Politics OnLine UK
Uploaded: 20 June 2003
Personal comments on the bill of Rights. These are of necessity brief. They are here to encourage thought, discussion and reflection.
Right to life.
1. Several British soldiers were killed by 'friendly fire' in Iraq. Reports have varied as to the behavior, meaning and intent of the perpetrators, but if even one soldier was killed thoughtlessly, then it is worth considering that another UK citizen might, particularly since those responsible have not been brought to justice.
2. In defending life it is worth bearing in mind that if the court considers that one ounce more force has been used than necessary then the defender is likely to be treated worse then the offender.
Prohibition of torture.
Unless one happens to be a suspected but not charged, untried, un-convicted terrorist for example.
Prohibition of slavery and forced labour.
Tell that to the many women forced into prostitution and sweat labour.
Right to liberty and security.
In the wake of the Prime Ministers terrorist hysteria, do not bank on this.
Right to a fair trial.
The proliferation of CCTV and other surveillance measures means that many motorists are, in fact, tried, found guilty and fined without any kind of trial at all. This is the thin end of the wedge, and the presumption of innocence is under extreme threat.
Right to respect for private and family life.
New laws covering the monitoring of emails, for example, mean that this is no longer the case.
Freedom of thought, conscience and religion.
I've noticed, in these days of political correctness, that whilst everyone has the right to believe everything, no-one has the right to stand up for anything.
Freedom of expression.
Freedom of assembly and association.
What about the right to strike for something as
fundamental as a living wage?
Right to marry.
On the subject of which, the right to marry and
found a family requires an income consummate with establishing a family home and
raising children. Note that nowhere in these rights is the right to a living
Prohibition of discrimination.
Many people do not receive even a half decent education, discrimination in education is endemic, and is also related to income levels and class discrimination. How is someone living in a poor working class area meant to exercise this right?
Restrictions on political activity of aliens.
Prohibition of abuse of rights.
So the closing down of schools, sub-post offices, libraries, youth centres, the ending of University grants, closing hospitals, and ever greater restrictions in public funding, and the erosion of the health service, the increasing restriction of access to roads, do not mean any kind of intrusion by the state into the liberties contained in these articles?
Limitations on use of restriction on rights.
Whilst laudable it also means that
interpretation, cross reference, and reading between the lines is discouraged.
© Keith Lindsay-Cameron 2003