Power to the people!
On Sunday we saw a huge march across Manchester against Theresa May’s Hard Brexit. Following speeches from Sir Vince Cable, Jackie Pearcey, Alastair Campbell and many others, thousands took to the streets to voice anger about the lies that has led to our country down a potentially disastrous path.
The irony was not lost on many of us though, that whilst we were able to protest freely and voice our dissent, just over one thousand miles away hundreds of people were being hurt, beaten and attacked by Spanish police for wanting to be involved in a referendum over Catalonia’s independence.
The right to protest, the right to stand for election, the rights of press freedom and the right to speak freely are vital to the safe guarding of our country and its political system. Britain led the way in building the human rights work we now see across the globe whilst here in the UK, the Human Rights Act is the very symbolism of British values.
There is a real danger that we could lose these rights once we exit from the European Union. Whilst many will rightly argue over trade deals and freedom of movement, the rights of UK citizens and workers has taken an almost silent back seat.
But why should that surprise you? It’s not as if the Conservative’s have been friends of human rights in the past – just look at the way the victims and families involved with Hillsborough were treated, or how those people in detention centres are ignored for months and years at a time.
The recent behaviour of the Labour Party should be cause for even more concern. Whilst attending Labour’s annual conference in Brighton, the BBC’s political editor, Laura Kuenssberg, was made to attend with a bodyguard, due undoubtedly to the various threats sent to her via social media each day. Whilst it turned out that she would also be accompanied to the Conservative’s event in Manchester, it was the silence from Jeremy Corbyn that highlighted how little he and his party cared for such a decision.
Simply put, when a journalist has to be guarded to do his or her job, then we need to be worried. Freedom of the press is one of the most precious ideals we have, it shines a light on over-powerful government, it can be the voice of the most vulnerable and it makes sure that our electorate (the voters) has the necessary information to make informed decisions come election time. If this is threatened, then our democracy simply cannot function.
Fighting Theresa May’s Hard Brexit
That’s why I was marching in Manchester. I believe that our country needs to be saved and importantly its the rights that we use everyday that need to be protected. Our right to speak freely, our right to representation, our right to privacy and our right to listen to a free press are all under threat, it’s important we fight to make sure that isn’t the case.