Government by consent of the governed is the very foundation of democracy. Our parliament derives its authority and legitimacy from the consent of the British people. It therefore beggars belief to hear the deputy prime minister of this country describing Tory plans to limit the power of the European Court of Human Rights as an attempt to “tear up our long tradition of human rights”.
The Lib Dem leader, Nick Clegg, has perversely tucked our principles of national sovereignty and democratic accountability under the carpet of the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, where they are unceremoniously trampled by unelected, unaccountable judges from foreign lands (some of which are very dubious arbiters of liberty, such as Albania and Azerbaijan). The ECHR’s appetite for micromanaging the legal systems of EU member states is gathering momentum and shows no signs of abating.
Those who determine what constitutes our national freedoms should be our duly elected representatives, impervious to foreign interference. If we wish to preserve our democracy and hold our government to account, we should resist attempts by any supra–national judicial body to impose its definitions of justice and fairness upon us. The first duty of a nation state is to think for itself. Disempowerment of electorates, embraced by the likes of Nick Clegg, is part of an EU agenda that must not go unchallenged.