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documenting my life, thoughts and tips, one ramble at a time...

Sunday, May 10, 2015

The General Election: Day 2 of 1,825...



"How many more years Mr Prime Minister?"
Dear Reader,

Whilst the dust settles on what has truly been an emotional 48 hours, I am still shocked and have been in a state of disbelief since the morning of Friday 8th May 2015. When the general elections results confirmed that we, the United Kingdom, had voted the Conservative government in for another harrowing five years at an overwhelming majority, I struggled to stay upright.

If nothing else this general election has showed me how the right wing media plays a pivotal role in influencing how some members of the public think and therefore vote. 
So from a human rights and access to justice perspective what will the Conservatives implement in the next five years:

1. What Human Rights Act?
  • As a prospective human rights lawyer, it's hard to say but I believe that this Act is first up on the Conservative chopping board. It's in their manifesto it's almostcertain to happen. By allowing the Conservatives in I am of the opinion that an overwhelming majority of the British public have succumbed to political fear mongering as unlike what much of the tabloid press has shoved in our faces these past couple of months the Human Rights Act has not allowed a an illegal immigrant to stay in the UK because of his pet cat, nor has it allowed a prisoner access to porn... (To see more human rights myths debunked visit to rightsinfo)
  • What the Human Rights actually does is protect our fundamental values, it stops us from being tortured (Article 3), it encourages us to freely express our beliefs and religion (Article 11) and it allows us to privacy to live our lives how we choose (Article 8). Under the Conservative government your rights and the many other rights are threatened. Just because you've been fortunate enough to not have to rely on the Human Rights Act does not mean the safety net for all should be pulled away- human rights as the title suggests are afforded to all humans. (To help fight for the HRA visit British Institute of Human Rights and Liberty).
2. SnoopersCharter 
  • Conservative Home Secretary Theresa May is set to gain the right to have all your private information stored in a public domain as the Conservative government edges closer to a police state. This means that every text, Facebook message, direct message, emails, web searchers and web page visits you visit will become public information under a mass collection of data.
  • To have you give up your rights to privacy Theresa May and the Conservative government will most likely link grave violation to the prevention of Terrorism, however, it seems to me that this is somewhat contradictory as a mass sweep and mass storage of every UK citizens personal information, to me, makes it much easier for terrorists to infiltrate and plan future attacks. (To learn more about the Snoopers Charter visit https://www.liberty-human-rights.org.uk/campaigning/no-snoopers-charter
3. Access to injustice 
  • The Conservative plans to slash legal aid by £375 million leaving the most vulnerable of society alone, without any chance of real justice as many are forced to represent themselves without the protection of a lawyer. These cuts undoubtedly will leave the most vulnerable members of society open to further abuse and miscarriages of justice.
  • In a country where police officers can kill with impunity and where errors made by coroners can leave a grieving family with a even harder battle for justice: see cases Ian Thomlinson, Wayne Douglas, Christopher Alder, Azel Rodney and MarkDuggan the proposed Conservative legal aid cuts will make it much harder for families to access justice for their bereaved loved ones and to hold the State and State actors to account for their wrongdoings. (To help save UK justice visit https://savejusticeuk.wordpress.com/
4. Welfare cuts
  • The Conservative government also plans to make £12billion worth of welfare cuts in the next three years. With less than 24 hours after the #GE02015 results had been confirmed we already could see this plan in action as the Department of Working Pensions planned to make cuts to disability work access scheme potentially preventing individuals and employers covering the costs of disabilities and the potential barriers to work. 
  • As cuts are made the number of individuals in need of food aid is set to increase as continually people have to depend on food banks in order to survive. Under the Coalition government (Liberal Democrats and Conservative) charities saw an increase of 51% in the amount of citizens having to visit food banks. Undoubtedly, under a Conservative only government this figure is likely to increase. For how you can donate to your local food bank visit: http://www.trusselltrust.org/map.
  • Severe cuts to child tax credit, housing benefit, tax credits incapacity benefit, disability living allowance and personal independence payments will affect the poorest and most vulnerable members of society: for help as to what your rights as a EEA national are visit The AIRE centre and your local Citizens Advice Bureau.



In my opinion, all the aforementioned planned cuts threaten the very democracy the United Kingdom prides itself; we all must do more to prevent vulnerable members of our society falling ever deeper into poverty, we must protect ourself against threats against to our human rights and finally we must fight to protect our abilities to pursue flagrant actions by the State.

Yours faithfully,

Roshanne 
Twitter @roshdorsett
 

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