Tuesday, 6 June 2017

The Lady U-Turns on Human Rights

Queen of the quick change!
ON the 27th, May, Tim Harford, the undercover economist, in the Financial Times writing on the virtues of changing one's mind wrote:
'The leaders of the US and the UK have become so proficient at changing directions that "U-turn" no longer seems adequate.  Donald and Theresa are spinning policy doughnuts.'
Trump, for example, has reversed direction on issues as varied as whether he would put Hillary Clinton in jail (yes, the no), whether he would force a vote on healthcare reform (yes, then no) and whether it was wise to attack Syria (no, then yes).
But, Mr Harford claims Mrs. May has gone further:
'Mrs. May has changed her mind on everything from Brexit to a bill of rights, energy pricing to nuclear power.  She reversed a 2015 manefesto commitment, reersed the reversal, and has now taken the unpresidented step of tearing pages out of her own manifesto just before launching it.  She offers a "strong and stable" slogan, a weak and wobbly reality, and a rich seam of irony.'
Now almost at the last minute before the eve of the election she has just stated, according to a current Guardian report:
'Theresa May has declared she is prepared to rip up human rights laws to impose new restrictions on terror suspects, as she sought to gain control over the security agenda just 36 hours before the polls open.  The prime minister said she was looking at how to make it easier to deport foreign terror suspects and how to increase controls on extremists where it is thought they present a threat but there is not enough evidence to prosecute them.'
Mr. Harford argues:
'Such changes of direction are what grown-ups do - and any well-run coutry should expect to see them regularly.  Unfortunately there is no sense that either Mr. Trump or Mrs. May have changed direction on anything because they have been  moved by new evidence on whether it works.  Instead, they promised what seemed popular, and flinched at the first glimpse that it may not be popular at all.'
It's not a very convincing way to proceed,, and gives the impression that these people will say anything to gain our votes.

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