Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Human rights hypocrisy

Two pieces of news stand out today: the EU report into 'extraordinary rendition' flights and Charlie Falconer's latest musings on the Human Rights Act.
The EU report criticises the UK, Germany and Italy most harshly of basically either colluding or turning a blind eye to the abduction of residents who are then transported to countries where torture is commonplace. The UK is specifically criticised over the cases of four people: two were tortured, two remain in Guantanamo.
And yet Lord Falconer says that the Human Rights Act is our best defence against terrorism. I happen to believe that's right, however with the government of this and many other countries riding roughshod over it, it becomes worthless. They are trying to have their cake and eat it. As Falconer says, human rights are for everyone, not just in certain cases. And yet they're applied, or not, on a person-by-person basis.

Not that the Conservatives have taken the opportunity provided by this flagrant hypocrisy to score some points. They're for scrapping the Act - a big step backwards - while the leader of British Conservatives in the European Parliament has criticised the rendition report as being driven by anti-American feeling and remains 'opposed to the report'. Which says all you need to know about how the Tories value your basic liberties.

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