This rock has 'hypocrisy' written all through it

Published: 26 Apr 2012 09:300 comments

EVEN the sticks of Brighton rock weren't neutral. Instead of Brighton, running through the centre were the words Council of Europe; all 500 sticks handed out at our expense to the bespoke-suited delegates assembled as a mocking reminder that this country no longer rules itself.

The Ministry of Justice thought 380 quid for souvenir rock represented good value, although it's doubtful the same could be said for the banks of computers and palatial furnishings expensively assembled for the few hours it took them to crush any hopes of reforming the European Court of Human Rights.

Jovial Justice Minister and militant Europhile Ken Clarke, doing his Pinkie Brown death rattle chuckle, thought Britain got a good deal, which was slightly odd as the court's president Sir Nicolas Bratza promised no "magic wand" would be emerging from Brighton to comfort its critics. Far from conceding that it should restrict itself to major breaches of human rights, he wants even more money to handle even more torrents of legal pettiness, and clearly expects to get it.

Indeed old Nic reckons 'yooman rights' get the blame for far too much these days and to fulfil its role his court "must not only be independent, it must also be seen to be independent". Anyone fondly remember the days, before the ECHR and the EU, when both British courts and Parliament were able to independently make and enact their own laws?

Even without a decade of humiliation inflicted by Abu Qatada, the ECHR has turned Britain into a haven for criminals and apprentice mass murderers of every ilk. If the weather was a bit better, the Thames Estuary would even now be clogged with hijacked ships, the Olympic village re-named Mogadishu Minor and inundated with swashbuckling Somali pirates.

For centuries, not to mention two world wars, Britain strove to retain what we like to call the rule of law. What price finding its nose constantly rubbed in it by 47 unelected judges, several from nations where democracy's still in thrall to gangsterism, self-invested with powers to overturn the will of an elected Parliament? Have we finally reached rock bottom?

GUITARIST Bert Weedon died last week at 91. One teenage Christmas I got a guitar with a copy of Mr Weedon's best selling teaching manual, Play In A Day.

In the days he was teaching the likes of Pete Townshend and Eric Clapton my chords remained stubbornly uncoordinated, and the only lesson I learned from Bert was that patience isn't my strongest virtue.

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