By Barrister Paul Diamond

The ECHR has acted as a catalyst for a highly politicised agenda that undermines society and has become a vigorous tool to attack any remnant of morality, explains leading human rights barrister, Paul Diamond.

The small boats crisis cannot help but focus our minds on our continuing membership of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR).

The inability of our government to control immigration, even of individuals who have crossed up to 30 ‘safe’ countries to come to live in their country of choice makes us look ridiculous; even more so as many who arrive on our shores appear to have the resources to pay up to $20,000 to people smugglers. 

This sorry state of affairs has been exacerbated by our inability to detain any (despite the fact that nothing is known about our new residents for, in many cases, passports have been destroyed) with the consequence, that a substantial number have been housed in pleasant four star hotels in receipt of medical and dental care that, let’s face it, may be out of reach of a growing number of UK citizens.

If a State cannot control its borders, maintain military preparedness, and maintain law and order internally (with a functioning judiciary) it is a failed State.

If a State cannot control its borders, maintain military preparedness, and maintain law and order internally (with a functioning judiciary) it is a failed State. The current policy weakens our security and makes the country unsafe for all citizens.  Mass migrations requires global solutions.

The ECHR, which was drafted in 1950, is often hailed as the greatest achievement of the post-war Council of Europe. The United Kingdom played a leading role in its formulation and drafting as a response to the unimaginable atrocities of National Socialism in Germany between 1933-45.  And, of course, the Jews could not leave Nazi Germany to find refuge.

Perhaps it is worth mentioning in this context the oft forgotten fact that Hitler was a socialist, albeit a National Socialist. And that Germany was for many years the intellectual, artistic, and cultural centre of Europe.  The fact that this deviant form of socialism can take hold of a country such as Germany is a warning for all countries.

The ECHR in 1950 was a modest and unremarkable treaty focusing on civil and political rights: such as right to life, fair trails and the freedom of religion and expression.  These were rights known to the common law for hundreds of years and the ECHR was thought to have little application to the United Kingdom.  It was designed to restrain the actions of certain countries with anti-democratic tendencies; and the post war success of Germany is something that needs to be recognised.

The ECHR was unnecessarily incorporated into national law by the Blair government in the Human Rights Act 1998.  Many in the Conservative opposition at the time saw the dangers of this politicised document being given the force of law; most noticeably by the late Baroness Young.

The ECHR was unnecessarily incorporated into national law by the Blair government in the Human Rights Act 1998.  Many in the Conservative opposition at the time saw the dangers of this politicised document being given the force of law…

Listening to the Labour front bench, one would think that we had no democracy, rule of law, free speech, or fair trials prior to the Human Rights Act.  The truth of the matter is that after 25 years of the Human Rights Act and the ECHR we have less freedoms than before.

For example, Freedom of speech is now on critical life support in the United Kingdom with hate speech, offensive speech, disinformation, and misinformation used everywhere to silence speech disapproved of.  The Police and woke employers seem to be very active suppressing lawful free speech. 

The ECHR has also instigated a full scale attack on our cultural Judaeo – Christian principles, the values upon which our freedoms depend. It can be argued that after millenniums, the Ten Commandments and the teaching of Christ on love remain the greatest civilising forces in history.

A fair debate on the BBC leaving the viewer to determine the merits of Brexit, Trump or global warming would be premised on views of democracy and free speech that have sadly long disappeared since the passing of the Human Rights Act. We have firmly entered the era in which an aggressive Police officer arresting a disabled (autistic) child for saying a female officer ‘looked like her lesbian nana’ is the reality of the new ‘human rights Britain’.  If that officer remains in the Police force, we need to be very concerned about our freedoms indeed.

Is the ECHR the problem?

Yes, it is, and it is a primary cause of the chaos in modern Britain, but it is not the only cause.

The long march through the institutions is a phrase attributable to the Italian communist Antonia Gramsci (1891-1937).  All our institutions have been taken over by an extreme liberal orthodoxy: the press, universities, schools, civil service, bureaucracies and so forth.  Universities can be highly dangerous places for free thinking and free expression.  Many of these developments would have taken place in European society with or without the European Convention.

The State is a leviathan that needs to be controlled so we are free to do as we will; we are not to be granted rights via documents such as the ECHR.

Be, of course, also vigilant of the bureaucracy: if there is an opportunity for expansion of personnel and funding, coupled with control over people’s lives, any new ideology will be gleefully received. For the bureaucracy the ECHR is a godsend.

The ECHR has acted as a catalyst for a highly politicised agenda that undermines society and has become a vigorous tool to attack any remnant of morality. If you are a morally upright employee, the chances are you will be dismissed for ‘gross misconduct’ for digressing from the ‘religion’ of diversity and inclusion code of conduct.  The human rights agenda is akin to a religious mania: a primitive, discriminatory, and violent religion with fanatical adherents.

The human rights agenda is akin to a religious mania: a primitive, discriminatory, and violent religion with fanatical adherents.

Many years ago, I met the Council of Europe’s Commissioner for Human Rights: I wanted to discuss my fields of practice in human rights (religious liberty and freedom of speech).  The conversation soon stalled as there were only three human rights to discuss: mass migration, LGBT, and feminism.  I suspect feminism is no longer a human right worthy of protection as women’s rights have already begun to fall under the political sledgehammer of transgender rights.

It is for human rights that children as young as 3 must be taught about relationships and sexuality, that anyone who believes in marriage between a man and a woman must be dismissed from employment, or people who are white should not be recruited to the RAF.  It is for human rights that people can be abused, attacked, and degraded, and if one deviates from what Big Brother calls virtuous – God help you.

Growing Problems:

The worldwide rule of lawyers is an ever growing phenomenon with more and more subjects determined by both national and international courts, by-passing democratic institutions. However, the human rights agenda gives greater power to the courts to intervene in the social fields which impact the culture of society in unforeseen ways. This applies to inheritance laws to prisoner’s rights to lifestyle issues.  The appropriate forum for debate on cultural reform is parliament, but we’ve sailed past that.

Most people do not realise how expansive and controlling the human rights agenda is. The numerous human rights institutions work in co-ordination with each other: from the United Nations Committees to the EU and the Charter of Fundamental Rights to the ECHR.

The tentacles of the human rights agenda reach far and wide. The EU Commission has launched infringement proceedings against Hungary for violating the values (Article 7 TEU) of the European Union in the Hungarian government’s attempt to restrict of certain types of sexual literature (LGBT) to children.  The onslaught is relentless: although the initial action was instigated by the EU, it makes little difference as the ECHR will soon follow suit.

The EU and ECHR have acted under human rights law to cause chaos to the Polish judicial system.  Poland sought to reform the process for the selection of members of the judiciary (as Israel is seeking to do).  The ECHR has received some 100 applications from disgruntled members of the Polish judiciary with the intention of blocking the reforms and the ECHR has, in effect, ruled that any judge appointed since 2018 is not a judge(!).  What has human rights law to do with the appointment of judges unless the power of the human rights agenda is the power of judges….  And this is precisely why the judiciary must be accountable.

On immigration and unlawful entry to the United Kingdom, nothing can be done to stop the literal end of a culture and of the United Kingdom as we know it – without radical reform on a scale only a Trump-like character (like him or not) could do.

On immigration and unlawful entry to the United Kingdom, nothing can be done to stop the literal end of a culture and of the United Kingdom as we know it – without radical reform on a scale only a Trump-like character (like him or not) could do.

When millions of people simply decided to walk into Europe, Hungary built a wall and pushed back those seeking to settle in Europe.  The European Court ruled against Hungary and said that it must provide genuine and effective means to claim asylum in Hungary. 

When Italy pushed back migrant boats, after millions sought to cross the Mediterranean Sea, the European Court found against Italy, as each and every asylum seeker’s application must be individually considered.  Thus, when millions come to Greece, or thousands to the United Kingdom, each and every application must be considered and ultimately considered by a judge (if you have enough judges) with rights of appeal.  The applicants in turn must be given assistance in their claim according to European law.

But, as I said, the ECHR is only party of the problem.  There are numerous other treaties such as the Refugee Convention, UN treaties and resolutions in addition to the ECHR.  If there is not comprehensive reform of all these international obligations, piecemeal reform is worthless and whether it is  flights to Rwanda or anything else, they are doomed to failure. Even the Good Friday agreement has human rights commitments.

Needless to say, there will be the political push back against the United Kingdom for breaking the mould and defying the new legal order. We are used to that though, aren’t we?  Membership of the Council of Europe is conditional on membership of the ECHR and the EU will rachet up their animosity to us even more. The current government has no identifiable personality comparable to the task: it would take all of Margaret Thatcher’s will power to achieve this.

Conclusion:

Finally, there are the (genuine) humanitarian considerations to consider.  Ironically many who claim asylum in the United Kingdom are unlikely to be considered refugees in the common person’s perspective.  They are young men who have crossed countless countries where they could, but don’t want to live.  Many appear to have funds to pay people smugglers.  Many have no loyalty to the United Kingdom and would not fight in the armed forces in the recent conflicts.

But even if we could ensure that only genuine asylum seekers should be permitted to settle (for example, we transported all one million Rohingya refugees from Bangladesh to the United Kingdom), there are simply too many refugees in the world, because the world is a very nasty place.

A comprehensive review of asylum policy is needed that does not enable settlement for the few in the West. For example, the response of the Muslim world to the Syrian refugee problem is scandalous.  Arabs could be easily re-settled in the Arab world (in regions with the same culture, language, and religion)- they come to the West for a better life.  Jordan keeps refugees in unsafe camps often funded by the West and the UNHCR, and rich Saudi Arabia (who funded the conflict but does next to nothing to meet its humanitarian spin-off crisis) and Egypt should have greater solidarity.  The Arab states are keeping the refugees in camps for political gain (as is largely the case with the Palestinians).

Why do we give aid to Pakistan and India who discriminate against Christians; and do not demand an improvement in their treatment.  In fact, most of the Christians living in the Muslim world could claim asylum in the West.

And for those of you who think the EU is virtuous, think again.  The EU passes these unsustainable laws of virtual unlimited migration to Europe: but as the unviability continues, they enter agreements with countries such as Turkey to beat on (literally – physically assault) the asylum seekers to prevent them physically reaching an EU border. Speaking of disingenuous.

This is a large and complex issue that requires an intelligent and humane response, but an open doors policy is insane. Repeal of the ECHR is urgent, but only a beginning – and don’t hold your breath…

Conservative MP for Morley and Outwood, Dame Andrea Jenkyns and Conservative Post Founder and Editor, Claire Bullivant, have started a petition on the Conservative Post to leave the ECHR. Please sign the petition below.

UK must leave European convention on human rights

It is time to pull out of the European Convention of Human Rights. The European Courts should have no jurisdiction over the UK. Please sign the petition.
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Main photo license: CC BY-NC Credit: Handout Reuters

1 COMMENT

  1. How does leaving the EHCR cure the problem of the record high level of legal immigration of 745 000(illegals only being a 10th of this at about 52,530) when David Cameron promised no ifs, no buts to decrease all immigration to merely tens of thousands?

    And does not Hindu Prime Minister Sunak want to do a trade deal with India which will make it easier for Indians to migrate to the UK?

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