It would appear that the politically correct have fully utilized the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) to realise their political ambitions. Marx and Engels could not have conceived such a scenario; the use of a law to dictate policy to the nations that make up the European Union (EU). It goes without saying that in the world in which we live that human rights is an absolute must. However, how it is used should be a concern to all.
The Second World War had recently ended and society had witnessed atrocities that it never wanted to see again. It was the holocaust in particular and the massive dislocation throughout Europe and beyond. It was the fear of a Stalinist regime bludgeoning out from the East. It was the knowledge of the Gestapo, of the Russian Secret Police, the NKVD (later KGB). It was to prevent the horror of the 1930s ever being re-established. It was the imprisonment, without trial, of hundreds of thousands of people in both Germany and Russia. It was the spectacle of the Russian ‘show trials’. It was a desire to strengthen democracy. It was a plan to give more power to the citizenry so that dictatorship would not darken the sky over Europe again. It was an attempt to give future generations light in the lives.
It was a spectacular emotional outburst borne of the heinous crimes of World War 2. That was the background to the introduction of the ECHR. Without doubt an attempt to prevent genocide from crossing the doorstep of civilisation again. The aim was to halt the spread of Stalin’s corrupted version of communism and to block communism altogether. Dictatorship had brought only death and destruction; an agony of horror. The authors of the ECHR were trying to devise a way forward and their solution was to strengthen democracy. How might they cry to see how it is being used today?
Did they envisage human rights for convicted murderers and rapists? Did they anticipate a complete liberalisation of sexual orientation as an essential element to freedom? Are these what our forefathers had in mind having witnessed Hitler and Stalin? That democracy would be the preserve of minority politics?
Isn’t it ironic…
I am all in favour of the State being held in check, no logical person wants the State to be overpowering. Our hope for a free society rests on the shoulders of democracy and a free press. As long as these two principals can be seen to be transparent then we have a fair shot at retaining, free speech, the right to life, the right to liberty and security. Do we really need an all-embracing law fashioned by powerful emotion in the post war period to govern us? Make no mistake; the Convention on Human Rights is the new method of imposing a political philosophy upon us. You may find the founders have puked in their coffins!
Human rights law supersedes all other legislation. Parliament which you voted for cannot override HR law and European judges have the power to disregard ‘secondary legislation’ and deem Acts of Parliament as ‘incompatible’. Thus your elected chamber, the Houses of Parliament is subservient to the rulings of a cabal of European Judges and must uphold what the Judges’ decree. The government when submitting legislation to parliament have to ensure that the proposed ‘Bill’ does not conflict with the ECHR. The ‘Bill’ must fit within the remit of the ECHR or the courts will reject it as incompatible.
Q. Who rules the UK? Not you, OK!
The government pass a law on Social Security, this is the main law. However, the ‘Bill’ may hold several sections these are the ‘secondary legislation’. So even though Parliament passes all sections of the legislation into law the Judges’ can dismiss the ‘secondary’ pieces out of hand and deem the whole of the legislation as incompatible. Wherefore art thou democracy?
Q. Is this how the original authors intended human rights law to work?
Surely the intention of the ECHR was to forestall dictatorship; hence article after article begins with the pronoun ‘everyone’. Article 2. ‘Everyone’s right to life shall be protected by law.’ Article 8. ‘Everyone has the right to respect for his private and family life.’ Thus one principal aim was to empower the people as a battlement against the foes of democracy; creating a barricade of millions to thwart the dictatorial ambitions of the few.
Is democracy secure? Has the ECHR been the panacea envisaged? Or are we lumbered with a vision contorted by political expediency? I would have to put my money, all of it, on the latter point because I firmly believe that the vision of those who introduced the ECHR has been waylaid and subverted by the political agenda of an elitist minority.
Moreover, the ECHR is designated as a ‘living instrument’ which means that as society and attitudes change, the ECHR will adapt and adopt in the way it interprets the views expressed within society. However, as with all legal status ‘precedent’ will hold sway. Precedent is an interpretation of the law from years earlier. Therefore, if ‘precedent’ holds sway what is the point of ‘living instrument’?
Several points of clarification are needed; who interprets the change in societal attitude? Are the electorate consulted via a plebiscite/referendum? Are the parliaments of each nation state asked to consult their electorate? No! Non! Nein! No!
Any decision that has to be taken will be done by a cabal of Judges at the court of human rights. These Judges are political appointees and while some are conversant with general law, many are not well versed in the complexity of human rights law. A number of questions need explanation:
- Who has appointed them and from what political perspective?
- What do they in return expect from their appointees?
Do you smell something here? Does it begin with a capital C? You complete the word!
As for ‘precedent’ that is a judgement passed previously, perhaps 40 years ago. Now many may consider that attitudes were quite different when granddads roamed the earth, but for many the answer may be not so different. The problem comes with the term ‘living instrument’; is there not a contradiction here? We have a living instrument but precedent holds it tied to the chair. Hmmm
It doesn’t matter how you look at it, either as a living instrument or by precedent, we don’t get a say; it all comes down to the interpretation of the Convention on Human Rights. Judges’ rule ok! Have we uncovered the PC’s hidden bible? Every political philosophy has its bible.
Furthermore, I have a problem with the term ‘interpret’ / ‘interpretation’. Interpretation holds within its definition that an equal and valid alternative view can be had. Therefore, interpretation is open to interpretation. Which means the Judges’ might have got it all wrong. Perhaps we need to re-examine all precedents to determine if they have been interpreted correctly. Oh, my, Judges examining their own navels; can’t wait.
Big decisions are being taken, laws are being enforced but crucially the citizenry have not had a say in any of it. Democracy, the powerhouse of our freedoms is being made redundant by a law conceived over 50 years ago. The irony is that it is about human rights.Your great grandfathers laid down the law that you must now abide by and the interpretation of that law is not open to debate. The ‘living instrument’ will be determined by the Judges at the behest of their political masters. Living instrument, more like modern yoke! The politicians who impose an illusion of equality in an inherently divided society are playing a farce much greater than the creationist theory itself. I can hear our forefathers puking in their coffins.
Article 9 reads: You should not be indoctrinated by the State.
Unfortunately where there is no democracy there is only indoctrination!