Let us not forget: Michael Howard has rights, too

'Rugby forwards will clog up the courts, claiming the scrum infringes their right to freedom of movement'
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The Independent Online

Here follows an information service for the Human Rights Act

Here follows an information service for the Human Rights Act

What is the basis of this new Act?

It is based on the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights, drawn up in 1951 by many British lawyers, among others, to prevent any recurrence of the ghastly violations of human rights in the Second World War.

Gosh. What happened to this impressive document?

It was endorsed by almost every European country.

Except...?

Except Britain.

And we are adopting it 50 years late?

Yes.

Why has it taken so long to adopt it?

We adopted a wait-and-see policy.

Wait and see what?

Wait and see if anyone noticed that we hadn't got any human rights.

I see. And what will be the immediately noticeable results of the new Act?

Complete public apathy in Britain.

Will that be the only noticeable result?

No. There will also be an overkill of articles in the media about the pros and cons of this landmark in British history.

What will these articles say?

Supporters of the Act will be quoted as saying that at last we are coming into line with more civilised neighbours, and opponents will be quoted as saying that it will lead to lots of pointless cases being brought by opportunist lawyers.

But aren't there lots of those already?

Lots of opportunist lawyers? Or lots of pointless cases in court?

 

Both.

Yes.

 

So no change there, then?

No. Except there will be more scope for idiocy; courts will be clogged by rugby forwards claiming that the scrum is an infringement of the right to freedom of movement and by women claiming that the tight little dresses of modern fashion infringe the same right...

But this won't last?

No.

And the system will settle down?

Yes.

 

And we won't get judges taking over from Parliament as our lawmakers?

Lord love you, Parliament hasn't been our lawmaker for years! You mustn't get confused when people thought dead, such as Michael Howard, come on the media and say that the Human Rights Act will take away Parliament's sovereignty. Tony Blair has already done that.

Has he?

What people such as Michael Howard always say is that democracy is paramount, and that if you really want a change in the law you must organise a political protest, vote the government out, vote in the government you want and then get the laws changed. But that is not the sort of thing most of us have time for. In fact, I can think of only one person who ever managed it.

Who was that?

Tony Blair.

So Tony Blair got elected so that he could get Parliament to vote for any laws he wanted?

Oh, no. He got elected so that he could appoint thousands of unelected advisers and quangos to push through the legislation he wanted pushed through, such as the Human Rights Act.

Why did he want to enact that?

He wanted to see if he could push an Act through 50 years after it had been approved to set a precedent for the euro.

In what way?

If the euro is finally approved by Britain, Blair now knows he will have 50 years before he has to do anything about it.

Hmm... What about salmon?

Sorry?

 

Salmon-farming is being blamed for causing disease among farmed salmon and the inhabitants of the sea at large. Might this not be construed as infringing the rights of salmon to liberty and freedom from slavery?

Steady on, steady on! What kind of a crazy troublemaker are you?

 

I'm a lawyer looking for a new angle, and I represent 50 million salmon...

 

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