Tory leader Michael Howard1 says he will repeal the Human Rights Act if he finds it getting in the way of legislation he wants to introduce to control the use of land by travellers. This despicable idea is presumably the latest in the wave of populist ideas dreamed up by Howard’s Australian import Lynton Crosby, the man who is often credited with getting the Australian right elected by peddling half truths and downright lies. Crosby is behind the Tories’ Are you thinking what we’re thinking? series of ads which have cropped up everywhere in recent weeks. The ads pander to popular unthinking and are often close to being openly racist, reminding me of nothing less than the anti-Jewish propaganda spewed by the Nazis in the 1930s. All of them are designed to appeal to the baser instincts of the Man in the Pub.
Howard, the man who when he was Home Secretary removed the requirement for local authorities to provide sites for travellers to live, now wants to remove what few rights they do have and he’s prepared to abandon, or review, the Human Rights Act to get his way if necessary. If I were a member of any recognisable minority in this country I think I’d be, at the very least, extremely worried, and perhaps even scared witless. It’s not just minorities who should be worried. It’s all of us.
Once he’s finished off travellers who will his next target be? People who cook smelly curries? People with beards? People with dirt under their fingernails? Liberal lefties? Hey, all those are me!
3 Widdyweb, Ms Widdecombe’s site, has been tidied up a lot and been wiped of much of its eccentricity (even though the home page does feature her posing with Batman and Robin). It’s a real shame. The sections on her interests outside politics gave you a real feel for a woman who, while she may still remain dangerous, you just knew would never debase herself by playing to the gutter.
Posted 21 March 2005, 23:26 GMT