Tory spokesman rounds on proposed Bill of Rights…

Dominic Greive was in town last week and at Tory dinner he rounded on the proposals for content in any new Bill of Rights for Northern Ireland suggesting it makes his hair stand on end. The Newsletter reports:

He said there is “a rights culture” which is “out of control”, not just in Ulster, but throughout the UK. It did not help that “the undeserving in society” can often use rights legislation for personal gain, he added. The Conservatives, he suggested, intend to create a UK Bill of Rights which would have in-built safeguards to prevent those “whose own behaviour is lacking” from abusing the powers. The Tories would then like to see devolved government in Northern Ireland adopt the UK bill, with any changes or additions to take countenance of local needs and issues.

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  • AJJM

    Think about who would be making this potential NI Bill of Rights – not exactly role models…

    We need common sense in law making, and presumably the Conservative Party will provide this. Hopefully they will help install a Meritocracy and Equality of Opportunity!

  • autocue

    Tory blows his nose. Mick Fealty has a thread up on Slugger.

  • cynic

    Good idea and why o we need a separate quango here with its nose in the trough. One for the Uk would do just as well.

  • Dec

    For the benefit of thosewho don’t actually know who Dominic Grieve is (and clearly don’t froth quite so much at the mouth at their mere mention like some deluded fools here), it turns out he’s the British Shadow Home Secretary, looks like a grown-up Tory Boy and, according to wikipedia, has substantial business interests in Zimbabwe. Just the fellow then to lecture us all about a proposed Bill of Rights.

  • frustrated democrat

    It is fascinating the bitterness that some posters here have for the Conservative party, I suppose having what they thought was the Status Quo pulled out from beneath them might be the reason. Bob Dylan’s words ‘the times they are a-changin” come to mind.

    Dominic Grieve is also the Shadow Attorney General and has had a long association with NI. I only wish we had even more politicians of his calibre interested in NI.

    That is what the Conservatives can bring to the people of NI real politicians who hopefully, next year, will be taking the decisions on real things that matter like our taxes and how much money the locals get to spend every year.

  • kensei

    fd

    I think you’ll find that people can have plenty oF reasons to despise the Tory Party that is entirely unrelated to them hooking up with the UUP.

  • autocue

    “the locals”

    Patronising or what?

  • Dec

    I suppose having what they thought was the Status Quo pulled out from beneath them might be the reason.

    Ouch – you got me in one. That’s the reason why I despise the Tories. The threat to the Status Quo. Personally I can’t wait for them to start campaigning in Nationalist areas come the election. Should be hilarious.
    As for their linkup with the UUP, I’ve found the whole pantomime fascinating. It seems absolutely ages ago since the UUP tried to link up with the political wing of the still armed UVF.

  • frustrated democrat

    Autocue

    Well I am one of the locals born and bred and I am interested in the best deal for people here, so your problem is?

  • Cynic

    “the British Shadow Home Secretary, looks like a grown-up Tory Boy and, according to wikipedia, has substantial business interests in Zimbabwe. Just the fellow then to lecture us all about a proposed Bill of Rights.”

    so reasoned debate and no stereotyping here then….

    Oh yes…and he has interests in Zimbabwe {nudge, nudge, wink, wink, know what I mean then.

    Ah well….don’t worry …..it’s better than having to think about the issues

  • ZoonPol

    I did the same thing Cynic: I had to smile. As the shadow Attorney General for England and Wales and Northern Ireland in the Official Opposition I suppose he has that right. To be honest I see his point: many rights but few responsibilities. The Human Rights Act is enough, failing that then the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU shall be fun.

  • Interestingly I’ve yet to hear anyone actually launch a convincing argument for the NIHRC’s recommendations which attempts to answer the points raised against it. It’s the same old it’s got ‘rights’ in the title so you dare not oppose it garbage,

  • ulsterfan

    As we are either incapable or unable to create our own Bill I am quite happy to delay the proceedings until we examine what Westminster brings forth.
    The majority of people are happy with the sovereignty of the London Parliament.
    We have done quite well without a Bill of Rights.

  • In Canada, we have the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Since we got it, not a few people have wondered if the word “responsibilities” should have found its way into the text if not the title. Something to think about when a Bill of Rights is being proposed.

  • the undeserving in society … using … legislation for personal gain

    Now, there’s a topic whereon I defer to the expertise of almost any Tory.

    Reminds me of the story of the Yorkshire miner, on his Sunday short-cut home from lunchtime in the pub, and accosted thus by the effete landlord on his high horse:

    “Hi! you there! fellow! You’re trespassing on my land!”

    “By what right is it yer land?”

    “I inherited it from my father!”

    “And what were ‘is right to t’land?”

    “He inherited it from our ancestors, of course!”

    “And what right did yer ancestors have to t’land?”

    “They fought for it!”

    “Reet , then,” says the miner, doffing his coat. “Come down off thet ‘oss, and I’ll fight yer fer it now.”

  • Dec

    Reasoned debate, Cynic.

    Given the topic is yet another puff-piece forthe imminent New World Order caused by the UUP electoral link up with the Conservatives (that would be the same Conservatives who received 0.5% of the entire first preference vote cast in the 2007 Assembley election), I fail to see how reasoned debate has any relevance here.

    Oh and btw I’m sure those alleged business interests in Zimbabwe are nothing to be ashamed of.

  • Bob Wilson

    Doh Dec!
    The relevance is Grieve is highly likely to be in power within a year and a half and in a position to put his opionion into effect!

    You might like the fact but NI is in the UK and he is highly to be a key member of the next government

  • frustrated democrat

    DEC

    If you bothered to check you would see there are in Shell, Rio Tinto, Standard Chartered Bank etc. i.e very small %’s of very large companies with multi national interests.

    Apparently all Tesco and Barclays shareholders are in the same position.

    So nothing to hide there, maybe even your pension might be invested in one of them.

  • Bob Wilson @ 04:50 PM:

    Grieve is highly likely to be in power within a year and a half and in a position to put his opionion into effect!

    Any chance of quoting odds on that? It is a value judgment based on too many assumptions: that the next General Election is a done deal (so much for democracy!) and that Grieve retains his present post.

    The latter assumption should be given full consideration. Grieve, for all of his merits, is lumbered with an appearance somewhere between Dracula, the impaler of cocktail olives, and a distant also-ran in a De Valera lookalike competition.

    Then there was Grieve’s curious demotion at the Tory Party Conference. The Evening Standard reporter was so gripped by Grieve’s oration that he had time to count the 241 present in a hall of some 1,500 seats. It was also noticed that Grieve was denied the main Laura Norder speech: that went to the more-popular (and more-telegenic?) Nick Herbert. Grieve was allowed time only after the parade of Tory-susceptible Olympians, while the Tory faithful had debunked to the trough (what’s the lunch-time equivalent of the “graveyard” shift?). Compare that with the Home Affairs stars of yesteryear: the Widders or Dave Davis would have wet every seat in the house.

    The trouble with the present Tory leadership is the Emperor Cameron. If one stands too close to the throne, one is likely to be defenestrated. If one is too distant, one is disregarded. In an absence of policy, the Party has beauty parades (though none may outshine the Leader). As usual, Old Bill, the butcher’s son, provided a text:

    … a lower place, note well,
    May make too great an act: for learn this, Silius;
    Better to leave undone, than by our deed
    Acquire too high a fame when him we serve’s away.
    Caesar and Antony have ever won
    More in their officer than person:…
    Who does i’ the wars more than his captain can
    Becomes his captain’s captain: and ambition,
    The soldier’s virtue, rather makes choice of loss,
    Than gain which darkens him.
    I could do more to do Antonius good,
    But ‘twould offend him; and in his offence
    Should my performance perish.

    An intriguing sidelight is thereby cast on today’s doings. Until lately, Cameron and Osborne, the wallpaper heir, were welded at the hip. Now we learn, from the Emperor’s own lips no less, that Hague “is effectively my deputy in all but name and people need to know that.”

    In passing, anent the matters of human rights, wasn’t it St Dominic who established the Spanish Inquisition and was the first Grand Inquisitor?

    [Sound effect: jarring dischord]
    NOBODY expects the Spanish Inquisition! Amongst our weaponry are such diverse elements as: fear, surprise, ruthless efficiency, an almost fanatical devotion to the Pope, and nice red uniforms – Oh damn!

  • John K Lund

    Malcom Redfellow
    The Yorkie colliers fought with great distinction in both world wars and numerous other theatres of conflict. They are now incorporated in The Rifles but were called The Kings Own Yorkshire Light Infantry or Koylies they most certainly would not have joined in your polical outlook. They were similar to The DLI a Geordie regiment who could scrap and fight well and give a good account of themselves. Just realise Yorkshire is the Texas of the mother country and do not involve us in your argument. We are above all this trible warfare and sort out our difference playing Cricket,both codes of Rugby Football and Soccer against the Lancastrians. I am of bastard stock 5/8 Yorkshire and 3/8 Lancastrian and a long term Ulster resident to boot.I am totally catholic in all my tastes,travels and interests and a proud supporter of the C&U;’s.

  • ZoonPol

    Bob, answer me this. When and if the justice and policing ministry becomes reality will the Attorney General for Northern Ireland sit at Stormont or Parliament; will he be a peer or commoner?

  • Dec

    Doh Dec!
    The relevance is Grieve is highly likely to be in power within a year and a half and in a position to put his opionion into effect!

    Next time, try reading what I actually typed before responding. That being said, I should hardly expect accuracy from someone who’s being proclaiming the imminent ascent to power of local tories for what seems like ever. 0.5% eh?

    If you bothered to check you would see there are in Shell, Rio Tinto, Standard Chartered Bank etc. i.e very small %’s of very large companies with multi national interests.

    Cynic

    Actually I did check and it appears he has private shareholdings in companies operating in the Zimbabwe such as Shell, mining firms Rio Tinto and Anglo American and the Standard Chartered bank. How this sits with Cameron’s previous statement that he expected firms in Zimbabwe to uphold “the highest ethical standards” and Zimbabwe investors to “examine their own responsibilities”, is anyone’s guess.

  • John K Lund

    Malcolm Redfellow,
    Peter Osborne and Anthony Little started hand printing wallpaper on the kitchen table.They have competed against me and we have bought and sold to each other textiles and wallcoverings for possibly more years than you have existed. Osborne and Little is a SME and George is no heir to vast riches. His parents made great sacrifices to give him an education which no socialist could nationalise,appropriate or cancel.Furthermore they also freed up a place in a grammar school for a more needful pair of parents and also saved the taxpayers, ie you I hope, a considerable amount of public expenditure which would otherwise have had to be met from the exchequer and the rates. As Alec Douglas Holme told one H J Wilson he hoped he was also the 14th Mr Wilson. Rise above class warfare and xenophobia and enjoy fulfillment in a truly catholic and totally democratic secular free world.

  • Seymour Major

    Firstly, I am not against any of the very laudible objectives behind the idea of having a Bill of Rights for NI. It was part of a peace package. It has been produced as a result of lot of consultation. For those reasons the document deserves to be treated with respect.

    It was not the duty of the HRCNI to cost out the proposals. That is for the politicians and their advisors. Unfortunately, I had to miss Dominic Grieve’s speech. I would like to have asked questions. Having read through the recommendations, however, I can see why some of the proposals would “make one’s hair stand on end”.

    I believe that behind much of the criticism of the recommendations of the HRCNI is the fact that much more public money will have to be poured into Northern Ireland in order to support the recommendations, assuming they are viable.

    Here is one example
    “Public authorities must take all appropriate measures to reintegrate into society those in detention or alternative care by providing support, prior to and after discharge, towards independent living.”

    This recommendation is hopelessly utopian and idealistic. We would all like to see all criminals re-integrated into society and never to re-offend again. Many of these people are either incorrigible or would need to have enormous sums of money spent on services which the public simply could not afford. And if these services are not provided, presumably the criminal gets the opportunity to take the Government to Court and claim substantial damages because his paranoid personality disorder was not sufficientlly altered by inadequate psychotherapy and therefore has resulted in him re-offending.

    This provision and many others in the recommendations would be a public scandal horror story waiting to happen.

    I want to finally add that we must not overlook the what the GFA was trying to achieve to promote a better society. The inclusion of cultural rights were a specific part of the NIHRC brief. I have already indicated in blogs on the Conservative NI website that even though legislation to promote culture maybe inappropriate (not least because of likely negative and potentially dangerous consequences) it does not mean we should stop embracing and promoting the cocktail of Irish cultures that exist.

  • RepublicanStones

    Malcolm @ 03:03 PM that sounds like an extract from Carl Sandburg’s ‘The People, Yes’.

  • John K Lund

    Electoral relevance and despiction levels.

    A majority of the population of this province despise either the DUP or their bedfellows Sien Fein; sorry about that but it is statistically correct.Both parties will in the next European elections have less than 1% support amongst the UK electorate than the C&U;’s who will have more than likely have 35%. Now who,s relevent a bunch of miniscule festering carbunckles or someone with real political clout in Europe. Fringe minnows go nowhere; and have no real influence and political outcome despite what they tell you. Paisley’s behaviour in the European Parliament was unbelievable. Remember when the Pope called and PappaDoc’s puerile and pathetic attempts of disruption.Empty vessels make the most din especially when used in combination with an antique fog horn. Its bad for the ears.

  • dumb sums

    “A majority of the population of this province despise either the DUP or their bedfellows Sien Fein”
    Equally, a majority in Ireland despise either FF OR FG. A majority in England despise either Labour OR tories. What’s your point?

    “Both parties will in the next European elections have less than 1% support amongst the UK electorate..” So you agree that Ireland is well on the way to getting the 0% involvement with UK elections it has always wanted? Cool!

  • John K Lund @ 06:09 PM:

    Funny, isn’t it?

    My great-grandfather, grandfather and four of his sons, various first cousins and numerous other relatives and acquaintances were dahn t’pit in South Yorkshire. My father was offered a YCCC trial. I’ve got relatives in war cemeteries across Europe: though, bits of my cousin Jean, admittedly, were boxed back to Yorkshire when she got hers with the other ATS girls of her searchlight squadron at Great Yarmouth. Yet John K Lund @ 06:09 PM, all of 5/8ths of him from God’s own acres, lectures me on the sporting and political attitudes and the war-service of Hallamshire.

    I wish he’d had the chance to explain his gripes to Uncle Ernest Copley, Father of the NUM Chapel, and his mates, over a game of doms in the Yellow Lion. I’d have offered to hold his coat for him.

    As for the Osbornes, I recall that young Gideon is the putative 18th baronet of Ballintaylor and Ballylemon in the County Wexford. The title derives from a Charles I creation. The first baronet loyally served the two Charles in Irish parliaments between 1639 and 1666 (there was, of course, a small interruption during the late 1640s and 1650s). The next generation married into the Walsingham and Howard families: ever heard of them in your knowledge of English history, John K Lund @ 07:10 PM? The fifth baronet’s loyalty slipped neatly between James II and William III — a good Churchillian practice: still, it kept him in official regard and place, so bless him.

    The hereditary parliamentary seat for Waterford (when they were not equally being MPs for Carysfort or Enniskillen) remained in the clutches of the Osborne baronets through much of the eighteenth century. The 12th baronet married a La Poer Trench, daughter of the Earl of Clancarty (though a Whig creation in the ancestry apparently didn’t disqualify young Gids from the Bullingdon Club: £10,000 a year membership, isn’t it?).

    Etc. etc.

    Not a bad background for a mere interior decorator possessed of a kitchen table.

    I’m sure the background in landlordism, rack-renting and applying penal laws remains an excellent recommendation for a Tory. Less so, I admit, for a credible historic commitment to human rights — on which this thread should be based.

  • RepublicanStones @ 07:49 PM:

    Thank you, oh thank you, for that.

    I needed reminding:

    The people know the salt of the sea
    and the strength of the winds
    lashing the corners of the earth.
    The people take the earth
    as a tomb of rest and a cradle of hope.
    Who else speaks for the Family of Man?
    They are in tune and step
    with constellations of universal law…

    The steel mill sky is alive.
    The fire breaks white and zigzag
    shot on a gun-metal gloaming.
    Man is a long time coming.
    Man will yet win.
    Brother may yet line up with brother:

    This old anvil laughs at many broken hammers.

    Sandberg, another good thing to come out of Illinois.

  • ??

    Remember when the Pope called and PappaDoc’s puerile and pathetic attempts of disruption.Empty vessels make the most din especially when used in combination with an antique fog horn. Its bad for the ears. …………..

    and yet the people of Northern Ireland continued to vote for paisley time and time again.

  • Jimmy Sands

    “Now who,s relevent a bunch of miniscule festering carbunckles or someone with real political clout in Europe. ”

    You’re not referring to the EPP by any chance are you?