Speaking to BBC Breakfast, Jeremy Corbyn smoothly obliterated Theresa May’s terrorism policy with a simple observation. The sitting Prime Minister has said she is prepared to scrap human rights laws in response to recent UK terrorist attacks.
But Corbyn said:
We don’t defeat terrorism by ripping up our basic rights and democracy.
Indeed, many have pointed out that removing fundamental rights actually amounts to carrying out the will of terrorists:
May after Manchester: terrorists hate our human rights & freedoms.
After London Bridge: I will remove your human rights to fight terrorism.
Read on...Support us and go ad-free
— Zoe Gardner (@ZoeJardiniere) June 7, 2017
Corbyn made it very clear that an attack on human rights isn’t the way to go:
Appropriating terrorism to justify removing rights
Terrorism legislation has long been used as a pretext to erode the rights of UK civilians and hand sweeping powers to government, as Corbyn alludes to. The Labour leader said:
What I don’t want is executive orders where politicians can make decisions outside of the law and just decide what will happen to an individual. There has to be a judicial process. Listen, if our democracy is under threat you strengthen your democracy in order to deal with that threat.
Leading human rights organisation Amnesty International has also echoed the Labour leader’s concerns:
Since the war on terror was declared by the US government in 2001, the UK authorities have mounted a sustained attack on human rights, the independence of the judiciary and the rule of law.
Serious on terror?
At the same time as attacking human rights and the internet, May has suppressed a report into terrorist funding because it reportedly implicates Saudi Arabia. Theresa May is a strong supporter of Saudi Arabia, and her government recently approved £3.5bn worth of arms export licences. The Conservatives only issued the investigation in the first place as part of a deal with the Liberal Democrats. Now they are burying its findings, which appear to suggest the ruling party values arms sales to a foreign power over the safety of British citizens. When challenged on the matter, Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson had no answers and contradicted himself.
Corbyn also challenged May on her deep cuts to ordinary policing:
She’s the one who presided over the loss of 20,000 police officers… We would immediately employ 10,000 more police officers and properly fund out security services.
A report from the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) shows that Conservative austerity cut 20,000 police officers between 2009 and 2016. Total employment in the police force also fell by 17.4% during the same period.
May claims to be strong on terror, while cutting vital police services and suppressing reports into terror resourcing. She then mounts an extraordinary attack on human rights and internet freedom. In doing so, she fails to realise these are the very qualities that define our democratic society. By contrast, Corbyn won’t stand for the appropriation of terrorism to erode civil liberties. He would starve terrorist organisations of resources by going after their funding, and would properly resource our emergency services.
– Vote on 8 June! And encourage others to do the same.
– Discuss the key policy issues with family members, colleagues and neighbours. And organise! Join (and participate in the activities of) a union, an activist group, and/or a political party.
– Also read more from The Canary on the 2017 general election.
– Support The Canary if you value the work we do.
Featured image via screenshot
We need your help to keep speaking the truth
Every story that you have come to us with; each injustice you have asked us to investigate; every campaign we have fought; each of your unheard voices we amplified; we do this for you. We are making a difference on your behalf.
Our fight is your fight. You’ve supported our collective struggle every time you gave us a like; and every time you shared our work across social media. Now we need you to support us with a monthly donation.
We have published nearly 2,000 articles and over 50 films in 2021. And we want to do this and more in 2022 but we don’t have enough money to go on at this pace. So, if you value our work and want us to continue then please join us and be part of The Canary family.
In return, you get:
* Advert free reading experience
* Quarterly group video call with the Editor-in-Chief
* Behind the scenes monthly e-newsletter
* 20% discount in our shop
Almost all of our spending goes to the people who make The Canary’s content. So your contribution directly supports our writers and enables us to continue to do what we do: speaking truth, powered by you. We have weathered many attempts to shut us down and silence our vital opposition to an increasingly fascist government and right-wing mainstream media.
With your help we can continue:
* Holding political and state power to account
* Advocating for the people the system marginalises
* Being a media outlet that upholds the highest standards
* Campaigning on the issues others won’t
* Putting your lives central to everything we do
We are a drop of truth in an ocean of deceit. But we can’t do this without your support. So please, can you help us continue the fight?