This Friday will my and Hubs’ fifth wedding anniversary. Huzzah (that is, like, well long nowadays, right?). The only slight tarnish on this otherwise joyous occasion will be the fact that we are yet to be married in a time when David Cameron isn’t Prime Minster. Bleurgh.
So, five years ago I was too busy making 200+ origami butterflies to fully engage with how angry I was at the Lib Dems for going into coalition with the Tories. This time around I have no such major event-management to compete with the constant recollections that said party now have a majority. A MAJORITY?? Boo hiss, etc. The one upside to the result last time around was that my (hilarious) father could work a ‘new politics’ rose garden parody into his wedding speech. But now I don’t think any level of satire will stop me wanting to spend the next five years doing this:
Yeah, take that Cameron!
But, seriously, Dear Reader, I am super wary of all the nonsense-speak that flows from the mouths of our cabinet ministers. I am afraid of some highly questionable ideas that are becoming the status-quo, ideas that Bubs will grow up around, however much I’d like to shelter him from them. What he believes this crap?? What then?
If you think I’m just being a moany lefty then you in some respects you are probably right. I’d rather he didn’t think the ‘trickle-down effect’ was the best way to distribute wealth, or that the financial crisis wasn’t caused by building new schools and hospitals.
But, frankly, these concerns don’t even get into my top 3. When it comes to Tory posturing I have bigger fish to fry. Over the next few posts I am going to share these concerns with you in the signature ranty style that you know and love. Three lessons that I’d really my son rather not learn from the current government. So, let us begin…
Lesson One: Human Rights are Negotiable
As Justice Minister, what would be your first concern right now? High rates of reoffending? Tackling hate crimes? Or addressing rape conviction rates? Maybe you’d choose the terrible over-crowding of the UKs prisons as a primary focus. I’m sure there are plenty of rational options to choose from.
Michael Gove (who is the new Justice Secretary and don’t even get my started), will be getting down to the properly important and noble cause of… repealing the Human Rights Act. Oh good, because when I’m sat at home watching the news of an evening I’m always think “You know what the world needs less of? Human rights!”
In case you’re unfamiliar or have been duped into believing the HRA was basically only used by convicted murderers to demand Sky TV and jacuzzis in their cells (hang on, did I read that in the Daily Mail?), here are the rights it actually enshrines:
Wowza, what a croc of shit they are, right? I mean, people these days thinking they have a right not to be tortured, they don’t know they are born!! No wonder the Tories want to scrap ‘em.
Of course, the main inconvenience of human rights is that they apply to all humans, equally. So a convicted murderer has human rights, just as you or I do. Hence the deliciously up-in-arms headlines that arise when someone of deeply questionable morality appeals to these universally humane principals. It jars at us. “He gave up his rights when he took away someone else’s!” We cry. But that’s not how it works, it can’t me. However inhuman a person has been, they are still human, and treating them as anything else beckons us down to the level of vengeance and spite.
There are lots of arguments to be made about this, about sovereignty and extradition and all that fun stuff. I will happily debate with y’all in the comments section below. But all of this talk about the Human Rights Act scares me. It scares me because I think it points to intentions that are not humane; ideological beliefs being prioritised over compassion (which can happen on any part of the political spectrum, I grant you).
For Bubs, I want a world where humanity to come first, however messy or complicated the implications of that are. I don’t want him to be won over by arguments about ‘the cost to Britain’ or ‘terrorists getting away with it’, when what that usually means is that we won’t be party to torture or the death penalty… Wait what? There are few cabinet ministers who quite like the idea of capital punishment? Awkward.
Tune in next time for Lesson Number Two: Capital Punishment is Okay Sometimes.
*waggles fist to hip-hop beat*