of others.

  9. sid — on 25th May, 2007 at 12:01 pm  

    I am against the war in Iraq and I always have been. I’m senstive to Kulvinder’s anger at the duplicity of the war effort and the mendacity of our leaders who took us there.

    But I think advocating harm to the Coalition forces posted out there or to the Iraqi “insurgents” on both sides who are involved in an entrenched internecine communal war between Sunni and Shia Muslim detracts from the validity of this anti-Iraq war position to the point of rendering it meaningless in the same way that supporting the Iraq war has damaged the concepts of democracy or the idea of humanitarian intervention. This is the other extreme of Kulvinder’s stance which, as it happens, is populated by cocky poseurs hiding behind the cloak of “progressive liberalism “.

    There is a happy middle ground which is neither quietist or neutral which does not have to support indiscriminate violence and denial of human rights on either side.

  10. Kulvinder — on 25th May, 2007 at 12:02 pm  

    Maybe you are not British. Maybe you don’t live in a democracy or agree with the principle. Maybe the lives of your fellow citizens mean nothing to you. Or maybe you’re just an over-articulate imbecile.

    I’m an anarchist. A libertarian one but an anarchist nonetheless.

  11. Kulvinder — on 25th May, 2007 at 12:04 pm  

    Nazis aside, by surrendering the idea of human rights to a state mechanism, you also lose any ability to argue for improvements, to support progress.

    That wasn’t my argument…

  12. Refresh — on 25th May, 2007 at 12:28 pm  

    “But I think advocating harm to the Coalition forces posted out there or to the Iraqi “insurgents” on both sides who are involved in an entrenched internecine communal war between Sunni and Shia Muslim detracts from the validity of this anti-Iraq war position to the point of rendering it meaningless in the same way that supporting the Iraq war has damaged the concepts of democracy or the idea of humanitarian intervention.”

    I didn’t understand the article in the same way. Quite the opposite.

    I do not think he is advocating harm. I believe he is saying that there is duplicity and it centres around the notion that we are the good people, and the position of the government is always to claim we are good.

    Human Rights are human rights. Whether they are for the citizens of the First or Third world.

    Human Rights laws were/are important steps in the path to progress. Being selective is the worst of all worlds.

    It allows us to claim superiority to the point of spreading it selectively – through the barrel of a gun – and selectively decide who is good and who is evil.

    The ‘internecine’ warfare is not internecine, it is how it is being presented – allowing us off the hook and give us the room to stay on for ‘humanitarian reasons’.

  13. Jagdeep — on 25th May, 2007 at 12:36 pm  

    God help me.

  14. sid — on 25th May, 2007 at 12:44 pm  

    I think he is supporting fighting British soldiers in Itaq not killing innocents in Britian. See his comment #8.

    I understand Kulvinder’s position and what he is basically trying to say. The country was hitched to an American war against Iraq for regime change because Saddam’s record privation of human rights. including torture. So we started an indiscriminate bombing campaign in Baghdad, Faluja, Mosul and Basra.

    But when a bunch of “bungling amateurs” start a bombing campaign in London, we have no qualms in our own human rights privations. Including torture.

    Except we don’t pull out people’s tongues with pliers or atttacj electrodes to testicles. We only use humane methods like waterboarding, medium voltage stun guns and high precision rocket launchers to take out entire neighbourhoods.

    Its a question of degree. The crimes of human rights violations remain the same.

  15. bananabrain — on 25th May, 2007 at 12:45 pm  

    what soru said @#3. plus our homegrown friends are just as happy to kill me and my family locally for the supposed misdeeds of my auntie in the middle east that frankly i don’t feel inclined to give them the benefit of the doubt.

    nail em up i say! nail some sense into ‘em!!

    terrific race, the romans.

    b’shalom

    bananabrain

  16. Jagdeep — on 25th May, 2007 at 12:49 pm  

    Didnt the Romans oppress your people bananabrain?

  17. Refresh — on 25th May, 2007 at 12:58 pm  

    “God help me.”

    Be good and I am sure God will.

  18. Inders — on 25th May, 2007 at 1:00 pm  

    what did the Romans ever do for us ?

  19. soru — on 25th May, 2007 at 1:04 pm  

    That wasn’t my argument…

    If that wasn’t your argument, then don’t make it. At the very least, make the distinction between ‘human rights’ and ‘human rights law’ clear, don’t play bait-and-switch between the two.

    If anyone is not clear on how there can be a difference between those two phrases, think of ‘cheese’ and cheese food.

  20. Jagdeep — on 25th May, 2007 at 1:08 pm  

    God should help children and women in crowded market places who are blown up because of internecine sectarian terrorism in Iraq, Refresh.

    I’m doing OK and don’t need any favours from him generally speaking. Although I hope he helps to prevent me or any of my loved ones being blown up on a train or bus or shopping mall in England too, you never know these days.

  21. Jagdeep — on 25th May, 2007 at 1:09 pm  

    If that wasn’t your argument, then don’t make it. At the very least, make the distinction between ‘human rights’ and ‘human rights law’ clear, don’t play bait-and-switch between the two.

    Ouch! Soru delivers another masterclass.

  22. Refresh — on 25th May, 2007 at 1:12 pm  

    God help us all.

  23. squared — on 25th May, 2007 at 1:16 pm  

    *Sigh*

    I’m your new fan. Hope to see more from you on PP. :)

  24. douglas clark — on 25th May, 2007 at 1:23 pm  

    soru,

    In what way is the transcendent and universal idea of human rights going to be applied to miscreants if it is not through the law?

    There are clearly transgressions of Human Rights, and whilst I have not researched the failings of Stockholm Municipal Council, I have serious doubts that I would have any difficulty whatsoever in scaling the atrocities of the Nazis, and whatever it was the bureaucrats in Stockholm did. What you are conflating is a Human Rights violation and Genocide. Correct me if I am wrong, but I have no recollection whatsoever of the gas chambers of Stockholm.

    We have moved, falteringly admittedly, on from the Nuremburg trials. We now have an International Criminal Court to deal with crimes of genocide and similar.

    http://www.un.org/law/icc/general/overview.htm

    Where Kulvinder does have a point is in the use of Prevention of Terrorism legislation to arrest folk without proving reasonable suspicion. To me, that is a step too far. It is, essentially a preumption of guilt without proof. I have no issue with building a case against terrorists in any way possible, including intercepts, surveillance, etc. But it is ridiculous to arrest people when there is no evidence against them.

    I would agree that, for a British citizen, going to fight for the other side is treason, and there can be no excuse for it. Neither am I at all happy at Kulvinders’ idea that because someone intends to murder innocent civillians in, Bali, say, then they should not be as much of a concern as people intending to blow up innocent civillians in Brighton. If it can be proven that that is indeed their intention, then the word nutjob applies to them. They should be locked up.

    We are, I would submit, quite a way away from a situation where bungling amateur terrorists have completely replaced organised and serious terrorists. If we do get to that happy day I’d have no difficulty in describing the threat level as lowered, why would you find it hard? There are, allegedly over 2000 people under scrutiny at the moment.

  25. soru — on 25th May, 2007 at 1:56 pm  

    In what way is the transcendent and universal idea of human rights going to be applied to miscreants if it is not through the law?

    Through non-state organisations such as Amnesty International, through the writings of intellectuals, through the inspirational speaches of true leaders like Mandela, Ghandi and King, through debate, through blogs, though strikes, through protests, through boycotts, through the US Marine Corps and/or Vietnamese National Army.

    Through all the things progressives used to believe in before they sold the whole deal for a pennyworth of paper.

    Belief that there is no alternative to the current legal system, that it cannot or should not be something other than more essentially itself, is neolegalism. It is just as pernicious as the corresponding belief with respect to the current economic system: neoliberalism.

  26. Refresh — on 25th May, 2007 at 2:15 pm  

    My goodness Soru, you are going to have to expand on this. There is obviously more to you than meets the eye.

    What are you proposing? Practically how are you proposing to allow the individual to prosper in your world?

    Are you saying we have accepted that this is perhaps as good as it gets, end of history stuff? Have I understood that correctly?

  27. douglas clark — on 25th May, 2007 at 2:35 pm  

    soru,

    Sorry, I disagree. You throw the baby out with the bathwater. The purpose of having Human Rights legislation – and clearly you have expanded that to include International law – is to define limits. It is what the law does for a living, after all.

    Variable and malleable limits for sure, but limits for all that. Breaking these limits can be a trigger for the actions that you list, not necessarily instead of the actions you list.

  28. soru — on 25th May, 2007 at 2:46 pm  

    Are you saying we have accepted that this is perhaps as good as it gets, end of history stuff?

    No, very much the opposite.

    Progress to a better world is possible, perhaps likely. It just needs to be argued for as such, explicitly, not via fear-mongering.

    Any argument made eloquently works to some extent, but there are diminishing returns if you keep repeating the same negative arguments while the lived experience of your audience is mostly going in the other direction. You can’t build a better world solely on lies.

    A fact obvious to anyone over 21 is that, in terms of the legal system, things used to be worse in the recent past. Those who weren’t there to experience it can watch Life on Mars.

    30 years ago the people being talked about would have been shot in the back of the head, 20 years ago fitted up, 10 years ago deported, 5 years ago imprisoned without trial. The question is how to maintain that progression (without breaking anything, making any other part of society worse: it’s not like there wasn’t a reason they were shot that those authorising it considered valid).

    Progressive gets used as a pretty empty word, but it means something very specific when you place it in the appropriate spectrum:

    reactionary: things were better in the old days
    conservative: this is as good as it gets
    progressive: things can be made better, starting from here
    revolutionary: things can’t be made significantly better without first destroying something

    Look at the arguments used in Kulvinder’s piece, and think about where it places him on that spectrum.

  29. soru — on 25th May, 2007 at 3:08 pm  

    The purpose of having Human Rights legislation – and clearly you have expanded that to include International law – is to define limits.

    The legal system has a perfectly valid, if essentially conservative, role in attempting to prevent things getting worse.

    The problem is, by that nature, you inherently can’t use honest legal argument to make things better – you have to lie. Sometimes it works in the short run, but the risks of breaking the system are non-zero.

    It’s like trying to use the free market to cure child poverty – not the right tool for the job.

    Breaking these limits can be a trigger for the actions that you list, not necessarily instead of the actions you list.

    Zimbabwe curently heads the official UN human rights commission. If you follow the neolegalist interpetation of human rights, that is not a criticisable situation, there is no alternative.

  30. Jagdeep — on 25th May, 2007 at 3:11 pm  

    Wonderful post # 30 soru.

  31. sid — on 25th May, 2007 at 3:13 pm  

    *bows down to soru*

  32. bananabrain — on 25th May, 2007 at 3:21 pm  

    jagdeep,

    yes, they did oppress us. they were the nazis of their day. i’m afraid it was a bit of a non sequitur, but i was feeling a tiny bit daily mail. i think kulvinder must bring that out in me.

    If we can’t defend our own freedoms against the government there is no point in defending our government or country in its quest to defend those same freedoms in the name of others.

    actually, i’m not sure that’s right. that’s kind of the beauty of democracy. i can support something like the british government leaning on the iranians whilst at the same time excoriating it for being crap at sorting out the NHS. this is probably the same sort of compartmentalised silliness which allows me to abhor the amount of my tax money being wasted on things i disapprove of whilst at the same time getting annoyed that public spending on other areas doesn’t seem to be high enough. i am sure all of these are reconcilable if you have a big enough spreadsheet. unfortunately gordon brown happens to be in charge of said spreadsheet.

    b’shalom

    bananabrain

  33. douglas clark — on 25th May, 2007 at 4:45 pm  

    soru,

    No. That is not how it works. The key word is legislation, not law. Law, without legislation would be the static bureaucracy that you attempt to characterise. We’s still be hanging folk for stealing 6d.

    Governance is pretty simple really. You apply laws until such times as these laws become obsolete, inapplicable or socially unacceptable, and then you change them. How the heck do you think progress is made? So, there is an alternative, it’s called the democratic process.

    I would grant that it does require more effort than calling in the marines, but at least you’d know you had a justification for doing it.

  34. Kulvinder — on 25th May, 2007 at 4:53 pm  

    If that wasn’t your argument, then don’t make it.

    …I didn’t make it.

    At the very least, make the distinction between ‘human rights’ and ‘human rights law’ clear, don’t play bait-and-switch between the two.

    I’m sorry i have no idea what you’re trying to say :(

  35. Kulvinder — on 25th May, 2007 at 4:54 pm  

    Neither am I at all happy at Kulvinders’ idea that because someone intends to murder innocent civillians in, Bali, say, then they should not be as much of a concern as people intending to blow up innocent civillians in Brighton. If it can be proven that that is indeed their intention, then the word nutjob applies to them. They should be locked up.

    My idea, What?!!?

  36. Kulvinder — on 25th May, 2007 at 4:57 pm  

    Zimbabwe curently heads the official UN human rights commission. If you follow the neolegalist interpetation of human rights, that is not a criticisable situation, there is no alternative.

    It does?!?

  37. Kulvinder — on 25th May, 2007 at 4:58 pm  

    Something happened in this thread and im not sure what.

  38. bananabrain — on 25th May, 2007 at 5:05 pm  

    kulvinder, you do strike me as the sort of chap who writes a column fulminating against fascist traffic wardens and then acts all surprised when someone stabs one for clamping his car, yelling “fascist traffic wardens” because it wasn’t at all what he had in mind when he was fulminating.

    not that i think you’re a bad guy at all, i just think you have a far less jaundiced view of humanity than people like me do, which is why we think it’s a good idea to have fascist traffic wardens in the first place.

    b’shalom

    bananabrain

  39. douglas clark — on 25th May, 2007 at 5:22 pm  

    Kulvinder at 36.

    What you said was this:

    “The thing that immediately struck me about these ‘terror suspects’ was that, well, they don’t want to kill anyone in Britain. They apparently don’t want to blow up any nightclubs here, they just want to fight the forces of those that illegally started a war in a foreign land. In any other circumstance they’d be labelled ‘freedom fighters’ Obviously since they wish to fight against us in our illegal war, they’re hateful terrorists bent on a path of ill-thought destruction.”

    The relevant bit is:

    “they don’t want to kill anyone in Britain they just want to fight the forces of those that illegally started a war in a foreign land.”

    As the tactics of Al Quaida include bombing nightclubs in Bali and as we are all the enemy of these heroic jihadists, why shouldn’t I read it that way?

    Kulvinder at 37.

    No soru is wrong about that. See 34.

  40. Kulvinder — on 25th May, 2007 at 5:31 pm  

    As the tactics of Al Quaida include bombing nightclubs in Bali and as we are all the enemy of these heroic jihadists, why shouldn’t I read it that way?

    Because not all those who fight the occupation in iraq are members of Al-Queda?!!? All i know is they want to fight against Britain and America in Iraq, i didn’t presume anything beyond that.

  41. douglas clark — on 25th May, 2007 at 5:42 pm  

    OK, if they are British subjects that makes them traitors then, doesn’t it? Do them under the Treason Act. But, as I’ve said before, let due process take place. And it would be an insult to the law to describe this nonsense as due process.

  42. Sunny — on 25th May, 2007 at 8:10 pm  

    It’s like trying to use the free market to cure child poverty – not the right tool for the job.

    Why is that? Despite the Indian government’s constant harping on about reduing poverty, the only thing that has helped pull over a 100 million people out of poverty in China and India has been the market.

  43. soru — on 25th May, 2007 at 8:38 pm  

    @sunny: I meant relative poverty in a wealthy society, not absolute in a poor one. The free market definitely has it’s place, it just needs to be understood and used, neither demonised nor worshipped.

    douglas ‘You apply laws until such times as these laws become obsolete, inapplicable or socially unacceptable, and then you change them. How the heck do you think progress is made? So, there is an alternative, it’s called the democratic process.’

    I thought you said you were in favour of human rights law? Do you think the two are somehow compatible?

    How can human rights law serve its stated purpose of guaranteeing sacred, inalienable and eternal rights if it is overridable by a mere vote?

    By simple petty democracy, brute uneducated opinion?

  44. lithcol — on 25th May, 2007 at 8:55 pm  

    Wouldn’t it be nice if all the nation states in the world upheld the universal declaration of human rights. Tis a pity that a collection of muslim dominated states produced an alternative one, and that many other states seek to excuse themselves at certain times in the interests of national security.

    Good idea human rights unfortunately it appears to be at variance with typical human behaviour.

  45. douglas clark — on 25th May, 2007 at 9:35 pm  

    Soru,

    What you and I see as human rights today are somewhat different from the human rights of yesteryear. We don’t have slavery, we don’t have serfdom, noblesse obligé, etc, etc.

    Arguably, at one time the only person with human rights was the Monarch, then the nobles, then rich men, then everyone.

    These have been hard won battles. The franchise has spread wider and deeper. So far, so good. It has been, in essence a ratchet effect. And whilst it spreads in one direction, a larger body of folk protected, it also expands in others, for instance in the types of discrimination outlawed, the expectation of justice, the right not to be punished in a cruel or unusual manner. The list goes on.

    All democratic law is, in the end, subject to public acceptance or at worst bloody minded toleration. I do not agree with your charactarisation of Human Rights as something that came from the sacred, neither are they inalienable and certainly not eternal. They have to be fought for, defended and reinforced. The fact that they are part of our law is a positive thing, not the negative that you portrayed up thread. Where I would agree with Kulvinder is that it is a litmus test for Human Rights legislation when vulnerable minorities are discriminated against, or the gains made are threatened by the knee jerk reactions of politicians. It is right now that all the agents that oppose dilution of what we have need to stand up on their hind legs and howl.

    You might find Unity’s take on this interesting, here:

    http://www.ministryoftruth.org.uk/2007/05/25/no-sense-of-irony/

  46. soru — on 25th May, 2007 at 10:12 pm  

    What you and I see as human rights today are somewhat different from the human rights of yesteryear. We don’t have slavery, we don’t have serfdom, noblesse obligé, etc, etc.

    And that process took place when rights were above the law, prior to it, not subject to it. Owned by the people, not those with money and lawyers.

    If the Human Rights Act had been passed before slavery was ended, it never could have been, as that would have implied a violation of the unambiguous legal rights of the slave owners.

    The legal system, by it’s nature, doesn’t allow consideration of the wider implications of decisions, trading off the rights of those before the court with those who are not. Fiat justitia, ruat coelum: let Justice be done, though the Heavens fall.

    Those that heaven falls on are not the judge’s concern.

    The atrocities inherent in slavery would be as off-screen, outside jurisdiction, unprosecutable, as the terrorism that may or may not have been comitted abroad by the detainees.

    Slave ownership would never be mentioned in polite company. Perhaps some daring radical pamphlets would say ‘alleged to have traded in slaves’, and if they left out the word ‘alleged’, they would be sued for libel.

    Sued by a rich man, with money earnt from slave trading…

  47. lithcol — on 25th May, 2007 at 10:58 pm  

    Yes we have human rights, of sorts. There are laws in place to protect us, but are they enforced. This country is running on empty. We are experiencing a large influx of Eastern Europeans who are working in virtual slave labor conditions doing jobs that the indigenous population won’t do because the wages and conditions are intolerable. The law is there to regulate but is not effective because no one pays for its enforcement. Call me cynical but a pattern is emerging.

    Some women in ethnic minority communities are treated as chattel and some are murdered or commit suicide because of their intolerable conditions.

    The sex trade is alive and well, the younger the better.

    I am ashamed that the last ten years under labour has led to where we are now. Cheap food at what cost? A capital city awash with cash from criminals such as Abronovich. People working to feed the fortunes of those who have bought to let ( Rachmanism is alive and well and taking your hard earned cash ).

    Welcome to Nu Labour, defender of the weak.

  48. Barbara Meinhoff — on 26th May, 2007 at 10:35 pm  

    I hope anyone who agrees with concepts like ‘house arrest’ have the intellectual honesty not to criticise the detainment of Aung San Suu Kyi.

    I hope that anyone who opposes house arrest for misunderstood Islamists merely wanting to blow up soldiers and (collateral damage Muslims, natch) in the Middle East is vehemently opposed to British football hooligans being banned from foreign travel when there are international matches being played.

    And also doesn’t object if their compatriots decide to continue their jaunts to Kashmir, Bali, Bangladesh, NWFP, Afghanistan, Somalia..

  49. bikhair aka taqiyyah — on 26th May, 2007 at 10:41 pm  

    Any law that makes illegal the support or encoruagement of citizens fighting in foreign lands should be de facto. May we exhume Ronald Reagan’s body for a court appareance.

  50. Kulvinder — on 26th May, 2007 at 11:51 pm  

    is vehemently opposed to British football hooligans being banned from foreign travel when there are international matches being played.

    Obviously thats a stalinist policy, why the hell do you think i would support it? Its for the other nation to decide who enters or who doesn’t, why the hell should we pre-empt it for breaking their laws.

    Would you object to muslim countries preventing their own citizens from travelling to the UK for a holiday on the basis they they might engage in gay sex?

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