The second consultation is under way into whether we need or want a U.K. Bill of Rights. The consultation paper,released by the Department for Justice contains some of the responses gathered from its first round of discussions and responses to it from the public. From a quick perusal of the responses it might be difficult to form any kind of consensus. Many people felt there was ample protection through the Equality and Human Rights Commission (E.H.R.C.), while others felt we should go back to relying on English Common Law. Something which had served us for centuries. The Commission also discusses potential problems of a U.K. wide Bill given that Scotland is moving toward independence and Wales has a devolved administration.
I'm not really sure what to make of the whole exercise. Will it be a futile but costly one.? There's hardly anything about it mentioned in the media. Maybe journalists now already what many of us think. Or, maybe it's low-key in order to keep the consultation and thereby,keep the outcome in the hands of the elite.It doesn't matter what rules or laws we have, governments will always get round them, ignore them, or simply get rid of them.
Cynicism? well yes,but can you blame me.For the past twenty years or so, rights have been top of the agenda. From would be politicians, to rights based campaigning groups, all declaring their love for fellow man and woman, wanting to protect us from the baddies and nurture the country into a more equal and happy place.Yet the erosion of our civil liberties has escalated during this time.The curbs on trial by jury, the extension of surveillance, extended detention without trial and, in some cases without being told what evidence is against you; people being arrested for so called hate crimes, which might be something as minor as upsetting someone's sensitivities.
I really don't think we need more rules;because let's be clear, this is what rights have come to mean; it means more rules,more interference.
Still, it could be worth following the Commission's path and maybe even making a contribution. May be you disagree. May be you think it is a good thing to have a Bill of Rights. Let us know what you think. If you are from outside the U.K. and you have a Bill of Rights do you feel it protects you? and would we benefit from one of our own?
- 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!