Can we all please stop panicking over the repeal of the Human Rights Act?
No one’s coming for your right to education, freedom or life
Since the Tories won the election, it seems they can do no right.
In fact, scrolling down my Facebook feed, you’d be forgiven for thinking that overnight, our tolerant, peaceful Western democracy has turned into a brainwashed, corrupt, fascist dictatorship.
And now the Conservatives are being accused of seeking to take away our rights to fair trial, education, free speech, and even life.
It’s easy to blame all this stuff on the national tabloids and their sensationalistic headlines, but, surprisingly, much of the hysteria on the subject has come from fellow Cantabrigians.
My message to you is this: Pipe. The. Fuck. Down.
When the Human Rights Act is replaced by the British Bill of Rights, very little is going to change that affects your life – regardless of whether you come from an established line of English aristocracy, a family of bus drivers and labour workers, or, indeed, were born abroad.
David Cameron is not out to remove your basic rights. Even if he wanted to, that would be a tactically retarded decision. Why? Because, contrary to the impassioned cries of the lefties, we live in one of the most stable democracies on the planet.
Just because the view of the electoral roll as a whole doesn’t reflect the view of the 18-30 year old Facebook-using demographic, that doesn’t make it any less valid. Stating facts such as “Oh only 18% of the actual population voted” is flagrantly imbecilic. Sorry, did you want 5 year olds voting too? Or foreign citizens? Fuck it, shall we get the whole world to vote for British government? Would that be representative enough for you?
Except it would’t be, because we both know that your problem isn’t in the FPTP electoral system (a referendum on which was held just 5 years ago, by the way, and its replacement rejected). It’s in the fact that your favourite pony didn’t win the race, so now you’re looking for something to blame. Boo fucking hoo. At least your government’s ballot doesn’t add up to 146%. Get some bloody perspective.
Dictatorships don’t just come about overnight – or, indeed, over 5 years – by a change of policy. And it would be particularly hard to turn the UK into a fascist state given the fact that if they fuck up too hard, the Tories know they will be voted out next term.
It’s not only old people and aristocrats who voted Tory. They – we – walk among you. In the same way, Labour no longer accounts for most of the votes of the C1 and C2 social class band voters. In fact, more working-class voters went for Conservative in the 2010 election than for Labour. The stereotypes are simply no longer true – so the government has to accommodate to all.
One of Cameron’s reasons for repealing HRA is another inconvenient truth the lefties would have you overlook, because it makes him just a shade too human.
In 2003, an illegal immigrant left a 12 year old girl to “die like a dog” following a hit-and-run. He was already disqualified from driving when it happened, and after just 4 months in jail, committed a string of other offences.
Seven years later, after a lengthy court battle, his deportation was barred on the grounds that sometime during the process, he had fathered two children – meaning he had a right to “private and family life” under the HRA.
David Cameron wrote a personal letter to Amy’s father, telling him that he, too, knew what it was like to lose a child, and promising to replace the Act with a Bill of Rights which would not allow the same to happen again.
In 2010, barred by the coalition, he was unable to keep that promise. Now, he finally can.
That story isn’t one that affects us as students. Most of us are not parents. Most of us have never been within spitting range of a convicted murderer or terrorist, or, indeed, illegal immigrant.
From that perspective of distance, and in the ardent desire to be seen as politically correct as possible to your peers, it’s all too easy to simply accuse those who support the Act’s replacement to be motivated by racism. After all, the only people who will be directly affected by the proposed changes will be terrorists and immigrants.
Originally a perfectly valid and fair document, the Act is now a shackle whose expanding definitions are preventing the government from fulfilling its most basic duty: to keep its citizens safe.
How are they supposed to do that when the best and most efficient means of removing the most serious threats is blocked by an arbitrary, unelected Court of Justice so far removed from the country wherein their rulings actually have a direct effect on public safety?
The proposal to repeal the HRA is not about taking away human rights. It’s about re-defining citizens’ rights.
By cold-bloodedly murdering a fellow citizen, you revoke your rights to being treated as one. By coming into a country, illegally or not, you acknowledge the necessity of following their laws. This is a basic principle.
Deportation is not a death sentence. It’s not our place to dictate who lives and who dies – but it’s our duty to protect our fellow citizens from those who do opt to take that mantle upon themselves.
Don’t shoot down the Tories’ plan to scrap the HRA until, at least, we’ve seen what will replace it.