UK top government official: human rights no longer a "top priority"


#1

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#2

Was it ever really a priority, or has it always been just a rhetorical device?


#3

Yeh, if you are surprised by this you haven’t been paying attention for the last three decades or so. Seems to me that the Permanent Under-Secretary is just being unusually honest.


#4

Between this and “prosperity gospel” I’m growing to hate the word prosperity. Or at least, I’m starting to view it as an indicator of bullshit.


#5

Agree completely with Boundegar. It was lip service designed to make people feel good.

Perhaps it’s just a matter of reading different opinions on the matter, but I think this mischaracterizes part of the argument. Strong-arming provisions into trade agreements isn’t the only way trade can help the people under oppressive governments- at least part of the idea is that trade increases exposure to the outside world, eventually leading the people being oppressed to ask “wait, why are we putting up with this shit, those people get to (wear makeup, listen to banned music, protest, vote, mock the king, breathe clean air) without fear of being thrown in a dungeon”. It’s a slower process so perhaps not as satisfying as forcing China to temporarily release a few dissidents, but it’s more bottom up than top down.


#6

Should be termed ‘prauspterity’.


#7

Given that the current UK governments’ human rights agenda was largely to bugger up current legislation on it and deprive significant numbers of people of the rights they have, it is perhaps a good thing that they are no longer prioritising it.


#8

Or the ‘Fausterritory agenda’.


#9

I (grumpily) agree. Economic contacts are nearly every time more important than human rights, except when a country (or a group of countries) decided to diss another one (c.f. Iran).

“When much of the Middle East is in flames and a refugee crisis is engulfing Europe, Sir Simon’s comments are as astonishing as they are alarming,” Amnesty International’s head of policy and government affairs, Allan Hogarth said.

Alarming? You bet. But astonishing? Nah.

Fortunately the political caste in the UK can “only” abolish human rights in the foreign affairs. The European Convention on Human Rights is hard to cancel so the citizens and inhabitants of the UK should be safe for the while.


#10

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