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Sunday, October 02, 2011

Playing to the Gallery

Party Conferences are excellent opportunities for Government Ministers to play to the gallery, especially when there is no actual debate on policy. Combine that with the tradition of a Tory Home Secretary appealing to his or her party's right-wing and there is no surprise that Theresa May has come out today against the Human Rights Act.

She claims that the Human Rights Act is preventing her from deporting terrorist suspects, forgetting perhaps that there are treaty obligations as well that might apply here, even if this is true, not to mention more fundamental British legal concepts such as being innocent until proven guilty.

The point is that the Human Rights Act gets a bad press because Tories and some of the media use it as a scapegoat for things they want to do but know that they cannot for many other reasons, including public opinion. It protects law-abiding British citizens not criminals and ensures that everybody receives fair treatment in the law.

More importantly, the Home Secretary knows that her ambition to do away with it will not be achieved because the Liberal Democrats will not countenance it.
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