Mania for human rights could destroy free civil society

Old Bailey's Scales of Justice ANL-141010-181652001
Old Bailey's Scales of Justice ANL-141010-181652001
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Hayes in the House by MP John Hayes

Perhaps the defining characteristic of Lincolnshire yellowbellies (my two sons qualify) is plain speaking common sense.

So it’s unsurprising that most of those that I meet locally are as fed up as I am of hearing the depressingly glib phrase ‘I know my rights.’

The idea that privileges and entitlements are ‘inalienable rights’, as if preordained by God, is all too prevalent in Modern Britain.

What Moses received on Mount Sinai, carved in stone, were Ten Commandments, not a shopping list of universal rights.

The wisdom of the Bible, and of the ages, is that duty and responsibility matter much more than rights.

We only have to look at the impact of Tony Blair’s misguided decision, in 1998, to incorporate the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) into British Law to see the damage done when rights subsume responsibilities.

The Human Rights Act handed jurisdiction over Britain to a foreign court, which has extended its reach far beyond its grasp of common sense; the court’s rulings routinely fly in the face of our elected Parliament and often run counter to British values.

To prove my point – in response to a case bought by a man convicted of hacking his landlady to death, the court ruled that to deny him a vote in elections was a breach of his human rights.

Our Prime Minister has wisely defied this outrageous ruling that prisoners be given the right to vote.

European courts have also prevented the deportation of convicted killers and preachers of hate on the spurious grounds that they have ‘a right to a family life’ – as if familial obligations are rights, not responsibilities!

Families are built by ties of love and duty, to break the law is to betray those ties.

For the record, this nonsense is not, for once, the result of the EU. The European Convention predates the European Union; in other words, even outside of the EU we would be saddled with ECHR judgements over which we have no say.

We are obligated to past generations for our freedoms, hard won over centuries

Left unchecked, the mania for universal human rights will destroy the very foundations of free civil society on which our way of life depends

That’s why we must drain the poison of the ECHR from British jurisdiction, restoring the sovereignty of Parliament and so redressing the balance between rights and responsibilities in UK law.

The ECHR was created in response to the atrocities committed by the Nazis; it was not intended to become a charter for criminals and terrorists.

To end the European Court’s ability to change our laws and override our democratic representatives means standing up for British people and British values.