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Trust in God and Teresa May, But Tie Up Your Human Rights Camel

So its come to this: defending the Human Rights Act through the medium of animated GIFs.  A few months back, Unlock Democracy posted ‘15 Reasons We Should Celebrate The Human Rights Act‘ opn Buzzfeed, with some amusing pop-culture animations. (h/t to the brilliant Human Rights blogger Adam Wagner).

If these 15 reasons persuade, it is because they link our human rights to things that ordinary people can identify with: our right to a private life, &cetera.  However, they still refer to instances where the individual clashes withe the state, for example at a demonstration, or a council tennacy.

But many people just don’t have that much contact with the state and its agencies.  They don’t claim benefits and they don’t need social housing.  They live in areas where crime is low and they do not come into contact with the police, either as a suspect or as a victim.  I am thinking now of the middle-classes—the very people who will deliver or deny a victory to David Cameron’s rights-hostile Conservatives at the next election.  Its not clear that this demographic really understands the importance of the Human Rights Act, and protection it guarantees.

So for this group, we need an additional arguments for human rights.  Here’s one that is less emotive than, say, a reminder of the holocaust… but it may be persuasive to those who aren’t an ethnic minority and have never suffered state persecution.

Simply put:  Human Rights are like an insurance policy. They are a back-up in the unlikely event that anything goes wrong.  Like a lock on your front door, or you may never actually need it, but it would be a fool who didn’t deploy that simple, effective protection.  Trust in Allah, but tie up your camel.

 

 

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