As the days go on, I become increasingly concerned and depressed by the anti-rights and anti-European rhetoric emanating from the arms of the Westminster Government; echoing throughout society.

What began as a response to the single issue of some prisoners being allowed their right to vote has been pounced upon by those from the right; galvanising and seemingly legitimising the call to scrap not just the Human Rights Act, but the European Convention itself.

I guess it must make logical sense to some. I mean, Parliament disagrees with one decision of the Court, therefore we must reject the Convention in its entirety. Forget the decades of jurisprudence, with the Court agreeing with the former House of Lords in 9 out of 10 cases. Forget the fact that being part of the Convention allows us the authority to criticise the flagrant abuses of fundamental rights in places like Russia and take action against them. Forget the fact that participation was designed and continues to promote peace and community between the whole of Europe, and not just between the so-called ‘home nations’ of the UK.

At the same time of course, these same Ministers are on the news praising those in Egypt for “standing up for their inalienable rights”… all the while they prepare to remove the common protections for those of us in the UK.

It’s such a horrible state of affairs, made even worse by the fact that in Scotland we rejected any sort of Tory/right-wing ideal, and yet we are paraded in front of the world as part of this self-serving, sovereignty-obsessed, rights-denying shambles. Hell, since our votes as Scottish people mean nothing anyway, I’m not sure why so many of us care that a prisoner should be able to partake in the same meaningless charade. It’s horrifying to see Tory backbenchers being given a platform to speak as if on behalf of the entire country in such reactive and emotive terms.

I fear that there’s little we can do to stop this spiral downhill, and that which we can feasibly do will be masked by the middle-class revulsion at those issues given the most media coverage, like the use of yet another meaningless tick at the ballot box.

Glasgow, December 2010
Canon 5D – 50mm f1.4

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