Human Rights – Some Thoughts.

There is no such thing as human rights. We do not have the right to be born, to live or to die. We do not have the right to not be abused, tortured, starved or beaten. We have no rights.

There is no such thing as a human right.

We are animals. Nature does not confer rights. It is simply the survival of the fittest. Eat or be eaten. If you are unlucky you get mutilated and tortured first. If you are lucky you escape death and get enough to eat. You do not have a right to anything. You have to fight for every bit. Survival is not a right.

Fortunately we live in a civilised world where we can lift ourselves out of that natural cycle. We, as moral sentient animals, make decisions what rights we confer on others.

In the Western world those rights were never given freely by those in power. They had to be fought for. In the UK there has been a long struggle by ordinary working people to gain these rights. People were tortured and killed. People were threatened and abused. People were prepared to face down power in order to gain these rights.

Rights that we have gained through this bloody struggle include:

The right to have freedom of religion or hold no belief

The right to vote for men

The right to vote for women

The right to be part of a trade union

The right to be presumed innocent until found guilty

The right to a fair trial

The right to a fair wage

The right to free speech

The right to have reasonable working conditions and hours

The right to holidays, pension and sick pay

The right to be safe from abuse, hate, threats and violence

The right to have possessions

The right to protest

The right to free education

The right to free healthcare

The right not to be discriminated against

The right not to be enslaved

These rights have been well documented in the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights:

Through the Magna Carta, The Swing Riots, The Peterloo Massacre, the Chartist Movement, The Jarrow march, The Suffragettes, Habeus Corpus, Wat Tyler, William Morris, William Wilberforce, Peasants Revolt, Trade Unionism and a long history of civil disobedience and protest we have won these rights.

They were hard fought for with blood and murder, torture and threats.

They are easily lost or eroded.

The World is out of Control – Where’s Superman?

The world has changed enormously over these last 500 years and not always for the better. Since Columbus ‘discovered’ the Americas and put into motion the events that led to the genocide of the Incas and North American Native Indians, the setting up of the United States, Canada and South America, the introduction of slavery and the rape of the land with its ensuing  destruction of wildlife, the human population has gone berserk. All over the planet we teem in great numbers, chopping down forests, hunting and building roads, towns and cities. There is racism, war and huge climate change. We are now in the Anthropocene – a time when humans are impacting on the climate of the planet. The future has never looked as uncertain. Will we pull back from the brink?

I believe that only through a global body to regulate our pollution, climate effects and population, wars, poverty and environmental destruction, can we hope to have a future. Already for many species it is too late. Our planet’s wildlife has been devastated.

I listen to all manner of people telling me that the UN is useless and a waste of money, that any global control is equated with a world government and tyranny, that we want less government and more freedom. Yet they offer no solutions, no alternatives. They simply deny the destruction is happening.

Meanwhile the wars rage, the population soars, poverty for a lot of the world continues, the exploitation of poor people goes unchecked, the forests are cut, the animals slaughtered and the relentless capitalist machine continues forward unchecked. A small elite is creaming it in and evading all taxes and responsibility. The multinationals play nation against nation with impunity and scam us all.

The planet is being raped through mining, fracking, agriculture, pesticides, and urbanisation. So many people are in denial yet the evidence is right there. I see it in my own backyard that used to be a riot of butterflies and bees. The ponds that used to be full of frogspawn. I see it flying over devastated land that used to be jungle teeming with life. I see it when sailing the seas which are bereft of life. I see it in the dirty sprawling cities and overcrowded streets full of desperate people in Asia, India, South America and Africa. Yet people still tell me it isn’t happening.

It feels to me that we are careering towards that edge with people fighting for control of the wheel and nobody reaching for the brake.

Will the United Nations finally come into its own? Because there sure as apples is apples ain’t no superman.

I put my faith in the United Nations and it’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It is a beacon to humanity. Because I’ve not heard anyone coming out with any other solution and market forces are not going to fix it. The UN Charter for Human Rights is my bible. All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.

I swear by it: