Ad Fontes

Politics, Theology and Christian Humanism

Why do some parties think repealing human-rights legislation is a vote winner?


English Democrats: putting England back into the Dark Ages!

English Democrats: putting England back into the Dark Ages!

Leafy Twickenham is all aquiet as volcanic ash has cleared Heathrow’s flight path. Political banners are beginning to bristle from box hedges, although most of them proclaim the incumbent Vince Cable as the choice vote.

When it comes to human rights, the fundamental underpinning of liberal democracy, the Liberal Democrats and the Green Party have a consistently positive track record (although neither party has been in a position where they have had to live with the consequences of their stance). Labour are often thought of having a poor record, yet, despite New Labour’s increasingly authoritarian approach, it introduced the Human Rights Act, the most comprehensive legislation on human rights in the UK (among many other things, the act totally abolished the death penalty in the UK, which was still available for certain military offenses). Conversely, the Tories have consistently challenged the act, and now wish to replace it with a watered down bill of rights.

There are three other parties standing candidates in Twickenham, and all three of them, despite standing little chance of getting elected here, have party policies to repeal and roll-back human-rights legislation. Obviously, the British National Party needs to do away with these essential protections in order to follow their fascist, racist agenda. I have written about the policies of the United Kingdom Independence Party, which are fairly similar to those of the BNP when it comes to human-rights legislation. The smallest party standing a candidate in this leafy suburb is the English Democrats. Although they proclaim that they are neither left nor right, anyone taking a look at their policies will see that they are overwhelmingly hard rightwing. The official policy of the English Democrats is to repeal the Human Rights Act and withdraw from the UN Convention relating to the Status of Refugees. The only reason a party would want to do such a thing would be to pave the way for extreme anti-immigration policy and make various minorities more vulnerable.

147 sovereign states are signatories to the Convention on Refugees. The UK ratified the Convention on 11 March 1954, and signed its universalising Protocol on 4 September 1968. It provides strict definitions on who is a refugee, and enjoins signatories to provide asylum for those who would face death if returned to their own countries. It’s a basic safeguard for global liberties.

For all their proclamation about being pro-democracy and not being a racist party, the published policies of the English Democrats puts them in the company of UKIP and the BNP as parties campaigning against human rights.

Vote English Democrats: vote England back into the Dark Ages!

Author: Gareth Hughes

A priest of the Church of England, who is Chaplain of Hertford College, Oxford, and doing Syriac research at Oxford University.

2 thoughts on “Why do some parties think repealing human-rights legislation is a vote winner?

  1. The English Democrats a right wing party ? They have the most progressive drugs policy of any party,free prescriptions, free old age care and free university education. Referendums on key issues (the people decide).

    They however feel we should decide on out own destiny and make our own policy and not the EU or UN. To label them as being in the same company as the BNP is dishonest.

    “Vote English Democrats: vote England back into the Dark Ages!”

    Ah sorry – this site is satire. I thought you had a serious point to make, missed the “humour alert” signs in your ‘about’ page.

    • What is more dishonest is the trick you’re pulling in your reply. I am specifically questioning this party’s policy to remove human rights legislation and protection for refugees. Trying to call that ‘progressive’ is a real tough call. So, instead you wheel out some minor policy issues that that are easier to defend. Reading the English Democrats’ policy statements, I would say that they’re populists, which would make some progressive policies likely, but not thoroughgoing, principled policies. This political agenda is usually a hallmark of the rightwing. A few freebies sound much more like ‘bread and circuses’, especially when I can’t see any principles behind them.

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