Seriously. If it were happening in any other named country in the world, we’d be staring, rolling our eyes, and wondering how the population managed to become so easily-led. But it’s not. It’s happening here. And there are swathes of people who care more about the irrational anger they fear when a foreign person can’t be deported than they do about the right to life being enshrined in law without parliamentary levers and pulleys attached to it.
Maybe it’s just that, somehow, they trust our government implicitly. It’s the same segment of the population, doubtless, that will be apologists for the Snooper’s Charter along the lines that nothing to hide means nothing to fear. Bizarrely, they’ll also say they have no faith in politics or politicians – but as soon as they’re elected, they trust death penalty advocate and education privatiser Michael Gove to protect their fundamental rights as citizens.
It’s hard to tell what’s more scary – the impending prospect of a British Bill of Rights which doesn’t apply to soldiers abroad and has a “seriousness threshold”, below which the rights won’t be actionable; or the fact that as a nation we’ve reached a stage where hatred of a handful of foreigners deemed to have played the system can, with the goading of the mainstream press and politicians alike, usurp the rights that were battled for through so much effort and blood. Richard Littlejohn’s hilarious insistence on calling them “Yuman Rights” has convinced his readers that our legally-enshrined freedom is a joke.
Indeed, there’s something perverse and nauseating about the hysterical reaction of the press to the defacing of a war memorial this week, as they celebrate the Conservatives’ plans to decimate the accountability and reliability of our Human Rights. It has to be seen to be believed.