Friday, April 24, 2015

What About Human Rights?

Response to someone concerned about the abuse of human rights:

Thank you for your email which has been forwarded to me as the Brighton Pavilion candidate. We have much sympathy with your position which stems from the concern we share about the extent to which power in our society is used to further the interests of vested interests mainly against members of the working class: I am sure most the victims of human rights abuses are members of the working class.

Sadly we hold that unless the nature of the power structures in our society are radically altered, pieces of legislation and conventions are likely to be more honoured in the breach than the observance. The state, as the perpetrator of most of these abuses is there to reflect the interests of the rich and powerful and will find ways to circumvent such constraints if they stand in the way of business opportunities. Look at the USA post 9/11 and the extent to which codes of decent conduct were simply torn up and discarded.

A society of haves and have-nots will always create conflict and the haves will enact measures to suppress the have-nots; measures moreover to teach them a lesson and punish them for aspirations beyond their station. Even if every government indiscretion were investigated and some fall-guys identified and punished, it will make little difference: the real culprits will go unmolested, because the law and the legal system is there mainly for them.

It will only be when the power balance is redressed that we can be honest and hopeful about these issues; that there can be some possibility of real human rights - where one group of people does not have the power to inflict these vile degradations on others.

Only in a socialist world can we permanently preclude the possibility of the power relations which allow such abuses. Whilst there is no possibility of a socialist victory at this election, and it is a long road, the journey must start sooner than later: for the sake of humanity and for the sake of the planet [capitalism is no friend of the environment]. It is incumbent on every conscientious person to vote socialist to begin to turn the page.

Howard Pilott
The Socialist Party candidate for Brighton Pavilion

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