Advertising rights

Chekov isn’t impressed at the advertising campaign embarked upon by the Bill of Rights forum Consortium, nor is he convinced that they will actually do anything new. Newt isn’t a fan either.

“One in three kids here live in poverty. That’s why we need a Bill of Rights.” So declares a major new advertising campaign from the taxpayer-funded Bill of Rights Forum. Where do you even start with such arrogance? First, the claim that one in three children live in poverty is politically-loaded nonsense. Second, if the forum believes that the Bill of Rights will address poverty then it has already pre-judged the inclusion of economic and social rights, although it was on exactly this point that the last attempt to draft the bill collapsed. Third, what right does this quango have to spend public money promoting its hard-left policy agenda?

  • Harry Flashman

    There is no poverty in any meaningful sense of the word in Northern Ireland.

    I live in the Third World, I see poverty daily, there is no poverty in Northern Ireland.

  • Mark Fartlighter

    Harry,

    I am a socialist but I agree.

    There is social deprivation which is not the same thing. The welfare state cancells out poverty here.

    Social deprivation cannot be solved by simply throwing money at it, it takes alot more effort and imagination, but some men, you just can’t reach.

  • Mark Fartlighter

    O … and this campaign smacks of propaganda. Don’t like it.

  • matt

    Poverty is described as a lack of resources or opportunities to realise your full potential. It goes beyond economic poverty.

    Newton’s method of analysing and his evidence base for claiming that ‘one in three children living in poverty is politically loaded nonsense’, is inspiring. In fact it’s so inspiring that I’ve just adopted the same approach: one in three children living in poverty in Northern Ireland is a gross under statement. See how that worked?

    Firstly a Bill of Rights is necessary to secure rights that we don’t have or that the UK pay lip service to but won’t sign up to.

    Secondly, a majority of the population, across all communities and most sectors accept the need for, and favour a Bill of Rights.

    Furthermore, there are so many gaps in the Human Rights Act and that seriously need to be addresses. The HR act doesn’t cater for children, as an example.

    This should not be opposed but welcomed as securing rights for EVERYONE equally across northern ireland.

  • But that’s the same pat meaningless drivel which can be briefly summarised as “rights are good”. Specify the rights you want legislated which we don’t currently have. Why will a Northern Ireland specific Bill ensure more than lip-service is paid to rights which are already enshrined in UK legislation? I read in the Irish News yesterday this claim that a majority of people favour a BoR. Of course there were no details about how the question was framed and how the polling was conducted.

  • “a majority of the population, across all communities and most sectors accept the need for, and favour a Bill of Rights.”

    I’m highly sceptical of that claim.

  • steve48

    Are there things we can do better? Yes of course there is

    Do we need judges to determine how many playgrounds we have? No of course not

  • willowfield

    MATT

    Firstly a Bill of Rights is necessary to secure rights that we don’t have or that the UK pay lip service to but won’t sign up to.

    Such as?

    Secondly, a majority of the population, across all communities and most sectors accept the need for, and favour a Bill of Rights.

    Evidence?

    Furthermore, there are so many gaps in the Human Rights Act and that seriously need to be addresses.

    Such as?

    The HR act doesn’t cater for children, as an example.

    What nonsense. The HR Act applies to everyone, regardless of age.

  • I can see the next batch of posters already:
    “The Human Rights Act doesn’t cater for ginger people. That’s why we need a bill of rights.”

  • Harry Flashman

    *Poverty is described as a lack of resources or opportunities to realise your full potential.*

    Described by whom? Because that sure ain’t the definition in my dictionary.

    If people living in a time of full employment in one of the richest nations on earth, with access to free compulsory education for all children and free health care and subsidised housing and a massive welfare state do not make full use of the opportunities presented to them, opportunities that 90% of the rest of the world would crawl naked over broken glass to get, well then I’m afraid no about of wishy washy flim flam in a bill of rights is going to change their situation.

  • Newton Emerson

    Confession time – due to misreading a website address on the side of a bus, I have mistakenly attributed this campaign to the Bill of Rights Forum. It is actually run by the Human Rights Consortium, a collection of 120 local rights quangos.
    Chris Sidoti of the Forum corrects this today in the Irish News, while also welcoming the Consortium’s political lobbying.
    The Consortium itself makes no secret of its desire for the inclusion of economic and social rights in the bill – in fact it was set up for this purpose.
    Despite my error, I believe that the points I have raised still stand.

  • willowfield

    Newton

    I suspect that the respective memberships of the “Human Rights Consortium” and the “Bill of Rights Forum” overlaps somewhat.

  • Still no attempts to objectively rationalise the need for a BoR with reference to specific rights and detail.

  • Newton Emerson

    Yes, there is a considerable overlap but that doesn’t excuse my mistake. All I can say in my defence is that my source of information was going past me at 30mph.
    I am a little surprised by Mr Sidoti’s claim today the Consortium’s campaign involves no expenditure of public money. Nearly all the groups in the Consortium receive public funding.

    I’d also like to answer Matt’s question about the method for calculating child poverty. It is based on 60 per cent of the median wage, so it only measures income distribution. Eamonn McCann raised this in the Telegraph last Thursday and asked how child poverty should be measured, given that some degree of socially unacceptable deprivation must exist. He suggested no access to decent clothing as an indicator. According to the last NI Poverty and Social Exclusion survey, the percentage of children here who have to wear second-hand clothes is 6 per cent. This is 18,000 children, not 100,000 children as claimed, or even 44,000 children in “severe poverty” as claimed.

    I think we should ask ourselves why some people are latching onto a problem that is on a modest enough scale to be effectively addressed and talking it up into a problem that will require a fundamental rebalancing of our entire economy. Just to ask that question goes some way to answering it.

    If you want to be a radical leftist, that’s your perogative and the ballot box is as open to you as to anyone else. But crying “Won’t somebody think of the children?” then trying to sneak your policy agenda in as human rights legislation is dishonest, undemocratic and downright creepy.

  • *points at Newt*

    What he said.

  • Hogan

    Ditto to Beano

  • Michael Shilliday

    But Newt, doesn’t thinking like that make you evil? You’re also killing your chances of living in the lucrative pastures of quangoland.

    The question simply is what rights are unique to Northern Ireland? The answer is not a single one. Our problem is not a failure to enshrine rights, the problem is awful interpretation of rights, and their use to vilify those you disagree with, or plain old cultural warfare. For a reference see Limavady Borough Council.

  • ozy

    Actually a properly drafted Bill of Rights would protect the unionist minority in Limavady and west of the Bann (as well as the nationalist minority east of the Bann) from the kind of sectarianism practised by the Shinners on Limavady council.

    My main reservation about the Bill of Rights is that its not a UK-wide Bill. I agree with entrenching the inalienable rights of UK citizens – a la the Canadian Charter of Rights & Freedoms – I’m just not sure why our inalienable rights should stop halfway across the North Channel when moving to another part of our own country!

    But I’ll happily take a NI Bill of Rights as a useful starting point – and indeed something on which hopefully Northern Ireland can lead the rest of the UK on.

  • Mark Thatcher

    Confession time – due to misreading a website address on the side of a bus, I have mistakenly attributed this campaign to the Bill of Rights Forum. It is actually run by the Human Rights Consortium, a collection of 120 local rights quangos.
    Posted by Newton Emerson on Jan 23, 2008 @ 01:26 PM

    Local rights quangos! I see a lot of community groups and groups representing the minorities in our society included in the consortium. But don’t worry about their voice….. its the voice of the middle class professional whingers/writers that should be listened too! Its easy “newt” to ridicule community groups, that don’t have an effective voice, unless they come together into such a consortium. Its easy to voice the opinions of the business community(CBI), etc, from your public position, as they keep your career intact. But its harder to stand up and work for a better society, for those less off than you or I. A bill of rights can provide a foundation for that better society. Or are you firmly in the “people should help themselves…blah, blah” tory camp. Your paymasters must be proud!!

  • Newton Emerson

    I think I’ve made it pretty clear that I am of the “people should help themselves” Tory camp.
    Doesn’t that opinion have as much right to be voiced as any other?

  • “A bill of rights can provide a foundation for that better society.”

    Still not an attempt from anyone if favour of this Bill to mention any specific rights or detail.

  • jivaro

    Newt is in the pay of the CBI, says Mark Thatcher:

    Never takes long for bleeding heart lefties to accuse everyone else of being in the pay of evil baby-munching capitalists, does it?

    No one can reason for themselves, everyone who voices a different opinion is a puppet.

    This is the first step on the road to the tinfoil hat.

    What does genuinely puzzle me is the touching faith lefties and the human rights lobbyists have in the unelected judiciary.

    Aren’t they agents of the capitalist state apparatus, too?

    Why should we place such confidence in the integrity of rich lawyers and judges?