Brown talked earlier in the year about a new constitutional settlement. This "Bill of
Wrongs Rights" is part of that. Brown likes the term "new settlement", for he has used it in terms of the financial crisis, too.
What Brown &Co forget, is that a Bill of Rights is - or damn well should be - about restraining government, NOT restraining people. I take that back. Brown did not forget this. He knows that is what it should be, but I suspect the old Marxist-Manse nexus inside him cannot but interfere with, pester and control the population.
Brown said that such a bill would open a new chapter on British liberty. Epilogue, more like, for he is using the idea of "rights", which are more like "entitlements" to then justify restraining "responsibilities" upon us.
We can see a precursor of what is to come in the attempts to bully fat people by threatening them with the withdrawal of NHS treatment. It is insidious to do this, for those so bullied are hardly in a position to opt out of the NHS, not pay into it and seek an alternative provider. The law demands you pay, so instead of being a customer, free to choose, you become a cost and subject to a squeeze. Funny that they do not offer to reduce their NI contributions due to lower life expectancy and thus pension obligations, but that is another thing.
The arrogance is astonishing. Who do they think they are to decide how people live and what responsibilities people have at such a level? They clearly feel they are in some way the arbiter of "correct" behaviour.
They are not.
At the very best this Bill will be the Tyranny of the Majority, but I suspect it will be the Tyranny of the Minority, a Tyranny of pressure groups and vested interests. It will begin the codification of "social justice", which as a word ranks in vileness alongside "deprivation", "progressive" and "entitlement". As you may know, social justice comes from the concept of social rights and social rights, as J.S. Mill has said, are "monstrous":-
A theory of "social rights," the like of which probably never before found its way into distinct language--being nothing short of this--that it is the absolute social right of every individual, that every other individual shall act in every respect exactly as he ought; that whosoever fails thereof in the smallest particular, violates my social right, and entitles me to demand from the legislature the removal of the grievance. So monstrous a principle is far more dangerous than any single interference with liberty; there is no violation of liberty which it would not justify; it acknowledges no right to any freedom whatever, except perhaps to that of holding opinions in secret, without ever disclosing them; for the moment an opinion which I consider noxious, passes any one's lips, it invades all the "social rights" attributed to me by the Alliance. The doctrine ascribes to all mankind a vested interest in each other's moral, intellectual, and even physical perfection, to be defined by each claimant according to his own standard.
This odious "Bill of Rights" is just such a manifestation of the monstrosity outlined above. People think they have the right to control and oppress people in its name.
We will see limitations on our freedom to act and react because, make no mistake, certain kinds of acts will be protected, the kind that the Sociofascists and Statists approve of, while others that are inconvenient to them, contradict their world view or would enable people to demonstrate that they were wrong risk being curtailed. The Taxpayer will foot the bill under pain of imprisonment. Instead of people reforming themselves - for I believe 90%+ of the feckless will if no longer encouraged to remain so by bad policies and Welfarism - they will be forced to reform. Forced to reform instead of coming to the conclusion of their own free will. This road will, in my view, lead to the criminalisation of non-conformists*.
The Bill is expected to contain such utter wibble as "the right to healthcare". That is only half the story. What it should say is "those whom the State so chooses should pay for other people's healthcare of a quality and composition as decided by the State if those other people are deemed to deserve it in accordance with criteria also decided upon by the State". Now, THAT is what will happen, yet it is not a right, is it? A right would be "Let no person, body, government, agent or organisation prevent any person gaining access to healthcare that is willingly provided". The same goes for education - religious carpet-munchers cannot prevent women from accessing schools, for example. However, that is a world away from saying the State will decide who will have to pay for that schooling and what form it will take.
So, under the umbrella of "rights" we see the scope for enormous powers collected to the centre and the bureaucracy. As J.S.Mill says above, there will be no violation which it would not justify.
And Brown and Straw try to sell this noxious brew as "Constitutional Reform".
* It will create the need for S.T.E.N.C.H. - the Society for the Total Extinction of Non-Conforming Humans - Carry on Spying