Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Euston is a shitty place anyway

My eye was drawn to a post at Fisking Central about the Euston Manifesto. Yes, yes, I know, but bear with me as there are some points of amusement.
Matt and I have always wanted to sign the Euston Manifesto, but have been critical of certain areas where we weren’t entirely satisfied.

I can sympathise; as soon as I was born, the first coherent thought that entered my little round head was that I too must sign: it was my destiny.
[The audience] wanted specifics, plans and calls for action, as did we. This, unfortunately, caused some unease amongst the rest of the panel. Geras, to give one example, should have been able to speak for all when he said he opposed the extradition to torture, but did not feel entirely comfortable to do so.

After all, where will the Eustonites' gulags be built if they actively condemn torture, eh?
This is a shame - if the principles of the Manifesto are so self-evident why not be more definitive?

If the principles are "self-evident" then why do you need the Eustonites to describe them to you at all? Why, indeed, would the Eustonites need to articulate principles that are "self-evident"? And if one practice is self-evidently wrong, then surely it is torture: why were they unable to roundly condemn this practice?
The feminist question was also a good one – why not elaborate on the rather foggy concept of human rights, and apply it directly to social groups?

Eh? I don't know what the feminist question was: perhaps it's self-evident, but I've already written before that the concept of human rights is a load of horseshit. Only a being higher than ourselves can confer "rights" on the whole of humanity and, unless you believe in a god (which I don't), that is not going to happen any time soon.

I prefer to tak about freedom and liberty; I am free to do anything that I choose provided that it is within the constraints of the law; I neither need nor want laws to tell me what I can do. The whole human rights thing is absolute a stinking pile of dung. We can sit here bleating about humans rights all we like, but I don't see anyone doing fuck all about the deeply unpleasant things being inflicted, by governments on their people, the world over. It's just hot air, empty words.
I didn’t speak to anybody at the event who was not broadly a Labour supporter. I didn’t hear any policies that would contradict traditional Labour Party values.

Well, that is a surprise. Mind you, Labour Party "values" and Labour Party actions are pretty fucking unrelated to each other anyway. It's pretty difficult to espouse security of property whilst being in favour of wealth redistribution and still keep a straight face, I find.
Blair’s speech on UN reform is a start, but given the hole in the PLP, the impotency of the Lib Dems and the intellectual superficiality of Cameron, there is no-one to actually pressure him into matching his words with actions.

Ah, I see; Blair has to be forced into matching his rhetoric with actions and the only reason that he hasn't saved the world is because the Lib Dems are crap and the Tories are facile. Gosh! I was really starting to wonder about that.
Both Matt and I signed the Euston Manifesto this morning. We look forward to getting more involved.

And we'll look forward to you reports with the greatest hilarity interest.


BD said...

You don't need a higher power to have an idea of human rights any more than you need to believe in God to behave in a moral fashion.

Human rights are always determined and enforced by the communitities in which they circulate and emerge, not by any elevated deity. Besides, your claim on freedom and liberty is indirectly dependent on a legal system that recognises various specific protections. You are indeed free to anything you choose - human rights laws help stop other people from stopping you.

The fact that people bleat about said rights and do nothing is a rather different issue - one of weak will and hypocrisy i.e. politics.

Mr Eugenides said...

Fisking the fiskers?

Someone has to...

Devil's Kitchen said...


I suppose that it is the word "rights" that I particularly dislike. I also dislike the word "moral". The morals of individuals vary, as do their idea of rights.

Now, one could say that the Human Rights Laws codify what those rights are, but if rights are subjective then how can they do so.

Besides, your claim on freedom and liberty is indirectly dependent on a legal system that recognises various specific protections.

It is dependent on a legal system which is itself bound by laws.

Ach, I find it very difficult to express what I mean; I shall have to go away and think how to articulate it properly.


Devil's Kitchen said...

Actually, I think that Longrider puts it best.

Therefore, unless specifically illegal - it is my right to do as I please and I have no reason to justify myself. So, in answer to Neil’s question - My civil liberties are to do exactly as I wish providing I hurt no one else.

In fact, that is the entire human "rights" law there. Those two sentences encapsulates everything.


Serf said...

A government should be free to pass any Human Rights legislation that they wish, as long as no other mug has to pay for it. Which rather screws the whole left wing human rights industry.

Anonymous said...

I've just made my first post on the Grauniad's 'Comment is Twee.' Heaven help us. I blame the IT dept for firewalling 90% of the internet.

NHS Fail Wail

I think that we can all agree that the UK's response to coronavirus has been somewhat lacking. In fact, many people asserted that our de...