The Abid Naseer case, where an al-Qaeda member who came to Britain posing as a student but intent on blowing up British citizens, was notable for one important reaction to the ruling of the special immigration tribunal. That was the reaction of the new Home Secretary, Theresa May. She quite incredibly said the government would not be appealing against the ruling, handed down by the Special Immigration Appeals Commission:
“We are disappointed that the court has ruled that Abid Naseer and Ahmad Faraz Khan should not be deported to Pakistan, which we were seeking on national security grounds.
“As the court agreed, they are a security risk to the UK. We are now taking all possible measures to ensure they do not engage in terrorist activity.”
Many people were extremely critical of this decision, rightly so because it again made crystal clear that the interests of people considered to be engaged in serious wrongdoing have been promoted above those of the law abiding majority. The pathetic response from Theresa May doesn’t tell us what the government intends to do about it. The reason for that pathetic response is that the Con-Lib government isn’t going to do a thing about it. Despite the fine words and pledges of action, this is another of those areas where David Cameron has executed one of his now infamous U-turns – over five months ago, barely noticed by the media.
It was in January that this blog highlighted a story demonstrating a shift in Conservative thinking, a shift that would see it kick into the long grass its plan to scrap the Human Rights Act (HRA) and create a British Bill of Rights. The UK Human Rights Act, uniquely among EU member states, incorporates all the case law not just of this country, but of the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg. With a significant number of contradictory and perverse judgments coming from that Court, the Act is a confusing dog’s breakfast that does more to protect the interests of people seeking to avoid the consequences for their actions than the law abiding majority. But in any case, Cameron’s Bill of Rights, wouldn’t make any real difference because the Tories want to remain within the jurisdiction of the European Court of Human Rights.
Theresa May’s running up of the white flag is evidence of the Conservative sham when it comes to dealing with the HRA. There was nothing else she could say because the Tories have run away from their own commitment. There was no information about what she intends to do about this idiocy because the Tories are now resolved to ‘letting matters rest there’. Does that sound familiar? It should because that those where the words used by David Cameron when promising to deal with the Lisbon Treaty if he came to power after it was ratified. Lo and behold, the U-turn on the HRA is another climb down designed to suit the interests of European harmonisation.
What is so profoundly dishonest is that it now seems the Conservatives are giving the impression that their backing away from the replacement of the Human Rights Act with a British Bill of Rights is the fault of the Liberal Democrats. The Telegraph, five months behind the curve on things that matter, plays the Conservatives’ useful idiot yet again as it furthers the Tory spin operation. Deputy Political Editor, Robert Winnett, chunters on about the Tory manifesto pledge on a Bill of Rights and Cameron’s quote that the protection the law (HRA) offered to criminals was a “glaring example of what is going wrong in our country”, before spinning the line that the plans may have been delayed following the coalition agreement with the Liberal Democrats. He goes on to say that:
There was confusion yesterday over the introduction of the new Bill of Rights after a senior Cabinet minister indicated that plans to repatriate powers from Brussels had been abandoned. Asked on the BBC Radio Four World at One programme if the Government would consider repealing relevant “major European law”, Francis Maude, the Cabinet Office minister, said: “I can’t comment on that, we’re not planning that.”
It’s only confusing if you’ve not been paying attention to the signals coming out of Millbank over the last five months. The decision has nothing to do with the useless Lib Dims, they are just being made a convenient patsy for a decision taken months ago. We can expect the Lib Dims to be used to provide Cameron with the cover he has long sought to indulge his personal Europhile desires by backing away from promised negotiations to repatriate other powers from the EU.
We have been spun a tale of a new politics being created, one that serves the people rather than the political class. The reality is we are seeing the political class perpetrate a fraud against the public, using the challenges of working in coalition as an excuse for following an agenda that abandons pledges offered to appease the public, while tightening the politicians’ grip on the levers of power.
Update: EU Referendum doesn’t beat around the bush, fearlessly telling it the way it is.