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Some are more equal than others Jun 26

Ladies and gentlemen, David “Dave” Cameron.

Thank you, it’s lovely to be here. Now, I’d like to you about my cunning plan to sort out the Human Rights Act.

You may recall that we Conservatives previously suggested we’d scrap the Human Rights Act. This, it turned out, would be problematic as we back the European Convention on Human Rights. So, we’ve come up with a great way of resolving this: repeal the Human Rights Act, but replace it with something called the British Bill of Rights – a sort of “Human Rights Act”.

But our version would be different – oh yes. For a start, it wouldn’t apply to “humans” but to “British people”. No more of this Johnny Foreigner using our own laws against us nonsense. It will be for British people to use in British courts. By using the word “British” several times, we have convinced The Sun, formerly opposed to human rights, to back us. Clever, eh?

Now, I know what you’re thinking. The Human Rights Act is already a British law, codifying a largely British view of human rights, and what’s more the UK already has a Bill of Rights. Ours will be better than that, though. Ours will be a British Bill of Rights. There, I said it.

What will be in our British Bill of Rights? All the good stuff that makes us British. Obviously I can’t yet precisely say what this will be – these things have to be looked at – but I plan to set some lawyers on to the case. Lawyers are, of course, the best people to define Britishness, because having spent so much time in criminal courts they’re familiar with British life first hand. So big up the lawyers.

Some people – let’s call them pro-Europe crime-loving terrorists – will critcise me for being so vague. They may even suggest that this is a desperate attempt to have a policy on something without actually putting forward a proposal at all. Well tish, I say. Tish and pish. I shall deal with that criticism by giving an example of what I would change.

Section 12, for example, of the Human Rights Act 1998 enshrines Freedom of Expression into British law. This sort of recklessness allows Jonathan Ross to be rude about myself and Mrs Thatcher. Well that’s not very British, is it? So Section 12 would be replaced by something more precise, detailing rights and responsibilities. For example, “Subjects shall have the right to go to Wimbledon and to make lovely jam, and the responsibility not to say “wank” to the Leader of the Opposition on BBC One.” The current law is just too vague.

As it stands, the Human Rights Act upholds the rights of foreign criminals to murder us in our beds. I can’t remember which clause precisely does it, but we all know it does. My new British Bill of Rights will make clear – probably, once we’ve decided what’s in it – that we have the right not to be murdered in our beds by foreign criminals, and to demand that any violent death to which we find ourself subject should be at the hands of proper British criminals.

We need to reframe the law to promote a British view of rights, balancing liberty with security. These fancy-pants notions of inherent freedom confuse the public, encouraging them to think they have some sort of ingrained rights rather than passively accepting those the state chooses to give them. This sort of continental nonsense has no place in a country where hundreds of years of tradition dictate that people are ruled by their betters and their children ruled by the children of their parent’s betters, and their children ruled by the children of the children of their parent’s betters’ parents. Thank you.

Peter Black and Richard Allan have more.

One Response

  1. 1

    I always rather liked our existing Bill of Rights. In particular, the first clause ” – That the pretended power of suspending the laws or the execution of laws by regal authority without consent of Parliament is illegal” reminds me that the present government should really have been paying attention to it before proposing the (thankfully failed) Legislative and Regulatory Reform Bill.