» human rights act ¦ What You Can Get Away With

Why Vote Liberal Democrat? – Alex Marsh has read Jeremy Browne’s latest book. It’s fair to say he’s not impressed.
How long would it take us to put people on the moon? – Andrew Ducker asks a question I’ve wondered about before, but unlike me, he gets answers.
The Status Quo Is Not a Neutral Position: Fiction and Politics – ” I expect these folks who think pure genre fiction is free from politics think we should just write about a post-racial capitalist utopia, where men are men and women are women. Because writing such a thing is not a statement of politics or morals or values, but of cold, objective fact.”
Politics – why can’t we admit mistakes? – Paul Bernal asks, though I don’t think anyone’s yet found the answer, or an alternative.
Why have the Conservatives not published their “Bill of Rights” proposals? – “The Conservatives do not really want to know what you think about abolishing the Human Right Act and they do not want you to have access to their plans, independent of any media outlet; the Conservatives instead care more about what the Press thinks and what the Press will tell you to think.”

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Human Rights, Devolution, And The Constrained Authority Of The Westminster Parliament – Because the Human Rights Act is ingrained into the UK’s devolution settlement, Westminster can’t just simply dispose of it. It’s almost like David Cameron is making promises he knows he can’t keep.
How IDS’ plan will starve and stigmatise people on benefits – Always remember that what they’re willing to do to the lowest in society, they’d do to everyone else if they could get away with it.
The Only Political Speech You’ll Ever Need To Read – “You know, the dingle dangle scarecrow didn’t want much. Just to shake his hands like this. And shake his feet like that. But who will speak for him? Not our opponents, I’m afraid. They’ve shown this week that they’re far more interested in standing up for the big Wicker Men than they are for the humble dingle dangle scarecrow.”
A quick post on human rights – Alex Marsh rounds up much of the commentary on the Tory proposals.
The budget and the bogus hairdressers – The Yorkshire Ranter looks at the link between unemployment and budget deficits.

And today’s bonus: this map of every rail route there’s been in the UK is fascinating.

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The memory of my daughter Amy Houston has been dishonoured – The Human Rights Act isn’t why her killer wasn’t deported, it’s the fault of the Home Office not using the powers they have.
Don’t make fun of renowned Dan Brown – Humorous columnist Michael Deacon has used the digits on the end of his hands to compose a humorous column about renowned author Dan Brown, which renowned newspaper the Telegraph has transferred into a pattern of ones and zeroes using arcane knowledge created by occult-influenced genius Berners-Lee that allows it to be displayed on its digital website for everyone in the world to read. Thus, many more people can read the humorous column composed by humorous columnist Michael Deacon.
Boris’ Bus Is A Criminal Waste Of Money – According to Tim Fenton, the ‘New Bus For London’ will cost £500m more over its lifetime than a regular alternative.
Fixing A&E – Flip Chart Fairy Tales on why ‘sacking middle managers’ doesn’t always bring cost savings.
Lies, damned lies and Iain Duncan Smith – Finally, Nick Cohen looks at a politician lacking evidence for the outlandish claims he makes.

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All three parties and some Human Rights Act too. It’s like Question Time in here.

Gay Marriage – Never expected to be linking to a Tory MP’s post on equal marriage, but here’s a well though through and Christian perspective in favour of it from Desmond Swayne.
How my riots tweet landed me in hot water – at taxpayers’ expense – And after a Tory MP, we have a Labour Councillor in Lewisham, talking about the iniquities of the Standards Board regime.
And I am not making this up… – Wiggy explains the Human Rights Act, and how criticisms of it are usually based on people not understanding what it means.
Case for snooping powers backfires for Theresa May – What? A Government minister using erroneous evidence to argue for more powers to snoop and censor us? I’m shocked – shocked! – to discover such things happening.
Happy Birthday to the Libera-Tory Coalition? – Alex Wilcock looks back on two years in Government from a Lib Dem perspective.

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The whole wide world in just five links

Twenty reasons why it’s kicking off everywhere – Newsnight’s Paul Mason looks at some of the reasons for the sudden wave of protests around the world
Novels I will not write: Jesus wants his kidney back – Charles Stross comes up with some wonderful ideas for books that won’t happen: “wouldn’t it be fun to have a vampire yarn revolving around a hapless journalist who is in demand because he pisses holy water?”
We Have Always Been At War With Sir Winston Churchill – Stable and Principled on the latest banging of the drums against the Human Rights Act
It’s my dream job! – Anton Vowl applies for a job at the Daily Mail…but I think my application has a better chance of success
Peter Pomerantsev’s Diary – An inside look at how TV is produced in Russia, and why Western models of reality TV don’t work well there (via)

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I’ve been mentioned in the Daily Mirror. Sadly, not for any great achievement on my part, or coming out with some great opinion that needed to be heard by the people, but because they can’t be bothered to report a story properly. I was one of several people who tweeted from the Lib Dem Special Conference yesterday about Tom McNally and Chris Huhne pledging to leave the Government if the Human Rights Act goes but I was the one named as a source by the Mirror – possibly because I’m a councillor and say so on my Twitter profile – rather than any of the many others who mentioned it as well.

Of course, a decent journalist might have contacted Huhne or McNally themselves, but why go through all the hassle of having to work out how to get in touch with a Liberal Democrat minister when your deadline’s pressing, and you can just do all your work by following Twitter hashtags?

Tomorrow’s Mirror headline: Lib Dems are secretly alien lizards from space. Though I am kind of hoping some crazed follower of David Icke will one day find that and hold it up as proof that the Turquoise Messiah is right.

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