Why we should keep our International Human Rights


The repeal of the Human Rights Act is intended to prevent decisions of the European Court of Human Rights from being taken into account by UK courts. This will have repercussions around the world. Mr. Grayling underestimates the United Kingdom’s influence in the world. If we turn our back on the European Court of Human Rights we will be forced to leave the Council of Europe.


THE COUNCIL OF EUROPE IS NOT THE SAME THING AS THE EUROPEAN UNION.


The Council of Europe includes many more countries than does the European Union. For example, Turkey, Russia, Switzerland and Norway are members of the Council of Europe but they are not members of the European Union.

The European Union is about trade, commerce, freedom of movement of workers and the Euro currency. The Council of Europe is about human rights and was established before the European Union's predecessor bodies were fully established. Some of you may remember the referendum we held in 1975. That was about the European Union or as we knew it then the Common Market or European Economic Community. UKIP and the Conservative Party want a referendum on our membership of the European Union.

We are not going to get a referendum on our membership of the Council of Europe. We will not be asked separately from this General Election whether we should have the benefits of an international judge led standard of human rights.

The massive abuses of human rights of the 2nd World War led to The Universal Declaration of Human Rights of the United Nations, agreed in 1948 by nearly every country. The Council of Europe, very much influenced by the British, drafted the European Convention of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms in 1950. The World recognized that an international system for protecting human rights was necessary. It is still necessary today. Leaving the determination of rights and freedoms to single nations acting alone presents hazards for the world.

The virtue of international systems of human rights protection is that the standards are established with no or little present day political pressures. Under international protection rights and freedoms are more secure. Universal standards are promoted that improve the lives of all humans wherever they may live.

The great traditions of the rule of law and personal freedom in our country are strong - but past traditions cannot act as a guarantee for the future. Who might get elected to power in 5 or 10 years time?

We should not think just for ourselves. So what if the European Court of Human Rights tells us to have a rational scheme that allows some prisoners the right to vote at elections rather than a complete across the board ban on all prisoners whatever their crime and length of sentence (as is now the case in the UK)? Should the grant of votes to some prisoners lead us out of the Council of Europe? And if we leave the international system other countries will follow. Russian President Vladimir Putin (no respecter of human rights) will be very happy if we leave the Council of Europe. Why should he not lead Russia out thereafter? And then other countries will follow suit. Before you know it many millions of people in and around Europe will find that their human rights are no longer protected by international judges acting free from the politics of the moment. They will find that their freedoms depend upon their countries politicians. Not all politicians in Europe are as nice as ours!! 

If the United Kingdom leaves the European Court of Human Rights we can raise no objection to any other member State leaving. If the European system for protecting human rights breaks down following the UK’s lead, countries in other regions of the world will start to turn their back on their regional international systems of human rights protection. In a generation all the progress made by world civilization in raising the rights and freedoms of the individual could be undone.

History will damn our country if it was the one that started this backward step for humanity.

Is it right that the United Kingdom should lead the world’s nations away from universal human rights?

For an MP with a big majority Chris Grayling has been seen in Epsom & Ewell more than both of his predecessors. For that he can be applauded. However, on this issue of repealing the Human Rights Act he is making a big mistake. The history books will not be kind to him if he succeeds.

At the General Election on 7th May the electors of Epsom and Ewell have an opportunity to send a message to Chris Grayling. By voting for those political parties that support the Human Rights Act or for voting for my independent candidacy we can tell Chris Grayling to abandon this thoughtless policy. The former Attorney General for the Conservative Party Dominic Grieve QC and Kenneth Clarke QC the Conservative Lord Chancellor (immediately before Grayling took that office) both disagree with Grayling's policy. They see the dangers. I regret that of all political parties in our country's history the Conservative Party, founded on conserving the good institutions we have, should be seeking to destroy our international human rights protection.

Human rights are not just for others. Some others who some may think do not deserve them. Human rights are for all. That includes you. The media for years have been misreporting so called human rights cases. Stirring up trouble and misunderstandings. It is very regrettable that Chris Grayling exploits this propaganda to gain cheap political points and followings.

People seeking political power can often turn out not to be trustworthy. International judges of the European Court of Human Rights do not seek fame and political glory. They are not of that type. We should have greater trust in judges than politicians when it comes to deciding our human rights and freedoms.

I accept that British judges are of a very high quality. However, we cannot guarantee non-interference in their selection by politicians in the future. Nor can we guarantee that politicians will not simply overrule through political party dominated Parliaments national court decisions they do not like. After all the policy of Chris Grayling to leave the European Court of Human Rights rather proves that there is a danger of politicians seeking ways to avoid court decisions they do not like.

See HERE for an excellent Guardian article setting out the issues.

SEND A MESSAGE TO GRAYLING AND THE CONSERVATIVE PARTY.

VOTE FOR THESE PARTIES IF YOU ARE INCLINED TO AS THEY SUPPORT THE HUMAN RIGHTS ACT (AND ALL OF THEM HAVE EXCELLENT CANDIDATES WHO WOULD ACTUALLY MAKE VERY GOOD MPs)

LIBERAL DEMOCRAT - STEVE GEE
LABOUR PARTY           - SHEILA CARLSON
GREEN PARTY               - SUSAN MCGRATH

If because of their other policies you are not inclined to vote for the above parties but you agree with me that we should keep the Human Rights Act or you want an Independent MP anyway, then please vote for me. Voting for me will help send these important messages to Chris Grayling and the Conservative Party:

"Do not repeal the Human Rights Act".

"Do not endanger the protection of human rights here in the UK, in Europe and Worldwide."

"Keep the international protection of our human rights."

"Retain our country's moral leadership in the world."

Lionel Blackman

INDEPENDENT Candidate at the General Election in the Parliamentary Constituency of Epsom and Ewell