A couple of years ago, I noted how the coalition government seemed to be rolling appalling ideas out the door on a regular basis, as if to overwhelm and confound attempts to hold them to account. Well, the new Conservative government has got straight down to continuing the policy.
Within hours of the result, it was announced that payments to help disabled people in work are likely going to be cut.
And, yesterday, Michael Gove, one of the most hated people in UK politics, was made Justice Secretary, where he will be working to scrap the Human Rights Act and bring in a “British Bill of Rights”. Previous blather about a British Bill of Rights have suggested that you forfeit rights if you don’t uphold certain responsibilities. Given the last government’s form, one of those responsibilities could be not being poor or disabled.
As other people have done, I’m going to list the rights and freedoms set out in the Human Rights Act below, and ask- which ones to the Tories want to do away with?
Right to life
Freedom from torture and inhuman or degrading treatment
Right to liberty and security
Freedom from slavery and forced labour
Right to a fair trial
No punishment without law
Respect for your private and family life, home and correspondence
Freedom of thought, belief and religion
Freedom of expression
Freedom of assembly and association
Right to marry and start a family
Protection from discrimination in respect of these rights and freedoms
Right to peaceful enjoyment of your property
Right to education
Right to participate in free elections
The Snoopers’ Charter and removal of benefits from vulnerable people act against two of those rights, for a start. There are bound to be others.
Unlike 2013, I’m better prepared to argue and campaign against the coming disasters of another five years of the Tories. One of the ways I’m going to do this is by not dwelling too much on all the idiotic ideas they come out with. I’ll report on them here, so that more people know about them, but mostly I’ll concentrate on positive alternatives and actions. I’m a member of the local Green Party, and I’ll be campaigning with them on issues, as well as trying to find ways for folks to help themselves.
And I’m going to keep on writing. I’m going to entertain and inform in ways that are going to make them want to remove the freedom of expression from whatever mess Gove comes up with.