Blair attacks Cameron's reaction to looting


Tony Blair made a rare return to domestic politics yesterday to dispute David Cameron's claim that we live in a broken society, as cracks in the Coalition showed over human-rights law.

The rioters were not a symptom of a general "moral decline" in society, the former prime minister claimed, although he acknowledged there is a specific minority growing up in "profoundly dysfunctional" homes "where their role models are drug dealers, pimps, people with knives and guns [and] people who will exploit them".

But in yesterday's Sunday Express David Cameron claimed that "we need to reclaim our society" which is suffering from bureaucracy and a "destructive culture" which has led to "a decline in responsibility". The Prime Minister promised to "get a grip on the misrepresentation of human rights" which allegedly protects the guilty, and hinted a British Bill of Rights was on the way.

But his comments alarmed Liberal Democrats. The party's former leader, Sir Menzies Campbell, warned against allowing human rights to be "watered down". He told BBC News: "My view is that the ECHR is a fundamental right and that is something we should not depart from."