About Me

There seems to be no area of our lives, whether public or private,that is not subject to the scrutiny of the 'Equality People' Yet, no one ever defines Equality. So, how will we know it when we see it? Is it definable? And are the principles of equality, however we define them, attainable?.Is the ever extending range of government regulation over our lives 'progress'Or,are we on the road to totalitarianism. Are we hindered or helped in our quest for rights and justice through membership of the E.U., U.N.,e.t.c. or, would a strengthening of our own Parliamentary Democracy serve us better. This Blog will comment on equality and related issues with the hope of making some small contribution to the debate. Feel free to post your opinions and share your thoughts and experiences. That way we can get a better idea of how we, the little people really feel about things. And,just maybe,we might even influence the debate!

Saturday, 22 October 2011

Mrs Gaddafi and the Water Babies;any one care to oblige?

Slightly of topic here but events in Libya have overshadowed all other news at the moment, nothing else is happening apparently. The 'Battle of Dale Farm', which look set to provide a week's worth of news as the police mounted a surprise attack, suddenly disappeared from our screens. As did the events in Athens as thousands of people began a  48 hour strike, workers occupied public buildings and even magistrates went on a go slow. All culminating in the usual stand off with riot police, burning cars, petrol bombs e.t.c.  Neither of these events was considered newsworthy once the town of Sirte was close to defeat. Its liberation and the death of Gaddafi has become the only show in town .Graphic photo's and reports of his death have been flashed around the globe. No one now doubts that he is dead. His death was violent and grizzly. Captured and surrounded by an angry and armed crowd after being dragged out of an underground pipe he is beaten, shot and thrown on to the back of a truck. Was this Murder?, or Justice?
 Mrs Gaddafi  has called for an investigation by the U.N. into the circumstances of her husband's death. The U.N is supporting the claim, reminding the world about the illegality of extra-judicial killings e.t.c. I would support Mrs Gaddafi and the U.N. so long as she reciprocates and accepts a U.N. investigation into extra-judicial killings in Libya which took place under the Gaddafi regime. Not all Gaddafi supporters and loyal drones have been killed. Many of them knew the game was up and  got out. They could provide valuable information, as could Mrs Gaddafi herself. Though I doubt very much that the lady has seen the light and absorbed the principles of justice,which mean, if they mean anything at all, that what you demand of others you must be willing to submit to yourself .
Perhaps someone ought to send her a copy of the classic children's story by Charles Kingsley,The Water Babies. Perhaps It will educate her as to the principles of justice: No need to read long tomes from the U.N. Charter or myriad law books, Just look at who poor Tom is caught between;  MRSDOASYOUWOULDBEDONEBY and MRSDONEBYASYOUDID. To  demand justice for yourself while not being willing to submit to it is sheer hypocrisy. And for the U.N. to even consider putting the new Libya under this kind of  pressure at this time will do nothing to help build bridges with the West which, for forty years dealt with the Gaddafi regime, in full knowledge of the oppression and violence perpetrated against the Libyan people.
No one can know for sure whether or not the new Libya will succeed in realising the aspirations of its founders. We can only hope. If it fails, if the divisions in that society lead to civil war, especially a prolonged one, there could be serious consequences for the rest of us. Both Libya and the West rely on oil. Those that have it make pots of money to sustain their economy, those that buy it use it to sustain modern life. However, the flow and exchange of oil and money depend on stable societies. I hope the Libyan people succeed for all our sakes but, I believe this call for an investigation into Gaddafi's death will hinder rather than help.
Perhaps someone could send a copy Of the Water Babies to the General.Secretary of the U.N. or, perhaps he  could borrow Mrs Gaddafi's copy.

Sunday, 2 October 2011

Call to scrap the Human Rights Act

Home Secretary Theresa May, has called for the Human Rights Act to be scrapped. Her interview with the Telegraph newspaper on the Third of  October  is nicely timed to coincide with the start of the Conservative Party Conference  this week and is bound to upset its  Liberal Democrat Coalition partner which, during its recent Party conference announced that the Act was here to stay.  The Human Rights Act though, will not be scrapped even under Conservative government.  It has been with us for so long now it is part of our heritage;and, it is not as though the act was conferring rights of persecution, tyranny, or mayhem. It is meant to provide protection from these things for the most vulnerable. Whether or not it succeeds in this and whether or not it can be improved is open to debate. That it is open to abuse is what seems to be  the driver of calls for it to be scrapped. But let's not throw out the baby with the bath water. To scrap it and replace it with a specifically British Act will, I suspect still provide loopholes for clever lawyers and immoral claimants. People who do not understand, or lack a sense of the spirit in which something is devised will always use the 'letter of the law' so to speak, to advance their own interests. So, it seems to me that what is needed is a reappraisal of the way the act is understood and why it came into existence.

 Take the Right of Family Life for instance, which seems to be  causing most consternation presently. Like many other Articles of the Act it came about from the experiences of the Second World War and in particular, the war waged against minority civilian groups for no other reason than their race or ethnicity. Bans on marriage between certain groups of people, sterilisation e.t.c. forced population transfers, all combined to destroy families and to make that most personal of decisions, who to marry, how many children, how to raise them, subject to political ideology based on a set of race laws. Who would not want to protect people from this.?

However, interpretation of this Act seems now to be extended with success, to protect the family life of non British Nationals who are, not only not subject to any kind  government tyranny, but are themselves criminals and have wrought a tyranny of a sorts on their victims and their families. Apparently it isn't always possible to deport non- national criminals because it would mean the break-up of his or her family life. This seems  about as far from the intention of the framers of the Act as you could possibly get. The Act does not provide for an absolute right, no rights are absolute, they are always conditional on you not having caused or contributed to your situation. Every day people are separated from their families and  sent to prison. Not because of who or what they are but because of what they have done.We have to be able to discriminate between those who fit the terms of the Act  i.e the innocent, and those who are not. And as long as the break-up of a person's family is a consequence of the person's own illegal actions and the rules on deportation are followed correctly then we have not only a right to deport but also a duty. If we do not, we risk watering down the Act so much that we kill the spirit of it. Once we do that it simply becomes a vehicle for criminals to avoid justice in the pursuit of personal gain. I for one would not want that to be our legacy to all those who suffered for the Act to be needed in the first place. Let us pay them, and the Act a little more respect