What Has the European Convention on Human Rights Ever Done for Us?

Mike over at Vox Political has just posted up another brilliant TV skit, showing precisely what the European Convention on Human Rights actually has done for us. Starring Patrick Stewart, Adrian Scarborough and Sarah Solemani, this short, five minute sketch is about a Europhobic prime minister (Stewart), who asks rhetorically what the Conventions has ever done for us.And he is then told, at length, by his cabinet colleagues. They also point out that the Convention is part of the peace-keeping legal arrangements in Northern Ireland, and removing it would mean going through the whole, awkward and painful rigmarole all over again. He then says we shouldn’t be pushed around by the ‘frogs’ and ‘krauts’, and should write our own Bill of Rights and enforce it on them. They tell him that, indeed we have. It was done at the end of the Second World War. And in reply to his next question, they tell him that it’s ‘the European Convention on Human Rights’.

As the credits tell you, it’s based on the section ‘What have the Romans ever done for us?’ in Monty Python’s Life of Brian. It’s the kind of razor-sharp political sketch that was the stock in trade of Bremner, Bird and Fortune, the latter two famous as the Long Johns. And before then it was part and parcel of the Beeb’s Yes, Minister.

Patrick Stewart is a keen supporter of human rights, and does belong to at least one human rights group, though don’t ask me which one. He has said in an interview that he joined after a group of actors were arrested for performing in a play their government judged was subversive. He realised then how precious the freedom was, which he as an actor took for granted.

This conspicuously tells you exactly what the European Convention of Human Rights does for us, and by implication why Cameron wishes to deprive us of it in favour of a much weaker British Bill of Rights. And if you’re wondering which one of the two is most probably correct, it’s probably the man, who played Captain Picard all those decades ago.

Mike’s got the sketch at: http://voxpoliticalonline.com/2016/04/25/confused-about-human-rights-theresa-may-heres-sir-patrick-stewart/

Go there to learn things Theresa May either doesn’t know, or doesn’t want you to.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

7 Responses to “What Has the European Convention on Human Rights Ever Done for Us?”

  1. sdbast Says:

    Reblogged this on sdbast.

  2. joanna Says:

    Wow I have been such an idiot in my thinking!! If the Tories can get rid of the human rights, civil rights can be got rid of as well.
    Can you imagine what would happen to everyone who disagreed with this government! The world of arts and acting would be controlled by this government and every successive governments, as would newspapers, books and music. It would prevent new ideas that would be dangerous to those at the top.

    The so called Bill of rights would be set up to benefit only those at the top.

    Legal aid has already gone and so will the NHS and everything else that us plebs do not deserve, (in the Tories eyes).

    Maybe I am just being too paranoid?

    • beastrabban Says:

      You’re not being too paranoid at all. That’s what everyone’s afraid of. The Tories probably won’t go the whole way of repealing all civil rights, but they want to minimise them as much as possible.

      • joanna Says:

        Because it seems so unbelievable, people won’t even consider it a huge risk until it is too late! We are living a horror movie, but what can we do about it?

        I’ve always liked Patrick Stewart, he seems to be a totally decent man!!

    • beastrabban Says:

      Yep, Patrick Stewart is certainly a man of principle, and he certainly does support freedom of speech and conscience. As for why people are sleep-walking into this nightmare, I think it’s because all of us have grown up with the myth that our country is fundamentally good, and that we’ve always been the promoters of freedom against foreign tyranny. And the Tory press – the Express, the Daily Mail, the Scum, the whole nauseating lot – have constantly been telling the British public that Europe is a malign power interfering with British freedoms for its own cynical purposes. And so there’s a sizable section of the British public which is ready to believe May and Cameron.

      And then there are those, who just shrug apathetically, and cynically remark that all the generations before us who fought and died for the freedoms we live by today and take for granted, were only in it for themselves. I don’t believe it, and even if it were true, it’s still the case that they have given freedom to us. And so we have a duty to protect it, as well as a simple need to do so out of self-interest.

      As for what we can do about it, there should be protests, demos, marches. At the very least, somebody should stand up in public and quote the Rights of Man.

  3. TomMagenta Says:

    What I’m uncertain of is exactly what the British Bill of Rights will contain in comparison to the ECHR? No doubt it’d be weaker, but in what regard?

    • beastrabban Says:

      My guess is that it’ll be much weaker in the direction of workers rights, and considering the virulent racism amongst the Tory back benches, probably less protection against discrimination. And I also can’t see it offering much protection against data collection by the state and private industry, so it isn’t going to protect anyone against Big Brother and the surveillance state

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: