UK opts for UK national Human Rights.
Liz Truss scores a cheap tabloid hit. It will rebound on idealists fighting for human rights throughout Europe.
The UK, alongside Scandinavian countries, operates the highest world standards of Human Rights. Many others of the 46 member states in the Council of Europe have deplorable human rights records. Our job is to lead Europe by the example of our gold standard.
We blew that. In 2011 a new Cameron government dredged for instant popularity. They concentrated on votes for prisoners - a matter of protozoan insignificance compared with the summary arrests, torture and abuse that is traditional in many European prisons.
Other countries were fascinated by the Tories’ pleas to abide by individual nations’ national customs and traditions. No-one has talked this way in the Council of Europe for decades.
Other C.O.E. countries have national customs too. Cruel ones. They have been framing their political opponents, jailing them, torturing them and sometimes executing them. They have been doing it for centuries. That's their revered traditions.The main function of the C.O.E. is to lead by example and raise international human rights to our levels. Now the Tories have sabotaged our moral authority. For what?....a tabloid spasm of popularity.
In a lifetime in politics many people have complained to me about jail conditions. Usually it’s prisons remote from home, victimization by staff, poor mental health care and poor facilities for visitors. Never has anyone complained that prison is hell because they were deprived of their right to vote. How many criminals were deterred from committing a crime because it would result in incarceration that would deny them their voting rights?
What Tories judge to be good short term political advantages for them threatens even harsher conditions for those suffering in the hell holes of Europe's worst prisons. It’s politics at its despicable worst.
A constituent asked for my views on grouse shooting.
My objection is that in the breeding, battery housing, rearing in artificial conditions, excessive deaths from road accidents and slaughtering of sentient creatures with gratuitous cruelty for the amusement of shooters is unnecessary and imposes avoidable suffering on defenceless creatures.