Churchill's heirs: There is a Conservative tradition of support for the European Convention on Human Rights that dates back to the wartime leader
When I wrote 950 words for the October edition of Standpoint about why Conservatives should support the European Convention on Human Rights I anticipated a certain amount of kerfuffle from some of the magazine's most articulate and formidable contributors. I am astute enough to know that the mere mention of human rights law is apt to drive a few otherwise reasonable Standpoint readers and contributors to something approaching apoplexy.
At first nothing much seemed to happen. There was the odd tweet, largely from slightly touchy-feely liberal lawyers that habitually drink the milk of Human Rights in preference to the red blood of National Sovereignty. There was a single, somewhat cryptic comment, which I took to be favourable, on the Standpoint website. I steeled myself for evisceration by the terrifyingly intelligent Douglas Murray or the polite but devastating (and terrifyingly intelligent) Daniel Hannan but when none came I started to relax.
What I had not anticipated was an attack — and to be honest it felt a little below the belt — from one of Conservatism's most distinguished, and according to the slightly baffling Guardian quotation on his website, "fertile" gurus; someone who was in fact, like me, a supporter of the Human Rights Act and the European Convention on Human Rights.
Standpoint had kindly tweeted a link to my article:
The Conservative case for the Human Rights Act is a strong one, argues Matthew Scott http://ow.ly/pCPMi
Quick as a flash back came a reply — tweeted to more than 11,000 followers — from the fecund Jesse Norman, biographer of Burke, MP for Hereford and Herefordshire South, and (for good measure) son-in-law of Thomas Bingham one of the greatest judges in English history:
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