Will dropping the ECHR ‘void’ the ‘Good Friday Agreement’?

So the Tories want to hack the European Convention on Human Rights out of the, erm, British Constitution? [Yep, but Cameron had to get rid of Dominic Grieve before he tried it – Ed]… Erm, well as Fergal Crehan pointed out on Twitter, there’s a little matter of an international treaty to ponder…

With yer unwritten constitution and all that, hacking such over arching law into the statute is a lot easy that hacking it out… Smart move to the right, or just the latest modern folly from Westminster, or as we might say, another “Heims on the Thames”

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  • Daft Gype

    Both the Good Friday Agreement and many EU laws/ECHR ruling void themselves by virtue of being filled with self-contradictory waffle. Anything mentioning non-existent and destructive concepts such as “equality” or “parity of esteem” and all the other deluded “isms” of the trendy new-left are good examples.

  • terence patrick hewett

    Swat engineers call management by crisis. Wait for a machine to fail and then patch it up with tape and string; until it fails again. When Merkel called Cameron a “lightweight” she was displaying a charitable understatement.

  • MainlandUlsterman

    It’s his Flashman side again. Expect to see more of that before next May. My God that party is a disgrace.
    Of course we did without the ECHR in law for a long time; we were signatories to it but it was not enacted in statute (that was its status when I was a law student back in the day). It’s not the be all and end all – and it could be enacted in NI but not the rest of the country, easily enough. But pulling out of the ECHR is embarrassing, little Englander Tory sh*te of the worst order. I take pride in the fact this country created the ECHR in the first place and helped it spread across the continent.
    Every time the Tories get in, we shrink as a country. Feels like George Costanza after the pool in the Hamptons just now.

  • MalcolmRedfellow

    There is an essential question here, which has been rumbling at the back of my mind since Cameron uttered, May glossed, and Grayling went ape.

    Can an English parliament (for it would be the English Tories issuing imperial orders) dictate on this issue to the rest of the United Kingdom? Our learned friends, here assembled, might advise.

    Fairly obviously Kenny MacAskill, for the Scottish administration, has some doubts. And elbow room. In the circumstances, I can envisage a Mexican stand-off between London and Edinburgh. The Scots have already got form about the status of the “Supreme Court of the United Kingdom”.

    But where does that leave Northern Ireland? At the very least, I’d reckon on strong demands for powers to be further devolved.

    I’d guess, too, the Welsh would not be too far behind.

  • MalcolmRedfellow

    Well, Daft Gype, how about these “three principles”? —

    First: That the wishes of any one section of the community are not given undue weight against any other sections.
    Second: To abolish the ‘Five Giants’: Poverty, Disease, Ignorance, Squalor, Idleness.
    Third: To preserve individualism.

    Your starters for ten (as they say in the right quarters): where do those principles famously appear? And what’s “trendy” or “lefty” about them?

  • MalcolmRedfellow

    Good to find Nick Cohen reading from the same hymn-sheet as Fergal Crehan (and, by implication, Mick Fealty) in yesterday’s Observer:

    You don’t need to be a clairvoyant to foresee the wolfish delight with which Russia, Turkey, Hungary and other authoritarian states will greet a repeal of the Human Rights Act. They will say that if Britain no longer enforces the European convention, why should they? As of last week, Conservatives who are still capable of shame ought to be mortified that they have no rejoinder to the taunts of those who threaten an already teetering democratic order.

    And a teetering Britain too. Cameron does not care that a hard-fought and hard-won campaign to keep Scotland in the union finished only last month. The Human Rights Act is written into the Scottish devolution settlement. Mess with it and nationalists would have every right to reopen the argument for independence, just as they would if the Conservatives take us out of the European Union. It is also written into the Good Friday agreement, which ended 30 years of war in Northern Ireland. This is not a document that any person with an understanding of modern history would think of changing for a moment. Cameron is happy to meddle.

    In truth, he is not proposing a British bill of rights but an English bill of rights, and a Tory English bill at that. No one else would be obliged to accept it.

  • MainlandUlsterman

    Good piece. It captures how much the Tories have become and think like an English-only party these days – and an inward-looking one at that. Theirs is a small-minded England, in which the paths of the wealthy and privileged are cleared for them to do what they want, a conceited type of successful person follows and a few naive or disengaged drones trail along afterwards. The Human Rights Act is meaningless to them, simply, because other people’s rights are regarded as an encumbrance to their joyous dance through the meadows.

    They have no interest in making society fairer, lest it burden the “animal spirits”. Really, it’s like living in a mediaeval village.

  • MainlandUlsterman

    Surely the devolved administrations in NI and Scotland (and Wales if they want) would have to pass local legislation to enact the Human Rights Act in those areas, were Westminster to abolish it. It would be pathetic if we had to, but ultimately it seems quite feasible – and in NI and Scotland, as it’s written into the devolution settlements, it would just have to be done.