Yesterday in the House of Lords, someone, in answer to someone else’s question about the Coalition’s determination to disengage from this, said that no such determination existed, in spite of everything that has been said over recent weeks to the contrary.

The present government is, either honestly or dishonestly, making a big thing of restoring what it refers to as our eroded civil liberties.  I mean, God bless them, but there they are talking in recognised code to each other and pretending to be enemies.  I like others saw the last televised debate between the 3 leaders, and I saw at the end what looked like a deliberate agreement between Nick Clegg and David Cameron to pull back and stand apart while Gordon Brown went down the steps to talk to people, and they both stared at him as if he was crazy, with a ‘dear me’ look on their faces as they deliberately isolated him before the cameras.  You can see it on Youtube.  See what you think.

The erosion of our civil liberties has been presented as necessary to national security.  Yesterday, with a different government, someone who appears to have a leading position in the House of Lords was still saying that, in his approach to control orders and anonymity.  But then, it appears, the media gets a sniff and puts pressure on the anonymous who are not even party to the information themselves.  They don’t send you an email, they just stalk you and use it for fishing.  Who’s to bless and who’s to blame?  Anyway, that isn’t the point today.

It seems to me there are at least two possibilities in the Human Rights scenario.  I am not qualified to go further in my thinking than that.

One possibility is that the government thinks (as if they are one person with one mind with no confusion, but never mind) that it really will be safe for us, as a democracy which will one day vote in, again, a government with a different stance, to disengage from formal accountability to and the checks and balances of Europe over Human Rights, in a move towards a benign totalitarianism.  Maybe a softer and less inflamatory term might be restoration of powers of sovereignty in equal relationship with other heads of state.  Chosen accountability within chosen and unlegislated interdependency, rather than the rights of citizens to appeal above the heads of their state.

However, by sovereign act that choice can be broken, if there is no law of accountability outside of the island.  If our leaders go off the rails and there is no right of appeal to anyone else, what then?

So it seems to me that the first possibility is that it is an honest, optimistic move towards acting on a real belief that we are more than capable of protecting human rights without outside accountability.

The second possibility is that it is a deceptive move to ensure that these mad, paranoid cavemen dont need anyone else’s permission or approval to decide there is a state of emergency that justifies the overriding of people’s ‘human rights’ (who gives or recognises those rights in the first place, where does that recognition come from?  I believe the rights and the recognition of them come from God.  That is a safe place for submission, if we are all agreed on that.  But we aren’t, so I assume that other people believe that people decide what these rights are, and the recognition comes from human reason.  And sometimes, the argument would go, the reason of imperfect, non-omniscient and sometimes downright dishonest and self-seeking people [which is what we all are, but it is deadly in unchallengeable leadership] dictates that what was a ‘fundamental human right’ yesterday cannot be today or for the foreseeable future.  That protecting the country in wars (even between different factions in the same country) chosen by leaders through a process of policy and decision fueled by the inflamed feelings of hurt egos, as the way to deal with conflict, is more important than holding on to what has been agreed in a time of peace to be fundamental to the proper state of and relationship between human beings, even between enemies.  Jesus said love your enemies.  The House of Lords is presented as ‘lords temporal and spiritual’ and defenders of the faith by members who belong to it and accept its honours but don’t accept the description and definition of what they are by those who, at least on paper, confer those honours.  The swearing in statement goes something like, for those who choose this form, and most seem to, ‘I promise to give true and faithful allegiance to her majesty the queen and to her descendants according to law, SO HELP ME GOD’.

I know this is obvious to everyone and I’m not saying anything new, but there are two applications of this ‘according to law’.  One is to give true allegiance to her majesty the queen an to her descendants, insofar as they have gained accession according to the law (discounting civil wars, obviously, then might is right, isn’t it?  That has to be obvious to any right-thinking person).

The second application of ‘according to law’ is that a person swears to give true allegiance to her majesty the queen and to any other descendants who legally occupy the throne (I feel a historical debate coming on) INSOFAR AS the allegiance ITSELF is according to law.

Now here is a problem.  If the law itself can be changed in a way detrimental to the guaranteed protection of at least the right of appeal to a wider body than the country’s own, in many ways independent, leaders, over human rights, FOR EXAMPLE, through a process of perusading the population, while withholding key information and treating some people already as if they don’t have the same human rights as everyone else, and in some cases, to insist those people are mentally ill and get the population to accept that definition and that the people so called are therefore unreliable witnesses, what weight and signicance does the declaration of allegiance with all its nuances, applications and ramifications (ramifications?  what does that mean?  what it means, its outcomes, consequences and implications, I think) actually have, unless it means selling yourself for life to the powers that have the resources to persuade the population by force, education, entertainment, maybe deception, that the changes they want in the law are right and necessary? 

Obviously if the queen and her descendants and agents act in a way which is NOT according to law, the unquestioning and unchallenging nature of that allegiance would be illegal in itself, and if the queen, her descendants and agents don’t respond to the questioning and challenging of those who have sworn allegiance in that kind of situation, then the COVERING nature of that allegiance should be withdrawn, and so should civil obedience, ideally as a last resort.  I think they call that treason, and I think it is the only thing which has been designated a crime which is still punishable, in theory at least, by the death penalty.  But assuming (is that safe?) that they don’t want to be seen to do that these days, and assuming the person has committed no act called a crime apart from acting in a way which is considered ‘not totally desirable’ (by whom and why not?) and saying things or having attitudes and beliefs which appear to go against propagated ideas of what is in the national interest, is this where mental hospitals have a part to play?  Is mental illness ‘more recognised and better understood’ these days, or is it just redefined by what is seen as political and economic convenience by rulers, lawmakers and supposed law enforcers?

I’m fed up with this now.  Just points to ponder.  I think I should get some lunch and pay my rent.

PS Is the media really independent?  And does it WANT to be?  If it doesn’t, do people know this before they get roped in?  And if they don’t, and they don’t like it, what carrot or stick keeps them there?  Why don’t they stop fishing, abusing and persuading and just make open, honest phone calls or send emails, perhaps apologising and committing themselves to a request to talk, which is honourable and reasonable behaviour?  Same with government and religious leaders.

PPS  I love you and respect you, and am grateful to you, whether I should be or not, and if you are willing to be REALLY open and honest, I am willing to need you.  Otherwise not.  Obviously that has to be true as well.  I think we should go for the first option first, though.  I’m also sorry for things which have really hurt people which really have been unacceptable in my own behaviour, but the problem is, I don’t think we necessarily agree on what really has been unacceptable and its a bit confusing and probably we are all a bit afraid and vulnerable, if we can be bothered at all.  And perhaps there is no reason any of us should assume that anyone else is or should be bothered, in spite of our best efforts, feelings and intentions, or even need.

I love you, Tommy Boyd.  Sometimes when I’m writing I do so with a feeling of being on my knees at your feet.  I feel I owe you so much.  You can approach me anytime.

In Jesus’ Name.