Saturday, December 13, 2003

Temper tantrums

David Blunkett, the British Home Secretary, has threatened to resign from Amnesty International after they criticised the British government's treatment of terrorism suspects.

(I was tempted to blog about that yesterday, but what could I say? The British system has no place in any civilised country. No democracy should be imprisoning people without trial, denying them the presumption of innocence, or using evidence obtained by torture. The UK, like the US, has fallen a long, long way since september 11th...)

As for David Blunkett: Amnesty is an organisation dedicated to promoting international human rights. They do not exist solely to criticise enemies of the British government while ignoring human rights violations at home - that would be inconsistent, both with the criticism, and with the underlying view that human rights are universal and posessed in equal measure by everyone, everywhere. If Blunkett believes that Amnesty should simply be a tool of British foreign policy, used to beat its enemies, or that the UK's treatment of terrorist suspects is somehow not a human rights violation, then he should quit. But I hope he's a better man that that.