Tag Archives: Home Secretary

Cleaning house!

This issue has been in the back of my head for some time. It was 2011 when this happened. The ruling hit the news (and the most colourful version was in the Daily Mail as per usual), where a rapist could not get deported because he was entitled to a family life. The article angered me and to some extent, I was then and I am still now on the side of the Daily Mail approach.

Why are criminals granted a lot more freedoms then their victims?

The more preposterous part is: “This is despite him not having a wife, long-term partner or children in the UK“, so what family life? He could try to get one in Nigeria for all I care.

The convention can be found here: http://www.echr.coe.int/Documents/Convention_ENG.pdf

The actual text: “ARTICLE 8 Right to respect for private and family life, 1. Everyone has the right to respect for his private and family life, his home and his correspondence.
2. There shall be no interference by a public authority with the exercise of this right except such as is in accordance with the law and is necessary in a democratic society in the interests of national security, public safety or the economic well being of the country, for the prevention of disorder or crime, for the protection of health or morals, or for the protection of the rights and freedoms of others.”

It sounds nice enough, but it is time for some tough love, so I recommend adding the following:

3. In case of conviction of a serious crime, that nation can decide to ignore rule 1, providing a connection to a long term partner and the existence of biological off spring, born in that nation, not criminally conceived has been established.

So, we got rid of the rapist, if the mother is a pro-life woman, that will not protect him and moreover, he cannot hide behind an adoption either. Whether this is altered for the UK or it is accepted within the EEC as a whole is of course the crux. It is also time to stop tailoring from a weak point of view. Yes, at this point, a Human Rights point of view is a weak view (I accept that many disagree here)!

Let’s be clear here. I am all for human rights, but these rights also come with responsibilities and accountability, without these two rights pretty much go out of the window. It should also be clear that if a nation independently decides to not enforce paragraph 3, then this is fine too as I added “that nation can decide“, I am all for the right to choose and Like some should not judge the UK, the UK should not judge France, Germany or the Netherlands.

We are not done yet. There is still Article 12 to consider. We can’t have criminals ‘suddenly’ fall in love and get hitched and therefor avoid deportation (where applicable), hence the following would change

ARTICLE 12 Right to marry, Men and women of marriageable age have the right to marry and to found a family, according to the national laws governing the exercise of this right“.

Would change into:

ARTICLE 12 Right to marry,
1. Men and women of marriageable age have the right to marry and to found a family, according to the national laws governing the exercise of this right
2. The right to marry is temporary postponed if one or both persons have been deprived of his/her liberty by arrest or detention, until 6 months after release and was not been deported because of these events
3. Paragraph 2 will not be valid, if a court has ordered the release of the involved parties due to non-lawful detention
“.

We keep number three there, as there is always a chance a person was convicted innocently and as such; we must definitely protect their rights too, as I stated we will give all quarter to those who abided by law as we should.

So, it took me almost 45 minutes to get to these conclusions after going over certain papers. The question becomes why these steps had not been made before? Well, let’s take a look at the Guardian (at http://www.theguardian.com/law/2013/dec/22/britain-european-court-human-rights). Here we see another view when we consider the following paragraph:

Grayling said last week the ECHR did not ‘make this country a better place’. David Cameron has said the court risks becoming a glorified ‘small claims court’ buried under a mountain of ‘trivial’ claims , and suggested Britain could withdraw from the convention to ‘keep our country safe’. The home secretary, Theresa May, has pledged the party’s next manifesto will promise to scrap the Human Rights Act, which makes the convention enforceable in Britain

I am not sure I can agree with the Home Secretary there. I see her point, but it took me only 45 minutes to alter the convention into something a lot less hassle, without actually changing that much. Those who come to Europe, fighting for a better life, not resorting to crime can still do that. My issue is that the rape victim, who was 13 at the time seems to have fallen of the view of the world (which might be good for her), yet in the dozens upon dozens of documents trying to protect the rapist, how much concern was given to the victim of his crime?

This is at the heart of my reasoning. Some judges talk a good talk, but then they seem to refuse to walk the walk (if it pleases the court and with all due respect). Consider the paper ‘Women in an unsecure world‘ (at http://www.unicef.org/emerg/files/women_insecure_world.pdf). A paper edited by Marie Vlachova and Lea Biason. If we are TRULY going to do anything to make their future safe, then we must begin in our own country. By making the consequence of transgression so high, that considering it will no longer be an option, that is the point where we all move forward and we can slowly start to actually eradicate the violence against women. I will not and cannot state that I have a true solution there, or that my solution will work. The issues are not overly complex, but it is a problem that is massively larger than most realise (including me), I just believe that if we send a strong signal that those transgressors will never be opted any life in any land of opportunity, we might, just might start to turn the tide a little. Is that not at the heart of Humanitarian rights too? If not, then what is Article 14 doing in the ECHR in the first place.

The only part that is laughable in the earlier mentioned PDF is the following statement “The Russian Government estimates that 14,000 women were killed by their partners or relatives in 1999, yet the country still has no law specifically addressing domestic violence“, the ‘comical‘ side there is that the UK did not have a serious option until the ‘Domestic Violence, Crime and Victims Act 2004, I am not ignoring the ‘Family Law Act 1996’, yet the issue remains if we see the data (at http://www.womensaid.org.uk/domestic_violence_topic.asp?section=0001000100220041) that apparently the UK faces 1 call on domestic violence every minute. So, it is not just a Russian issue, the more data I see, the more that part should be stated as a global problem, with the Russian terminal numbers being a mere outlier in this entire debacle.

If we accept that not all women call for help, then there is a massive problem and governments all over the Commonwealth will need to make some clear, visible and drastic changes. When we start seeing newscasts on how immigrants have been evicted because of violence against women, how long until the local male population starts to realise that their number is up too?

This view is only amplified after seeing this article (at http://www.theguardian.com/society/2014/jun/08/police-fear-rise-domestic-violence-world-cup), is this for real? I wonder if a name and shame option would work. You know, we take his picture and place poster sized pictures close to ‘his’ watering holes. I wonder how happy such a person would feel in the local pub when they all knew what he was (apart from being an absolute wanker).

In several regards Theresa May was correct, the ECHR is a problem, but she was in my humble opinion incorrect to think that this issue was just in the UK, the Netherlands has numbers that indicate that violence against women is a lot higher there, or is it? Research seemed to indicate that Dutch women are more likely to report these crimes with the police, which makes the violence against women in the UK a lot higher than expected (at http://www.rtlnieuws.nl/nieuws/binnenland/geweld-tegen-vrouwen-nederland-een-stuk-hoger-dan-eu). Is that last part true? Without better data I cannot tell, but the chance that 4 out of 10 women are under direct threat of violence sickens me to my stomach, which makes the ECHR a larger joke then we are willing to admit to.

I think altering (best), or rejecting it (not that great an option) could be the next step, however, not doing anything should no longer be any option, not in the UK and not anywhere in the EEC, or anywhere else for that matter. Should we go after immigrants first? That is of course a valid question too. I think it is, as stated before, when these transgressors realise that crime gets you deported, a clear signal is given and not just in the UK either. I believe that once these events start, the signal is given all over Europe that a person is welcome as long as they abide by the law. There is of course the question where to add the bite we need. If too much is added to the ECHR, the bigger the chance that we create loopholes because of it and that makes any act or law bill toothless. The strongest bite is found in simplicity (as I see it). In that regard I would like to add something to Article 3 of the ECHR, changing it into:

ARTICLE 3, Prohibition of torture
1. No one shall be subjected to torture or to inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.
2. Domestic violence will be regarded as inhuman and degrading treatment of a person and is as such subject to local criminal law.

So, now that Domestic Violence is set on the same scope as torture. How soon until the local population realises that the ‘game’ is up and this kind of violence will get them into jail, out of house and home, an automatic granted divorce to the victim with all rights given to the victim, hence the victim gets the house, the children and what else and those who regarded domestic violence as an option would get the short end of every stick. I am willing to bet that the face of domestic violence is changed within a year after the courts start handing out these verdicts.

It would be nice to see such a change in mentality and I will (again) humbly accept my knighthood and cottage (especially as I concocted a solution after breakfast and before lunch).

I do agree that the solution is not that simple, but giving these victims additional protection with real teeth is likely a much better approach then has been attempted this far. Knowing that the other approach has not worked, is it not time to start opting for a more direct approach?

 

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View to the North

It is again the guardian that calls my attention to events happening (at http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2014/jun/22/independent-scotland-startup-costs-200million). It is important to know that I have nothing against Scotland becoming independent. I think that the timing is not great as we are in a massive economic downturn, but the Scots will correctly ask when would be the right moment? Anyway, as this independence is becoming more and more of a reality, we all need to look at what happens after.

The Scots have a few advantages. As the Scots seem to be members of a conservative party with its motto “Let’s not trust a computer farther then we can throw it“, we are set with the positive part that not trusting computers is not at all bad (Yes, as an IT person I am stating this). The downside is that the average Scot can throw a log really far, so tossing a computer might not be such a challenge after all. The issue is in the headline of the article. “Independent Scotland’s start-up costs ‘could be as little as £200m’” and “Leading academic says that could cover duplicating core Westminster functions, but millions would be needed to build necessary IT systems“. I have an issue here. There is an underestimation of requirements here. Yes, overall the costs might seem low, but when Scotland realises that the costs go beyond initial costs and they get to deal with infrastructures, at this point the costs will not be contained that easily.

Why do I care?

Caring is not the best word here. I think that in this case it is more that I like to see goals succeed, even if I do not completely agree with them. Only a real loser is trying to do what they can to make others fail, making others fail is fair when you are at war and we are not at war with the Scots, or with Scotland. The fact that about 3-4 generations ago, my family was from Perthshire (as far as I could tell) does not work in either direction either.

The other quote is “the final tally would be decided in a ‘poker game’ of post-referendum negotiations, according to the leading economics professor who last month criticised the UK government for inflating his figures on the subject“. Since when would anyone decide certain matters in a poker game, is also beyond me. Becoming independent is either tactical or on principle and one should not gamble on the Achilles heel that the people could create in this manner. In that same matter I am not sure if I can agree with the setting that this professor sets. The reference is towards Professor Patrick Dunleavy at the London School of Economics. A person who very likely knows more than 10 times more about economics then I ever will, even if I started to study economics full time at this point.

As stated, I have issues. Scotland will need an infrastructure, services and other matters. Several Scotland, as part of the UK already has and I think they should just be given them, yet Scotland will now need a proper economical system and set up. A national bank, a defence structure and these things all cost money, often a lot more than most imagine. There is however the ‘other’ side. The quote “In May, the Treasury published a detailed analysis of the financial risks of independence which claimed that a previous report by Dunleavy put Scotland’s start-up costs as high as £2.5bn” feels equally overstated. In my view the truth is in the middle and leaning to the cheaper side. In my untrained mind the costs are well over 500 million, but remain steadily under 700 million. This all makes me wonder why the numbers of the treasury are so far off as well (remember, me is a non-economic).

It is this quote that gives a few insides into the views that are shaping within me “In a leaked Scottish cabinet memo, the finance secretary, John Swinney, estimated the costs of a new Scottish tax authority alone at £650m. The Institute of Chartered Accounts Scotland had put those costs at £750m, while other experts suggested a new welfare system would cost £560m“. Is this about independence, or is this about certain people getting ‘their’ greedy fingers in the Haggis called ‘the Scottish economy‘. This is the part I do partially get. We all seem to forget that Scotland represents an economic power in the books of someone, when that falls away into independence, some people will not feel too comfortable and they are all looking for keeping themselves involved.

My question becomes, what can be done and does not cost?

In the age of computers and millisecond decision, I at this time remember my old dentist. He was a Dutch dentist called ‘van Charante’. In the age of computers, this man had the most advanced filing system I ever saw. He had used folders and colour indicators that opening his drawer showed a multidimensional top line table in colours. He saw in seconds something half a dozen tables produced in any analytical system would not tell him in 5-10 minutes. I had heard some IT wannabe’s wanted to convert him. I do not think anyone ever succeeded there. Perhaps that is the direction Scotland should face. It might not be done within the 200 million imagined, but perhaps they could steer well clear of the 2.5 billion someone speculated.

What if the Scottish system reverted to the old systems, not just becoming one Scotland, but in many cases reverting to the 33 counties? Thirty-three areas of ‘almost’ self-management, with a few exceptions, like one police system. They would get a buddy system where the area does what it needs to do and the neighbours come to aid when needed (emergency services). In that case Orkney and Shetland would feel a little isolated, but that might be business as usual for them. The question will remain how to IT some of this, but a system consisting of 33 self-regulating satellites are likely to be more effective, then systems like taxation, healthcare and welfare trying to become three Scottish national systems. If my train of thoughts are correct, then once this is approach is solved, the Scottish system could be an actual WORKING template to fix the failed IT NHS system that has currently costed the UK 10 billion and counting and still not working that well.

Yes, in all this I left out Scottish defence. By the way, has anyone seen what they do with logs and hammers? You really want to run up their hills whilst they smile at you and throw you a gauntlet or two? I for one ain’t that stupid to begin with, but that might be just me.

A final quote from the Guardian is “The debate with Darling, which broadcasters say privately has been tacitly agreed for some time, is now expected to take place sometime after the Commonwealth Games, which end on 3 August. It would potentially be a defining moment of the campaign“, no matter what will be discussed on that day, the truth remains that with two approaches being so far apart, both sides have unresolved issues, without a proper light on both sides these talks will not be the marker of any beginning independence, it could end up being an acceptance on how far views leading to independence are still apart.

So, is my view the correct one? I honestly cannot tell, but I am in all honesty looking for solutions, like any puzzle, an independence remains a logistical conundrum with plenty of loose ends, solving the puzzle is at times the best challenge that can be faced. Getting others to see the puzzle the way I did is the next challenge and implementing that puzzle is another challenge still. Three links in a chain that leads to a solution. Micromanaging these events like the BBC did with their 5 questions (at http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-26836126) seems a little too trivial an approach. Yes, these questions will need a solution and it will be up to Scotland to find them. I reckon the views we seen in regards to the disagreements between Theresa May, the current Home secretary and the European Court of Human Rights shows that the UK has its own puzzles to figure out and they have been at it a lot longer than Scotland.

May we all be one Commonwealth, supporting each other, fighting for each other and at times disagreeing with one another, especially when Scotland is playing England, at that time the disagreements must be loud, jolly and with a few better Scottish players on the Rugby field.

Go Wallabies! 😉

 

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