I don’t like to get political in this Blog but there are times when something needs telling exactly how it is. Besides we are living in interesting times politically speaking. Even more so for us. My boy is Spanish but half British and Britain has voted to leave the European Union (EU).
Regardless of who you vote for this is a typical tale of political parties failing to deliver. Just one example of promising one thing then doing the opposite. One example of many and typical of the politicians who preach to us on a daily basis. A tale of betrayal in this case because the party in question won the previous two elections and is also set to win the upcoming election in June. In other words they were handed the power to implement what they promised – then did not!
Human Rights anyone?
Consider the Human Rights Act and its links with the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR). This was introduced into British law by Tony Blair almost immediately after he won the first of his three general elections. It is not necessary for EU members to employ the Human Rights Act and so it could, in theory, be scrapped at any time regardless of this Brexit thing. As predicted by some at the time it was introduced the Act quickly became a haven for criminals and especially foreign criminals who used the spurious human rights arguments to avoid deportation. This is actually mentioned as a reason for scrapping the Act in the 2015 Conservative party manifesto. It was (and still is) a very unpopular piece of legislation.
2010 Conservative Manifesto
In the 2010 manifest the Conservative party only mention is once: “…we will replace the Human Rights Act with a UK Bill of Rights.” It was however widely spoken about at the time.
Following the election result the Conservatives, who were the biggest party but did not have a clear majority, went into coalition with the Liberal Democrats. This proved very convenient as we all knew that there was no way that the Lib-Dems were going to agree to scrapping the Huma Rights Act.
2015 Conservative Manifesto
In the 2015 election this item became one of the headline pledges. It is mentioned specifically several times, on three separate pages, under three separate sections. Including in bold and even bullet pointed in a pledge list. The words “We will scrap the Human Rights Act…” are repeated several times.
Also in the 2015 manifesto were these words: “We will give you a say over whether we should stay in or leave the EU, with an in-out referendum by the end of 2017.” The promise of a referendum is repeated several times in the document.
The Conservative party went on to win an outright majority. Clearly, they never saw that coming.
Always Expect the Un-expected…
Both the promise to scrap the Human Rights Act was of course a vacuous lie. The Conservatives never thought they would actually win a clear majority. They were banking on another coalition with the Liberal Democrats who would strongly object to any such scrapping of the EU’s human rights act. It would once again be very convenient. Or so they thought.
Once in power David Cameron and his party should have scrapped the Human Rights Act almost immediately. It was a strongly worded and often repeated pledge in the manifesto. Scrapping it was clearly a vote winning policy. Why wouldn’t he?
But the Tories had other plans and it involved what was probably the biggest gamble in the party’s history. They really were going to give us the referendum on EU membership. Clearly, they were convinced that Britain would vote to “Remain” in the EU. In which, case why scrap the EU’s hated human Rights Act when they would no doubt restore it following their referendum success? It all makes sense now.
However, they were not prepared for the unexpected. The plan had backfired spectacularly. The British people had voted overwhelmingly to “Leave” the EU. We wanted our sovereignty back. It was a very simple choice. “Leave” the EU and all its establishments or “Remain”. The people had voted to “Leave”. This was to be Britain’s exit from the EU and it became known as Brexit. Cameron resigned on the day of the result never to be seen or heard from again.
Fast Forward to the present…
There is no way the Conservative party is going to make the same mistakes again (at least for some time). With Brexit now supposedly ongoing their 2017 manifesto clearly states that we will be keeping the EU’s Human Rights Act after all. Or at least until after the Brexit “negotiations”. And a lot can happen in that time…
The big difference between 2017 and 2015 is that they now fully expect to win – and with a big majority. Food for thought eh? Not so much a U-turn as ‘don’t make promises that you may have to deliver’.
As far as you can throw them?
Can these people ever be trusted? Can you trust them even as far as you could throw them? How far is that exactly?
Well actually, I think I could throw them quite a distance. I am thinking from the top of the cliffs at Kalaupapa village on the Hawaiian island of Molokai – the world’s highest sea cliffs according to the Guinness Book of World Records. The cliffs rise to just over 1000 metres.
So; I reckon that I could (and would, given the chance) easily throw them over a kilometre.
But could I trust them that far? Hmm… probably not. A kilometre is quite a long way eh?