Thatcher on Thursday: The Irony Lady

While we were all watching a democratically elected Islamist Government being ousted in a military coup in Egypt, other news drifted by unnoticed… or not considered to be important.

Before I mention the news that jumped out to me, allow me to introduce you to the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR). Introduced in 2006 with the aim of providing support for the promotion of democracy and human rights in non-EU countries, the key objectives of the EIDHR are:

1. Enhancing respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms in countries and regions where they are most at risk;

2. Strengthening the role of civil society in promoting human rights and democratic reform, in supporting the peaceful conciliation of group interests and in consolidating political participation and representation;

3. Supporting actions in areas covered by EU Guidelines: dialogue on Human rights, human rights defenders, the death penalty, torture, children and armed conflicts and violence against women;

4. Supporting and strengthening the international and regional framework for the protection of human rights, justice, the rule of law and the promotion of democracy; building confidence in and enhancing the reliability and transparency of democratic electoral processes, in particular through monitoring electoral processes.

Now for those news items that may or may not have passed you by.

On Monday 1st July 2013, Tony Miano, was preaching outside a Wimbledon shopping centre, London, when he was detained by police, held for about six hours, had his fingerprints and DNA taken and was questioned about his faith. The officers were dispatched to him because a member of the public had contacted the police stating that she was offended about a sermon he was delivering about sexual immorality. Mr Miano, previously a Sheriff in the US, was arrested under a clause of the Public Order Act which bans insulting words or behaviour.

He was speaking from a passage from the Book of Thessalonians from The Holy Bible which mentions sexual immorality and listed homosexuality alongside fornication as examples what he believed went against God’s law.

Mr Miano recalled “As the questioning started it became apparent that the interrogation was about more than the incident that took place in the street but what I believed and how I think. ” He continued “I was being interrogated about my thoughts … that is the basic definition of thought police. It surprised me that it is possible for a person to be taken to jail for their thoughts, (..) because one person was offended (by the words).”
Miano ended by saying “I believe that every human being should have the right to speak their mind,” he said.
“Homosexuals should have the right to free speech, as should atheists, Muslims, Buddhists and Hindus. All I’m asking is that we are allowed to be part of the conversation and that society stops treating itself as tolerant when the authorities are intolerant to the Christian point of view.”

Mr Miano was released the same day with no further action.

The second piece of news is that of the democratically elected Member of the European Parliament, the Leader of France’s National Front, Marine Le Pen has had her her immunity as MEP removed. Her crime? In 2010, she compared Muslims praying in the streets to the Nazi occupation of France.

Her speech included the following words :

“more and more veils (..) and more and more burkas (..) and after that came prayers in the streets… I’m sorry, but some people are very fond of talking about the Second World War and about the occupation, so let’s talk about occupation, because that is what is happening here… There are no tanks, no soldiers, but it is still an occupation, and it weighs on people”.

It is relevant to remind readers of France’s Ban on burkas and the Ban on street prayers. These all came into force after Ms Le Pen gave her speech.

So here we have a democratically elected politician who was elected because of her views being, in effect, banned from expressing those views on behalf of the people who voted for her to represent them.

The other bit of news goes back to 2008, but I’m sure you were aware of the death penalty clause which exists in the Lisbon Treaty, so I won’t dwell on that one.

The final piece of news which I would like to draw your attention to is that of the European Union proposal to reduce the budget of the EU Court of Auditors by 4.2%. Strange for the EU to want to reduce one of their budgets, you may wonder. But this department has failed to sign off the EU’s accounts for 18 consecutive years. The Auditors have concerns of Fraud.

Perhaps the EU should put its own house in order before it starts interfering in the human rights and procedures of democracy in other countries.

3 comments on “Thatcher on Thursday: The Irony Lady

  1. Mark Nutley
    July 5, 2013 at 1:18 pm #

    I reckon you have made a mistake there, “the rule of law and the promotion of democracy;” Democracy, the EU? Come on.

  2. silverminer
    July 7, 2013 at 8:39 am #

    The “politically correct” intellectual straitjacket at work again. If we can’t speak our minds without fear of arrest or censorship, we’ve lost everything. This is wrecking our society.

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  1. Steynian 479st | Free Canuckistan! - July 7, 2013

    […] BOGPAPER– the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR); In praise of a country fit […]

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