Welcome To Zelo Street!

This is a blog of liberal stance and independent mind

Wednesday 27 May 2015

Tory HRA Failure - Gove Dodges Bullet

The Tories won a majority in the General Election earlier this month. That meant they could bring forward a programme of Government free of the restraint imposed by any Coalition partner. So all their manifesto commitments could be enacted, including the repeal of the Human Rights Act (HRA). Young Dave placed this task in the hands of Michael “Oiky” Gove. Legislation was promised within 100 days. What could possibly go wrong?
Good at spinning but otherwise useless

Well, as several legal eagles have pointed out, quite a lot could go wrong. Quite apart from the inconvenient fact that repealing the HRA would not remove the possibility of judgments in the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) going against those made in UK courts, the Act had dependencies - such as the Northern Ireland Assembly, and devolved bodies for Scotland and Wales. And then came the realisation that the Tories had chickened out.
The Murdoch Times clearly had the inside track on what was being spun as a “delay for consultation” - no surprise there, as Gove was on the staff for several years - telling “Cameron blinks first in human rights row”. Note that, somehow, Dave gets the blame, while former Times man Gove gets off Scot Free. And it is Cameron, once again, who cops for the flak being fired off by the Super Soaraway Currant Bun.
European court puts terrorists & murderers first. Why is Cameron dithering over ending this farce” demands the Sun, demonstrating that lawmaking is not half as easy as shouting from the sidelines while lying very badly, before thundering “THEIR RIGHTS … OR YOURS?” which is complete crap, because, as any fule kno, human rights apply to everyone - even those who work at the Sun (see HERE).
Meanwhile, the Mail, not in the loop - one wonders how the relationship between the legendarily foul mouthed Paul Dacre and Sarah Vine, aka Mrs Gove, is faring right now - was blaming any delay in the Tories enacting its preferred legislation on anyone in the acting profession who cared about their fellow human beings. “FOLLY OF HUMAN RIGHTS LUVVIES” roared the headline.
All of which meant that the Dacre doggies didn’t get it either. They, too, were rejoicing last October in what they saw as the imminent scrapping of an Act about which they had been systematically - and dishonestly - frightening their readers for years, before finding they needed it a few days later. And now they blame a few actors, while neglecting to tell their readers that the HRA will not be as easy to repeal as they have been led to believe.

As David Allen Green said two weeks ago: “Prediction: there will be no ‘British’ Bill of Rights to replace Human Rights Act in the Queen's Speech”. He was right: all that was in today’s Queen’s Speech was “My Government will bring forward proposals for a British Bill of Rights”. There will be no more than a “consultation”. The right-wing press will rail at campaigners, lawyers, judges, the ECHR, the EU, and anyone else in the way.

But “Oiky” Gove will continue to be the inept Teflon politician. Nothing will stick to him.


Anonymous said...

I love that photo of 'Ghastly' Gove.

He has always reminded me of Pob the children's tv character from the 1980s Pob's Programme.

Pob was/is famous for spitting at the camera and then cleaning it off. Pretty much all that Gove is good for!

Malcolm Armsteen said...

Could it possibly be the case that Shiny Dave has known all along that repealing the HRA is just about impossible and completely unacceptable (to the House of Lords and many in his own party) and never intended to do so. That in fact this was all pre-election froth, and that the right-wing tabloids have been played as useful idiots in the Tory fear campaign? Just a thought.

Anonymous said...

@malcolm amsreen
Exactly what I was thinking. Gove couldn't be left as chief whip when there was only a small majority, so he's been set up to fail on human rights/ECHR. Two birds with one stone.

Arnold said...

So if I understand the Sun's argument correctly, giving rights to the four on the left means that the four on the right lose their rights to get married, be educated, etc?

Anonymous said...

“Oiky” Gove will continue to be the inept Teflon politician. Nothing will stick to him.

Reads like an invitation to an egging or a pieing.

Anonymous said...

"Could it possibly be the case that Shiny Dave has known all along that repealing the HRA is just about impossible ..... "

Yes, indeed. And having the HRA still on the statute book means that there is something to blame when things go wrong. I'm waiting to see who they will blame for failing to repeal it.