Rupert Murdoch has called for a Bill of Rights in the UK along the lines of the USA. In fact we have two already.
We have the Bill of Rights of 1689. This created the first constitutional monarchy in the world. It separated the powers of the judiciary, the legislature and the executive. And it made Parliament, not yet democratic, the central role in government. Not a bad thing in the late 17th century.
And we have the Human Rights Act (HRA) which goes some way to ensuring freedom of expression, the point Murdoch is making. Here it is:
You have the right to hold opinions and express your views on
your own or in a group. This applies even if they are unpopular
or disturbing. This right can only be restricted in specified
But he and those who think like him see the HRA as some sort of European conspiracy. The party he supports, the Tories, want a statement of British human rights. How ironic. The original statement of Human Rights in Europe was drafted by a British lawyer. It has nothing to do with the EU. It is part of a pre-EU Convention on Human Rights.
What do you want to take away?
Whenever I see the argument for a British law of human rights I ask 2 things:
1 What rights do you want to take away from the European Convention declaration of rights?
2 What rights do you want to add?
The only answer is silence.
Religion and arms
One thing in the US Bill of Rights not in English law is the demand that there should be no state religion. Yet this from a country which has “In God we trust” on its currency. Before its unofficial slogan was E pluribus unum – from the people come one.
And another thing is the right to bear arms. So what does Murdoch want? The right to bear arms and the slogan “In God we trust” as the slogan on this country? That’s worth a custard pie.