THE BLOG

Human What? - Why the Tories Want to Scrap the Human Right Act

13/05/2015 11:28 BST | Updated 13/05/2016 10:59 BST

With the election of a fresh Conservative government what better time to re-write, what those on the continent call, the 'Human Rights Act'. I don't know about you, but there is no one I trust more than the party that has, in the past 5 years, marched over 900,000 adults and children to food banks, to create an independent 'British Bill of Rights and Responsibilities'. I mean, nothing says 'dignity for all' like relying on the generosity of others to feed your children.

So, what is the current Human Rights Act denying us of that makes Cameron feel so strongly about replacing it? Considering the track record of this empathetic bunch, it must be something major. Well, foolishly the current Human Rights Act is designed to be a 'living instrument', which can be interpreted domestically in accordance with developing standards and issues. Disastrously, this has allowed for better legal protection for sex workers and the treatment of prisoners as citizens.

Cameron and his cronies oppose the Act for several reasons - I mean who wouldn't? First, it gives a voice to society's outcast. What could be worse for a party planning £12bn worth of welfare cuts than those most affected having the European Court of Human Rights supporting them. For years, the European Court of Human Rights has been grinding on the UK for removing the rights of prisoners. For example, those serving custodial sentences no longer have the right to choose who represents them. One can only imagine what a pain all this 'nitty gritty' bureaucracy has been.

Second, the Human Rights Act has brought human rights too close to home. Before the Human Rights Act came into force 15 years ago, individuals in the UK had to take their rights related grievances to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg. Preposterously, the Human Rights Act has allowed courts in the UK to rule over domestic cases and ensured that public authorities no longer deny such rights. For example, in 2000 the British Army was prosecuted for the denying the rights of two men by dismissing them simply for being gay. Because of this, UK law now allows all members of the British Army to be open about their sexuality. What a travesty.

Finally, being part of the Human Rights Act is a thing for far-flung 'democracies'. It makes much more sense to join Belarus (the only dictatorship left in Europe) and become the second European country to reject the Act. With this in mind, what better time for a British Bill of Rights and Responsibilities to be drawn up. With 50% of their party voting against gay marriage and Gove's wife openly admitting that gay couples should not be allowed to adopt, while Gove himself once advocated the re-introduction of capital punishment, I cannot wait for the Conservatives to liberate us from our outdated European neighbours and put 'British values' first.

What could be more British than low taxes and the freedom to hunt foxes for sport?