Monday, November 09, 2015

Scrapping the Human Rights Act low priority for Brits, poll shows - while Peep Show's Alan Johnson agrees

Brits have little appetite to scrap the Human Rights Act, new figures suggest - as celebrity campaigners rallied to save the legislation.
Eight out of ten people approve of equality for all, according to a new poll, when asked about government plans to repeal the law.
David Cameron’s desire to abandon the act enshrined in British law since 2000 is only a top priority for three per cent of the public, a new ComRes poll found.
A government consultation on replacing the act is about to begin.
But now TV stars including Game Of Thrones’ Oona Chaplin, Doctor Who and Broadchurch’s Arthur Darvill and Peep Show’s Paterson Joseph are backing an Amnesty International campaign to keep it.

Singer Charlotte Church and actress Juliet Stevenson are also involved.
Joseph, who plays Peep Show’s Alan Johnson, told Metro: ‘I oppose any move to reduce human rights protections.
‘They are there as a vital safety-net for the vulnerable in our society.
‘If Britain is seen to be scaling back on human rights here, then that could give the signal to other countries and could be extremely dangerous, undoing all the progress of the last century.’

And Darvill said: ‘I think the fact that the Human Rights Act could be scrapped is appalling.
‘It seems like it’s being used as part of a political game and it should be above politics.
‘Human rights protect the most vulnerable in our society and should be permanent lasting protections.’
Meanwhile, Oona Chaplin from Game Of Thrones and Sherlock warned: 'Do we really want to gamble the very fundaments that protect our humanity, when all around we see evidence of cuts to public services, corporate greed, environmental irresponsibility, and a humanitarian crisis bigger than we have witnessed in generations?
‘This country is not enough at peace for us to be willing to gamble the consensus that protects our humanity.’

Amnesty UK’s director Kate Allen said: ‘The message from the British people is clear - leave the Human Rights Act alone.’
The ComRes survey suggests 78 per cent of Britons believe all human rights should apply equally to everyone.
Meanwhile, the issues that feature in most people’s top three priorities are the NHS (58 per cent), immigration (50 per cent) and welfare (29 per cent).
Only three per cent said repeal should be the government’s top priority, while 11 per cent would have it among the three most important policy issues.
Almost half of British adults - 46 per cent - called for all rights presently in the act to be retained.
Two in five say that changing human rights in the UK would have a negative impact on the UK’s ability to promote human rights internationally.  
Ms Allen added: ‘The government should abandon its ill-advised plans to repeal the Human Rights Act.
‘It’s great to have it confirmed that British people think that rights and protections must apply to everyone equally in order to work at all.
‘How can we ask other countries, like Saudi Arabia, China or Russia, to uphold human rights, if we are busy tearing up the rule book at home?’
The Conservatives were forced to drop plans to repeal the Human Rights Act when forced into coalition with the Lib Dems in 2010.
But their winning election manifesto this year proposed replacing it with a Bill Of Rights which could break the formal link between British courts and the European Court of Human Rights.
The European Convention on Human Rights, on which the Act is based, was drawn up by lawyers in the immediate aftermath of the Second World War.
It aims to protect such rights as to life, privacy, work, a home and expression.

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