That British Bill of Rights…

The much discussed ‘British Bill of Rights’ is already being drafted. I can exclusively bring you some extracts* of the current draft.

Article 1 – Right to Life

Everyone shall have the right to life, unless their death is deemed necessary in the interests of national security, or if they cannot afford the relevant insurance to pay for hospital bills.


Article 6 – Right to a Fair Trial

Everyone shall have the right to a fair trial unless they cannot afford it or the Home Secretary should decide that such a trial is not necessary in the interests of national security


Article 8 – Right to a Private Life

Everyone shall have the right to respect for their private and family life, except if any intrusion in that private or family life is performed by the police, the security services, tabloid newspapers, Google, Facebook or any other commercial enterprise as agreed with the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills.


Article 10 – Right to Freedom of Expression

Everyone shall have the right to freedom of expression. This right shall include freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart information and ideas without interference by public authority and regardless of frontiers, except if such information is deemed unsuitable, extreme, or otherwise inappropriate by the Home Secretary, the Prime Minister, Rupert Murdoch, Paul Dacre or the Taxpayers Alliance


Article 11 – Freedom of assembly and association

Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and to freedom of association with others, excluding the right to form and to join trade unions for the protection of his interests, and excluding any form of assembly or association that the Home Secretary should deem disorderly, embarrassing, annoying or otherwise objectionable.


Article 12 – Right to Marriage

Everyone has the right to marry and found a family, but the choice of partner shall be considered subject to approval by the Home Secretary, the Minister for Inequality and the media.


Scope of these rights

These rights shall be accorded to all British Citizens, except Scots, Welsh people, Irish people, those who the Home Secretary determines are undeserving of rights, or decides to strip citizenship from, or are determined by the media to be scroungers, immigrants or children of immigrants, internet trolls or persons otherwise objectionable in what the Prime Minister deems to be a democratic society.”

This is understood to be the current draft, but it is believed that certain members of the cabinet believe these rights are too extensive and too generous.

*This may not actually be the real thing.

17 thoughts on “That British Bill of Rights…

  1. I erxpoect they already have a much more draconian version set out and though you make light of this issue I know that the seriousness of which you refer will be very welcome if the real draft is ever made public. I have shared this article on FB and Twitter,

  2. It would be great if rather that a “right to marriage”, the state simply had no opinion on the subject whatsoever, and stopped intermediating itself into marriage completely. For all I care someone can marry a goat (i.e. enter into cohabitation agreement) as long as they can figure out a way to get meaningful consent 😉

      1. Indeed, it is just I tend to prefer a more exclusionary approach, i.e. rather than stating “marriage is a right”, taking a more “the state shall make no law” approach.

      2. That’s the US constitutional approach rather than the rights-language approach. I see the point, but the rights-language has essentially won at this point, outside the US at least. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights was the pivotal point. Mind you, when we see the British Bill of Rights it might take that approach. Either way, the idea of these kinds of rights is mostly to reduce the powers of the state….

      3. “but the rights-language has essentially won at this point, outside the US at least.”

        Very true, and I think that is a shame because I feel the US approach offers less wiggle room and moreover does not imply at the meta-contextual level (unspoken assumed axiomatic level) that “this is a right granted by the state” rather than “that state shall not abridge or otherwise stick its festering beak into this area of life” 🙂

        Indeed I think where the US constitution has *not* stood the test of time is the bits where it has departed from that approach.

        “Either way, the idea of these kinds of rights is mostly to reduce the powers of the state….”

        Quite so. The really really hard bit though is future proofing that reduction. It is a non-trivial problem.

      4. I don’t think it’s as simple as that – US constitutional law has its absurdities just as much as the rest of the world. Good/bad lawyers/politicians always find ways to abuse the system, whatever that system might be.

      5. I agree with the hippo. I would like a less statist approach. However, the Tories are just as authoritarian as Labour so I dint think that individual freedom will be supported to the extent I would like.

  3. “Good/bad lawyers/politicians always find ways to abuse the system, whatever that system might be.”

    I agree completely! Hence ” It is a non-trivial problem” 🙂 There is no perfect way to do this and US constitutional law is *riddled* with absurdities. Sadly Jefferson’s Tree of Liberty remark is an acknowledgement that ultimately every system breaks down eventually.

  4. Ironically, we already know that human rights are broken every day in this country; it’s almost like we didn’t have them anyway. And now the removal of legal aid has made this even more so.

    I saw this comment on another site:

    “The thing about human rights is it protects humans. That means everybody who is a human. Not merely the people Tories decide are human.”

    True words.

  5. Actually Paul- your little spoof is not that much different from the existing Human Rights Act. Have a look at the clause on free speech. It is actually a list of situations in which the Government the Government can interfere with your right to free speech including giving a thumbs up to cinema and video censorship. As for the right to marriage-how is the state going to provide that- do we get a free subscription to e-harmony? It would be better to guarantee that people will be protected from forced marriage.
    A right is never a right of there are loads of provisos on it. For example Police in the UK still tell people they have the right to remain silent – but its then followed up by a statement that their silence can be used against them.
    I don’t trust the Tories but I don’t think the Human Rights Act is worth losing any sleep over.

    1. I know that it’s not that different – it was one of the points I was trying to make… but there are some serious issues that arise just through the little tweaks they might do…

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