Shout it from the rooftops
You may have caught the recent news headlines regarding the Conservatives’ pledge to scrap the Human Rights Act and leave the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR). I have been working tirelessly to object to these plans, not just as the Shadow Justice Secretary, but also as a former lawyer, and a strong believer in our rights.
At the end of the Second World War, when the true extent of the horrors of the war began to emerge, British politicians were determined there would be no repeat of such atrocities ever again. It was from here that the ECHR emerged, and I am proud of both Labour’s involvement in drawing up the ECHR in 1945, and for introducing the Human Rights Act in 1998 – effectively bringing these rights home. Yet since then I have been sad to see how the Human Rights Act has been subject to largely negative coverage in the media, whilst the crucial protections it provides every day go unreported. The Act is there to protect each and every British citizen from abuses of power, and what you don’t hear is how it has been used to protect victims of crime, the disabled, the sick, and the elderly. Thousands of people's lives have been improved in this country through human rights laws and the protection of fundamental rights; the right to life, the right to a fair trial, and the right to free speech.
That is why David Cameron is wrong to decide that these rights are no longer important – and we need to shout from the rooftops how important our rights are, both here and abroad. And that’s just what I’ve been doing (you can read an article I wrote on this here) and will carry on fighting tooth and nail until these terrible proposals are dropped.
I am delighted to report that after more than seven years of campaigning for 20mph speed limits on our residential roads, 20mph is coming to Furzedown and parts of Balham and Tooting Bec. Whilst I must admit there were times when I thought that Wandsworth Council was never going to back down, I now join local residents and councillors in celebrating this success for community campaigning and road safety. It just goes to show if we work together and really persevere, in the end we will get the results we want. But this isn’t the final piece in the puzzle. I want to see 20mph introduced on residential roads across Wandsworth, and will be campaigning to bring it to the rest of Tooting, Earlsfield and Wandsworth Common over the coming months. You can show your support for making your road a 20mph zone by clicking here.
What will you be up to in two weeks’ time?
Fancy joining me and lots of fantastic local health and advice organisations for a cuppa? On Friday 24th October I’m hosting my annual community coffee morning, at Mushkil Aasaan Community Centre, 220 – 222 Upper Tooting Road, with more than twenty local and national organisations including St George’s Hospital, Wandsworth Age UK, the Citizens Advice Bureau, the Furzedown Project, the local police and many more. All the information you need is here.
Until next time.