Passion Which Leads to Fear

I initially went into human rights law due to the way I was able to get worked up about true stories of injustice that I came across- the extent to which I felt helpless and desired to make a winning argument through gaining the relevant knowledge and take action to overcome that injustice.  Back then, these cases were few and far between and tended to be individual cases.  One news story today in the UK has proved however, that this is no longer the case, and that human rights violations amongst considered western democratic and liberal societies are indeed not individual but on mass. 

Due to a very stupid political party worth nine votes, from where I live making a deal to boost our share of the economy last week, we have now, by nine votes majority, increased our limit of detention to 48 days.  This same party contacted the organisation I work for, last week to ask if we would support them as they regarded it as a violation of human rights- understandably as it is .  And today heralded the end of my life in Britain.  I know that many will bring up arguments of the war on terrorism, 'habeus corpus' and 'reasonable suspicion', scarily I have discovered that not much faith should be placed in these dreamlike and idealistic conceptions.  If you are considered to be 'demonstrating against something' as has been the case in the UK with peaceful protests outside parliament, you can be arrested and detained under this law.  A young girl recently has been detained for reading out, in a public speaking square in London, the names of those killed in the War on Iraq.  I feel disgusted and I feel ill. 

This same stupid political party which happens to be the majority party here; recently presented us with a new First Minister (Prime Minister) whose wife on his first day declared that all homosexual people needed counselling to 'turn them around'.  

Is it just me, or are we actually getting worse?

deleted deleted
3 Responses Jun 11, 2008

I am new to EP so I did not notice these posts until Feb2012. <br />
Some years ago, I was an observer at a forum in Melbourne (Aust) and was surprised and delighted to hear a renowned barrister who happened to be Jewish ask the question, "What is a human right? Where can I find one? Where is it written?" The implications of the ensuing discussion (at least in my mind) were that (human) rights are merely human constructs and, regardless of their elevation to legal glory, require an enforcement which has greater significance than punitive action or preachy sentiment. And here is where our spiritual metal and pastors of the heart have let us down, or, more importantly where our own human spirits let us down constantly. Love of neighbour, forgiveness of enemies, the welcoming of difference cannot be achieved by legislation... these things are matters of the spirit and require a paradigm shift of the soul. This is our hope, not the courts of law which, after all, we now recognise to be little more than courts of manipulation for purposes other than even these moral issues about which you or I might be concerned. The idea of "human rights being enforced and adjudicated by law" is part of the problem of our disenfranchisement on two fronts. 1. It puts the power of enforcement in ob<x>jectified institutions, out there 2. it takes all responsibility from the individual to wake up to life and, when combined we can add 3. it means nothing really happens except at the level of another much wider agenda, vis-a-vi larger scale social engineering, population shifts, demographic shuffling and so on. These things are matters of the heart, not matters of state. Recognising this, there is hope. Counting on legislation and external enforcement was never going to achieve the best intentions of human rights ideal.

Maybe take the long view.<br />
Over the history of civilization, human rights have never been truly valued.<br />
They have sometimes more than at others, perhaps.<br />
But over the last century or so, there is more awareness, at least, even if the cruelty is still in evidence.<br />
<br />
And so one might conclude that human rights violations, as with many problems of the human condition, have always been with us and probably always will be. Over the long run, perhaps progress has been made. But that progress is not monotonic, it moves in fits and starts.<br />
<br />
It is a long battle, and one that will probably never be won. But just imagine how much worse off we'd be if we stopped fighting.

oh, we're getting worse.<br />
but where is it any better?