The Church of Ireland wants our lovely politicians to stop working on a Nirish Bill of Rights. And so do I.
The CoI apparently wants the thing dropped because
“There are those in the Stormont establishment who want a Bill of Rights for Northern Ireland, as opposed to the UK as a whole, because they want Northern Ireland to relate more closely to the Republic of Ireland than to the rest of the UK.”
From a certain point of view, I suppose that makes a certain amount of sense. My reasons for wanting it dropped are altogether simpler: I don’t trust our local politicians to entrust any meaningful rights in a way that they themselves can’t fuck with them.
Do I expect, for example, a declared right to freedom of speech? I do not; I expect exactly the opposite- a right not to be offended.
Do I expect enshrined property rights? I do not, because that would get right in the way of the grand public schemes that our local lot love so much.
Do I expect guarantees regarding free and fair trials, before a jury of our peers? I do not, because I don’t see justice being devolved for a while yet, and even if it was, I don’t think it’d see the light of day.
Do I expect a right to defend oneself? I do not, because it’s only for the appointed few to do that.
What I would expect to see are lots and lots of ‘rights’ that aren’t actually rights. The aforementioned right not to be offended being the prime example; the right not to breathe smoke if you don’t want to (even if you go out of your way to find smoky environments); the right to speak Irish / Ulster Scots in places where nobody either speaks them nor wants to speak them.
In short, we’d get the sort of nonsensical stuff that we’re used to seeing flow from Brussels: things that actually take more rights than they give.
So I’d be happy if it were dropped, even if for a totally different reason than the good Anglicans do.