Take up your shopping list and piss off

There’s a spate of recent billboards, all over the city of Belfast.

1700 sectarian attacks last year!

That’s why we need a Bill Of Rights!


And for some strange reason, that pisses me off. Because a bill of rights is not going to stop sectarian attacks, and nor should it. Nor could it bring disabled people into work, or eradicate child poverty. These are all worthy aims, but a Bill of Rights shouldn’t be about what you’re aiming for – it should be a statement of inviolate and inviolable rights that we have and nobody can take from us

A Bill of Rights can’t give you a job, because that takes away the right of your employer to fire you for being shit.

A Bill of Rights can’t eradicate poverty, because poverty will always be with us; there will always be those who have less than others.

A Bill of Rights can’t stop you being attacked, because nobody is immune from being attacked.

A chain is only as strong as its weakest link; correspondingly, if a weak ‘right’ is put into any Bill of Rights, it diminishes the Bill in its entirety. If you put anything in a Bill of Rights it has equality of status with the rest of them; the right to order coffee in Urdu becomes as important as the right to a fair trial. Which can’t be right.

Instead of all the things that are talked of today as ‘rights’, work back to the basics. Have a small number of rights, but ones which cover many eventualities. Have something like the Bill of Rights, and not a wish list drawn up by committee.

Not that I’ve a bug up my but over such wish lists, obviously.

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