Debating Group

Dear Debaters,

Five others graced me with their presence for our first group meeting of the new season, but only one lady (although I have my suspicions about one other of the group, but that’s another storey) and she was dragged there kicking and screaming by her husband. The subjects on the Agenda were Human Rights and should everyone have them, no matter what they have done to society and after the break, opinion was canvassed on the August Riots.

First Human Rights, As is the way of proceedings, such as these, anecdotal reports and newspapers (and probably what some bloke down the pub said) are all used as “evidence” to support one’s argument. It was agreed that after World War II (you must remember, it was in all the papers!), it was a natural progression for the (newly formed) United Nations to enshrine Human Rights in a convention which was signed in 1948 (the European one came in 1950). The original concept was to outlaw infringements of such rights by governments and organisation, but this has been “hijacked” by certain members of society (or are they?) who wish to use it to circumvent natural justice.

Cases in point, a person who has spent time within an institute at Her majesty’s pleasure has been trying to argue the his human rights were infringed because he couldn’t vote in elections and another inmate who wanted to father a child (either way, someone somewhere gets screwed). The sensible lady amongst us suggested that if fathering a child is really only what he wanted, then artificial insemination would be the answer (this guest of Her Majesty is probably one, anyway!). She also had the solution to yet another resident who thought his human rights were infringed because he couldn’t write a book of his experiences whilst in prison. She quite sensible suggested that why not let him write and publish and all the proceeds would go the his victims.

Another example quoted was the case of the courts refusing to deport a Somalian back to his own country because it was argued successfully in court that his human rights would be infringed if he was sent to a dangerous place like that. However, he then became the subject of an anti-terrorism investigation and decided to flee the UK. Is it ironic that the country he chose to escape to was, yes you’ve guessed it, Somalia!

Human rights have been abused left, right and centre, but criminals (supported by their clever lawyers) look for loop holes or novel interpretations of existing legislation to circumvent natural justice. Reasonable actions taken by the state on criminals are now argued to be against the criminal’s rights (and no one is saying that these individuals are not criminals), but common sense has gone out of the window, together with consideration for the victims.

Which brings us nicely to the August Riots.

Just a brief word on this. Whatever your feelings are about someone getting shot by the police and who shot first and whether the gun found belonged to the deceased or not, it might be understandable that frustrations over-spilt in Tottenham and that first show of anger was genuine. However all the other ones were just an opportunity for the criminal elements in our society (75% were “known” to the police) to go “shopping” with carte blanche, in the knowledge that they could get away with it. The criminal damage and arson were just an added madness.

There were a few “apologists” on TV explaining how these “kids” had no future and society has turned their back on them etc, but nothing about all the law abiding young people who live on the same estates, who went to the same schools and did not muck about as the miscreants did, who did not feel sorry for themselves and had enough self respect to get out and find a decent living and contribute to society. I blame the parents!

Debating suggests opinions being voiced on both sides of the argument, but we found we were all in agreement on these subjects. Is there anyone out there who would dare to argue differently?

Best Wishes,

Roger

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