The recent tirade from Home Secretary Theresa May directed at the judiciary over their failure to deport sufficient numbers of foreign criminals has clearly woken the punditerati from its slumber. And over at the Daily Mail, anything human rights related on a Monday inevitably means the deployment of Melanie “not just Barking but halfway to Upminster” in response.
Still not fair and balanced
Mel, under the headline “I'd be overjoyed if this was the end of the foreign criminals fiasco- but don't hold your breath”, launches into her assault on “the long-running farce of Britain’s catastrophic entanglement with human rights law” with customary gusto. Foreign criminals appealing against deportation by claiming the right to a family life, she tells readers, is an “outrage”.
And she does not hesitate to blame Ms May herself – who is held not to understand the law, unlike the superior insights of Mel – along with her civil servants, “who have displayed a staggering level of ignorance and incompetence”. Moreover, she has bad news for the Home Secretary, telling that Britain was “inadvisedly signed up to human rights law”.
Oh? We shouldn’t have signed up to human rights law? Got it in one. And this is no isolated occurrence: in a recent rant against Muslims (yes, one of many), Mel told her readers “That means holding the line against Sharia law in Britain, and tearing up human rights law in order to deal properly with the human wrongs of Islamic terrorists” (my emphasis).
So what is it that Mel wants to tear up? Here, I am indebted to Lord Justice Bingham for setting this out in his last speech to the House of Lords. I quote it verbatim here.
“The right to life. The right not to be tortured or subjected to inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. The right not to be enslaved. The right to liberty and security of the person. The right to a fair trial. The right not to be retrospectively penalised. The right to respect for private and family life. Freedom of thought, conscience and religion. Freedom of expression. Freedom of assembly and association. The right to marry. The right not to be discriminated against in the enjoyment of those rights. The right not to have our property taken away except in the public interest and with compensation. The right of fair access to the country’s educational system. The right to free elections”
This, folks, is what Melanie Phillips, and, one has to assume, her legendarily foul mouthed editor as well, would take away from the British people. Which of these rights would you be prepared to renounce or see taken away from your fellow citizens? Down that road leads the worst kind of authoritarianism and the loss of freedom. That a major newspaper is promoting such action should worry all of us.