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European Union & Convention on Human Rights

  • Category(s): Politics Essays
  • Created on : 28 July 2013
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  • Author: Richard Michael Lamb

Preface

Some trenchant observations by R.M. Lamb esquire.

PART 1

1.
I start from my radical roots – my parents were both radical in politics and social policy. It does not stop there you have to channel your own radicalism and work it out properly.
2.
My parents supported our membership of the Common Market as it was called in 1960’s – we kept getting the “non” from De Gaulle. They were Liberals under Grimond and Thorpe and my father, a key man on politics of that party’s agricultural policy. The Common Market membership was a key plank of Liberal policy in 1960’s. We entered the European Common Market under Ted Heath in the early 1970’s through the European Communities Act. Wilson had his doubts (Referendum Mid 70’s) but the EU, as it came to be called, had to be given a chance to work. The referendum did not support withdrawal. There were vociferous opponents of Europe from the outset. Peter Shore, (Labour) and Marten (Con) and their succeeding voices in wilderness Cash (Con). (Quaere: Stuart Stevens – Editor: Mail on Sunday.
3.
The EU is still in place in 2013 over forty years on with us as members. We were duty bound to support the EU as Europeans in solidarity with our wartime allies in 2nd WW – even Germany fought for Western Europe in the 1944-45 campaigns and with some degree of success.
4.
I now realise the talking has to stop and the radical approach is required. i.e. take us out of the EU through parliament as parliament took us in to Europe in the early 1970’s. It has not worked: the EU, and I like my father an old fashioned Gladstonian Liberal say that – whether my father would agree I hesitate upon. I must make up my own mind in here and now – 2013. The waste, bureaucracy, profligacy, lack of accountability, fraud and undemocratic processes of the EU with its soaring cost including CAP make it not only very unpopular with British people but unsustainable. Like all empires it should break up – albeit relatively short lived. Gladstone supported retrenchment and Irish Home Rule.
5.
I have nothing against Germans but the whole EU economic structure weighs too heavily on Berlin yet that capital does not lead diplomatically and certainly not militarily. Let us in England return to Nationhood and give example to other European nations as in Woodrow Wilson’s policy at Versailles 1919. There can be alliances of course on the Continent (NATO) and we may join. These alliances do not flourish under the overbearing EU. The moment has come to call time for the EU. It has tried and failed. It is incapable of recovery – the sick man of Europe as they used to call us in 1960’s and 1970’s. In one sense UKIP are right yet their stridency betrays their illiberal approach. The true stream of the English and Welsh nations flows against the Euro and its terrible cost. Britons cannot afford the Euro. May be the continent will allow the whole EU concept to be shrugged off like a snake skin. The times they are a changing sans doute. If England and Wales withdraw this is not unlikely and the goal of a revitalised Europe without the overwhelming financial might of Germany will be achieved. Each nation will be heard more clearly. We have always bonded rightly to the USA across the Atlantic and the USA will be brought round to support new alliances.
6.
Liberalism was based on free trade as opposed to protectionism within our Empire in 19th and 20th centuries. We can still have free trade with the Continent but Liberalism cannot tolerate this shattering financial yoke and burden. Let us be radical and take us out of European Union – a failed experiment like illicit drugs as an undergraduate. All the remaining members must decide for themselves. Bruxelles should leave them free to do so. Let the Continent once again be rising out of ashes There will be powerful opponents of my policy yet it can be done and should be.
7.
CONCLUSION
No one likes to see the union of nations in our Europe break up – yet break up it should or I would not say pull out. There have to be ripples across the pond. Norway has not joined. The Euro is a dreadful straitjacket. Without the Euro on the continent we will afford again Italy and France etc. They are out neighbours. Why should we suffer under tyranny of the Euro and the Strasbourg parliamentary farce? Let’s get back to England in 1960’s and 1970’s pre onset of the Euro and enjoy life. The EU has gone too far. (The Dormobile to the Continent again I say)

PART II

CONVENTION: HUMAN RIGHTS 1940’S

1.
This Convention rightly emerged from horrors and repression of 2nd WW. We under Blair finally enshrined it in our legislation: Human Rights Act of late 1990’s when Blair came to power in 1997.
2.
In principle a very good thing the Convention yet in practice a little below what it promised on the Statute Book. Again it had to be tried and has been not far short: 17 years.
3.
Has it delivered the goods? Plenty of decided cases but it has become a mantra and ceased to be radicalising for the Judiciary. The Judges have to dodge the minefield of Counsel buffeting the Court with the threat of the Human Rights Courts wherever that sits – Strasbourg/Bruxelles. English and Welsh Judges quite rightly do not take kindly to being told what to do by Continental Judges of whatever Court. The Supreme Court in England has always been the ultimate jurisdiction. This jurisdiction has now been attacked from behind – Havers and Hailsham both Lord Chancellors of England and Wales would not have been impressed. The Judiciary in London have been weakened to no one’s benefit.
4.
The Human Rights Lobby (Cheri Blair QC and Co.) which is more than powerful have permeated the English Judiciary and its thinking to such an extent the English Judges have lost some “power”. Denning and Co would not approve (e.g. Lord Reid – House of Lords Scottish Judge Presiding: 1960’s/1970’s). It is never right to let one lobby loose on the Judiciary – look at the press/media/Cardinal Hume and Birmingham Six/Maguire Seven/Guildford Four all released. Justice cannot be done unless it is seen to be done as my mother would say. With persons “shouting” at you that is not possible.
5.
Currently the High Court is not passing that visibility test. Do we need the Convention? It can be advisory but should not be mandatory. Our Judges do not need to be told by the Convention of Human Rights. The stream of individual liberty runs through English Law since Coke, Coleridge, Mansfield, Denning et al. Let us trust the Judges of England and Wales – they know their job better than any European counterpart. That is in their character and why they have been chosen.
6.
CONCLUSION
Again it is not the letter of the Convention on Human Rights that matters but the spirit within our Judges. No self-respecting Judge will ever be bound by the exact letter of the Law - they will always seek true meaning behind the words of statute i.e. what was the intent of Parliament. The concepts behind the Convention are taken as understood and accepted by our Judiciary rightly. The Convention is surplus to requirements. Inhumane treatment is old hat to our Judges: Habeas Corpus writ came in during 18th Century England. Give the English Judges back their freedom to administer justice fairly. They have and always will have their inherent Jurisdiction.