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Wednesday, June 07, 2017

May's threat to rip up human rights legislation has nothing to do with terrorism

The consensus amongst the opposition parties today appears to be that Theresa May’s threat to rip up human rights laws to fight terror is a cynical attempt to revive her failing election campaign.

As the Independent reports, both Labour and the Liberal Democrats insisted there was no evidence that human rights legislation had allowed the Manchester and London attacks to take place, or prevented action against terrorists:

Instead, Keir Starmer, Labour’s Brexit spokesman, accused Ms May of a “diversion” from criticism of huge police cuts – while Nick Clegg said she was trying to revive her “lacklustre, flagging election campaign”.

Sir Keir said: “There is nothing in the human rights act that gets in the way of effectively tackling fighting terrorism.

“I can say that with this authority. I was Director of Public Prosecutions for five years. I worked very closely with the security and intelligence services and we prosecuted very, very serious criminals.

“And the Human Rights Act did not get in the way of what we were doing. This is a diversion.” Mr Clegg, also speaking to BBC Radio 4's Today programme, said: “None of this posturing about human rights is about keeping us safe.

“It's all about making up for her lacklustre, flagging election campaign. I think it's very cynical and I don't think people will be taken in by it.”

Jettisoning human rights laws has been an obsession for Theresa May for some time as has her mis-directed and misguided determination to erode our on-line privacy. Once we start to undermine people's basic freedoms in response to terrorism then the terrorist are winning.

By all means take effective and targeted measures, which are properly policed and scrutinised, but there is no gain in this sort of grand standing.
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