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Thursday, December 11, 2008

Labour slammed on human rights record

I suppose that when you try to set up a 'government of all talents' and bring members of other parties into your team of advisors you are always going to run the risk of one or two of them jumping ship and dishing the dirt. In this case however, the criticism is particularly trenchant and damaging:

Lord Lester, a Liberal Democrat and distinguished human rights lawyer, quit as the prime minister's adviser on constitutional reform a month ago. In a scathing attack yesterday, he revealed for the first time how he felt tethered by the government, describing its record on human rights as "dismal and deeply disappointing".

He was speaking on the 60th anniversary of the UN's declaration of human rights, and singled out the justice secretary, Jack Straw, for failing to produce a radical constitutional renewal bill or to defend the Human Rights Act.


Lester went on: "In spite of its achievement in introducing the Human Rights Act, the government has a deeply disappointing record in giving effect to the values underpinning the Human Rights Act in its policies and practices. Through a lack of political leadership, it has also failed to match the expectations raised by the Governance of Britain green paper for much-needed constitutional reform."

Lester went on to criticise the government's failures to fight for human rights across a range of issues.

"The government could have celebrated Human Rights Day by defending the Human Rights Act against unfair attack. It could have celebrated by accepting the recommendations of the UN human rights treaty bodies, the joint committee on human rights and NGOs to allow the people of this country to exercise the right of individual petition against the government under the international covenant on civil and political rights, the convention for the elimination of all forms of racial discrimination, and the torture convention.

"The UK is alone in the European Union in refusing to do so in the case of the international covenant. And the government is judge in its own, rather than in the people's cause, in shielding itself in this way."

No doubt many Labour MPs would celebrate such a macho record. They have nothing to be proud of.
Your just scratching the surface with this blog Peter.

In the UK we still are allowed to hit children, it's pretty much illegal in the rest of the EU.

Animal Cruilty is on the rise, with the implications for Child Abuse (there is a very strong link between the two!)

We have the highest rates of domestic abuse in Europe, instead of having the reputation of being a nation of shopkeepers, we are rapidly becoming a nation of spouse beaters.

Our civil liberties are being eroded under the current admistration, trying to introduce detention without trial, introduction of ID cards, increased Police Powers, not that they use the powers they have at the moment efficiently or correctly.

G. Lewis
Ogmore Lib Dems
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