Is Jack Straw’s Bill of Rights and Responsibilities a diversion?
The Bill of Rights and Responsibilities would reaffirm every citizen’s right to equal health care if they become ill, decent treatment if they become a victim of crime, free education for every child and universal access to good housing.
The statement of responsibilities could include the duty to pay taxes and obey the law, as well as vote in elections, undertake jury service if summoned and treat public sector staff with respect.
Well isn’t the reason for our disconnection with the political system and one another in part down to the fact that the system doesn’t work? What about Straw’s responsibility to reform the legislature and hold the executive to account? No more adventurous wars – isn’t that something they owe us? What about Straw’s responsibility to deliver voting reform? A political system which actually represented people’s wishes – isn’t that his duty? What about reform of the House of Lords, to hold the entire House of Commons to account?
Is the level of criminality now far more to do with New Labour’s obsession with creating new criminal offenses, and even pre-criminalising us, through allowing police their future intelligence teams (FIT)? As ‘loftwork’, in the comments below this article quite rightly points out – what about David Milliband’s responsibility to tell the truth about M15 and torture? What about Straw’s own responsibility to live up to the Freedom of Information Act and not veto it when it’s politically inconvenient for him? And why should I be forced constitutionally to obey unjust laws, such as ID cards? This is a philosophical continuation on from ID cards – the state’s duty is to you, your duty is not to the state!