Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Abu Qatada

has been deported to Jordan because he agreed to go there. Not because of any ruling by anybody. I find the "debate" in the UK around such issues depressing. The tabloids, OK, what would you expect. But people are becoming more credulous and unintelligent in public forums, it seems to me. Victoria Brittain, some kind of intellectual and writer, has mounted a "defence" of Abu Qatada, on the grounds that his home is filled with books and that his children do well at school. Stupid. In bad faith. Since when was having books in the home a defence? So barely literate people in dysfunctional families do not deserve justice? Oh. I feel increasingly that I am something of a lone voice, in that my view is that people should not be detained without being sent to trial for more than a very short period of time. Charge them, try them, give them a fair trial, or let them go. This is not always  being done in the UK. Hence the human rights issues.

Should it have to be spelled out that human rights are for everyone, nasty people as well as nice? If they are not they are meaningless and in fact do not exist? Should it really? Should it have to be pointed out  that if people say or write something which you personally find offensive you should put up with it on the grounds of freedom of speech? In connection with this, I am against the lifting of parliamentary immunity in respect of Marine Le Pen. This has been done because she allegedly said some horrid things that incite racial hatred. Well, of course she did. She's Front National. That's what they are about. That's what the people who voted for them agree with.

Parliamentary privilege and immunity matter a lot for democracy. They are the only guarantee of true freedom of action for elected representatives in the interests of those who elected them (which does not mean just those who voted for them). They are not to be trifled with in the interests of populism. They are not to be restricted to nice people.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Indeed the test of a country's commitment to human rights is how it behaves in cases of 'nasty' people: murderers, rapists terrorists, etc.

Anonymous said...

"Should it have to be pointed out that if people say or write something which you personally find offensive you should put up with it on the grounds of freedom of speech?"
"You talk a lot of crap, carrot top".
You may not have found that offensive, perhaps even funny, but should such things be forbidden by law?
L9

Jane Griffiths said...

"such things" - what things? No. My point was that language may offend, but that does not mean it should be prohibited.