Thursday, December 10, 2009

Index of Human Rights in Guardian CiF

Peter Tatchell has today had a crisp and clear piece about the Index of Human Rights published on the Guardian's Comment is Free.

There are 100 comments already, ranging, as ever from the thoughtful to the frothing. It would not necessarily be true to say that the left is thoughtful and the right is frothing.

It just seems like that.

I am pleased to see that those who believe that the Index is a Commie plot designed to shame the US are balanced by those who see it as a foul device to impose Western-style values on third world regimes whose traditional culture just happens to include torture...

One of the commentators describes the Universal Declaration on Human Rights as a "subjective and arbitrary list".

The UDHR was drawn up immediately after the Second World War, the war against Fascism in which millions were slaughtered as sub-humans, in which millions suffered and died, in which beautiful and historic cities were reduced to rubble and cinders.

The UDHR does not read as a subjective and arbitrary list, it reads as a clear expression of minds which had been concentrated by the events described above.

We owe it to the people who fought for our freedoms for five long years to give some attention and respect to their resolution that mankind should never again go through the nightmare that had just stopped.

And we should also give some thought to the matter of taking their aspirations forward into the 21st century.

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