Wednesday, March 09, 2005

"British history is being turned on it's head"

This is from Lord Morgan speaking on the Today program this morning: “The history of this is extremely important and not only to historians because we have a long tradition going back at least to the 17th century during the period of the civil war and the constitutional settlement that followed it of the individual increasingly finding legal protections against the power of the state and in particular against the power of ministers. Habeas corpus. Not only labor peers but people right across the house have show extreme concern that British history is being turned on it's head, that the unwritten nature of the constitution is being abused and furthermore an absolutely fundamental achievement of the government, the passage of the human rights Act in 1998 the work very much of Lord Irving who led our rebellion the other day, this is actually being challenged by the government who created it.”

Tho Lord Morgan is a Labor peer, this is a good example of how this bill is seen to violate British traditions and after all tradition is what the British constitution is all about. I've been reading Macaulay and one underlying thread is of Liberty being pioneered by the English nation. The downside of this is this is that it is that much less concern is shown for the human rights of those suspected of terrorism that are being held in Belmarsh and who are not British. (I have in mind here Conservatives rather than Lord Morgan.) Clarke was homing in on this stressing that if this bill falls then those suspects will have to be released. But if there is not the evidence to convict them then there is a good chance that they are innocent. To be imprisoned when you are innocent is an injustice whoever you are.

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