Thursday, February 10, 2011

The latest fluff about human rights....

There is, it seems, a new sacred cow in town and it's not the NHS but is instead "human rights". To simply question the orthodoxy of "human rights" puts you just one step away from calling for the state to be all powerful over people and be allowed to connect their genitals to electrodes.

Of course, this sort reactionary hysteria from the "pro" lobby comes about only in response to the equally reactionary response of the "hang'em and flog'em" lobby who scream about "human rights" being a "criminal's charter" etcetera etcetera.

And yet there is a calm and very sane argument in favour of repealing the Human Rights Act and withdrawing from the 20th Century's European Convention of Human Rights that does not mean you're in favour of tyranny which goes like this.

"Human Rights" are predicated on the assumption that the state exists a priori of its citizenry, and that the state confers on to you "rights" that are yours because you have the quality of being "human".

Now compare that assumption to the assumptions of a document like the US Constitution, which says things like,
"Congress shall make no law...."
"The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated"
"The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."
Notice the subtle difference? Here we have not "rights" conferred by a state that assumes it exists separately from its citizens but rather we have "rights" that come about by stating what the state cannot do.

In the latter the people are sovereign, in the former, the state is sovereign and gives the people rights at its pleasure.

This is why the Human Rights Act should be repealed and Britain should withdraw from the European Convention and draw up its own Bill of Rights that is designed in terms of what the state cannot do, not what the people have been given the right to by a a paternalistic state.

"Prisoners votes" and "criminal's charters" are merely extensive fluff covering the elephant in the room.

Note: No more blogging today, I know I said I would be back next week but had a brief moment in the schedule.

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