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9/11 gave free rein to control oriented factions in governments all over the world

Comment 7th August 2010

The current so-called "religious" wars represent a clash between the past and the present.  500 years ago in England, Scotland and Wales it was acceptable to torture, decapitate  or burn people of both sexes at the stake. It was also, until very recently, completely normal to regard women as "unclean" second class citizens with no human rights; there are many books published in the 19th Century in the UK on the methodology of wife beating and, as recently as the first decade of the twentieth century, distinguished academics were writing books against the education of women and democratic rights of women on the grounds that they had smaller brains than men.    In some parts of the world these views, which in the West, we have all found to be abhorrent , are still deemed 100 per cent acceptable and a tiny minority of emigres from those regions of the world are prepared to fight to the death to see such views restored in law.

No matter how emotive these historic idealistic differences may be, along with rights for women and the abolition of torture and the death penalty have come many other more subtle laws which we have reason to be proud of and which thousands of men and women died to defend particularly in the second world war , when certain political parties divided human beings into those with rights and those without rights.  We have a justice system which applies to every person who happens to be physically present in the UK, regardless of sex, colour or religion, which is based on the premise that an individual is innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.  Under the last thirteen years of a Labour government this  fundamental law has been marginalized for political purposes and we as a nation have not stood up to challenge it.  

There will always be a fraction of society which, for one reason or another, thinks that their own views justify murder and large scale disruption and, in the UK,  we have managed very effectively to deal with this tiny bunch of balmy people until now, whoever they happened to be and whichever point of view they erroneously thought they stood for.  At no time however has it been acceptable to the majority in this country that this minority, no matter how far we may disagree with their stance, be deprived of their democratic or human rights.  The UK has a hard earned reputation for playing fair and we expect other people to be treated in the way that we ourselves would wish to be treated should we find ourselves in their situation.  Any individual who finds themselves in this democratic land of ours should be able to rely on exactly the same rights as any other individual.  There should be no legitimate difference allowable between individuals under the law.  This in itself should become an "inviolable principle" which cannot be superseded or undermined by circumstance or political expedience.  The last government in this country has failed its people in this most important regard.

Why does this matter?

The United Kingdom prides itself on the fairness and rigor of its Justice system.  Unless the rights of all individuals are exactly the same under the law, our legal system makes a mockery of justice and becomes something of which we should be rightly ashamed.

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