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A World Without Fear

60 years ago the world began to count the cost of the politics of hate, fear and lies. From that reckoning came the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, whose purpose was to build a world without fear.

Today, as we approach the 60th anniversary of the defeat of fascism, hate, fear and lies are fuelling the politics of the two main parties in the General Election.

A national daily newspaper exhorts its readers to “Stamp Out the Camps!”, meaning land which gypsies have bought and want to settle on with their families. The Conservative party threatens to repeal the Human Rights Act if it stands in the way of evicting Travellers and compulsorily repurchasing their land. Half a million Romany people perished in Hitler’s camps 60 years ago. Today a British political party is asking for our vote to ethnically cleanse the land of gypsies.

That such a horror should even be contemplated is in large part the responsibility of a Labour government which passed the Human Rights Act in 1998 and has trampled on it ever since. It has dragged Britain into a war whose crimes will haunt us for years to come. It has ‘derogated’ from the European Convention of Human Rights by denying prisoners the right to fair trial, claiming to do so because of a ‘national emergency’. It denounces the human rights records of dictators, whilst deporting refugees who seek asylum from those dictators. Not surprisingly, since it tries to build a reputation for toughness by ignoring its own Human Rights Act, this government invites its main political competitor to go one better by threatening to repeal it all together.

Bush and Blair’s illegal war has sponsored the destruction of human rights in Russia, the destruction of Chechnya, and the illegal separation wall with which Israel, in defiance of international law, has imprisoned Palestinians in the West Bank and stolen yet more of their land.

There can be no safety and no security by denying others, whoever they may be, their human rights. Their loss today will be our loss tomorrow. When any individual or any group are denied their human rights there is no justice, and where there is no justice there is no security. If we want a world without fear we must reject the politics of fear.

We must ask for your support whatever your past or present political allegiances. We want a government of peace and progress and will support all those who share our aims:

• End the occupation of Iraq. Withdrawal of all occupying forces and their replacement with UN peacekeeping troops and aid agencies.
• Britain must reaffirm its commitment to the UN Charter, to the UN Convention on Torture, and to all covenants and conventions of international law to which Britain is a signatory.
• We must disarm and destroy all our weapons of mass destruction, close all nuclear bases leased to the US, and end all export of conventional weapons.
• We must cancel all debts from the world’s poorest countries.
• We must have an ethical asylum policy which honours in full Britain’s obligations under the Refugee Convention.
• We must end internment without trial.
• We must seek the enforcement of all UN resolutions concerning Israel and the Palestinians.

Published by Peace and Progress - [email protected], tel. 07888 841586.

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