The US Bill of Rights is generally held up as the best (so far) example of such things. It has enumerated a good number of rights, it’s lasted a couple of centuries and most of the rights are surprisingly relevant today, given the issues that were current in 1789.
There are other such things, but few of them were as succinct as the above. And few of them are as famous outside their own land. Some are successful, and some of them are lasting.
There is, apparently, to be a new attempted addition to this list, but I suspect that it’ll be neither successful or lasting. Because of the way they’re going about making it.
Justice Secretary Jack Straw has said the government’s planned Bill of Rights will define the UK’s “common values”.
He suggested that entitlements to free healthcare and education could be added to rights such as trial by jury and free speech.
Launching a new consultation paper, he told MPs that people’s responsibilities also had to be defined “explicitly”.
Note to the Demon Headmaster: NO THEY FUCKING DON’T, because if you produce an exhaustive list of rights, then the state will eventually decide that the populace don’t have any rights except those which are on the list. Which would, to my mind, be a bad thing.
Even if I did grant that such a list should be drawn up, the best way to arrive at it would certainly not be a ‘consultation paper'; nobody except dumb-ass activist charities and think tanks actually offers opinions, and they have a nasty habit of talking absolute wank.
Also: I’m not massively keen on those fucktards in Westminster telling me what my responsibilities are. Because they have a responsibility to provide leadership by example, and they’re not fucking doing it – they’re busy cheating, lying, thieving, bullying and in general doing things that would get the average citizen a nice stay at Her Majesty’s Pleasure. How they can get around to telling us what we shouldn’t be doing with tiny sums of money when they’re busy wasting billions?
In short, these people are the worst possible people to tell us what we should do, and they’re going the wrong way about finding out what they should be telling us, and they’re not likely to come up with anything sensible. So let’s stop now and save us a few quid, eh?