Human Rights

On Tuesday, I chaired an Amnesty meeting, at which we considered urgent action to alert the public to the serious damage Cameron’s government planned to do to the protection of human rights in this country, and the UK’s standing in the world. Michael Gove – thick skinned-genius at promoting controversial schemes in record time – had been drafted in to replace the Human Rights Act with a new bill in less than 100 days. But now he’s not. Now they have done the arithmetic, and whatever kind of botch-up they produce, there are significant numbers of Tory MPs who will vote against it, so Cameron backs down and the whole idea gets shelved. The chances are it was always a bluff, a sop to the right to help sugar the pill if the EU referendum ended up with a yes, but even if it’s for all the wrong reasons it’s the right result. We must be grateful for small mercies. There won’t be many of them.