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Leader of the For Britain Movement, Anne Marie Waters, writing exclusively for AltNewsMedia, will be detailing aspects of her party’s newly launched manifesto ‘for the forgotten majority’.
AltNewsMedia is not aligned to any political party but provides a platform for voices suppressed by the legacy fake news media.
I couldn’t possibly recall the number of times American supporters of For Britain have told me “what a shame you have no first amendment”. They’re right, it is a shame. If you’re not familiar, the first amendment of the United States Constitution provides Americans with an inalienable right to freedom of speech. Furthermore, it prevents American law-makers legislating to reduce the right to free speech of American citizens. In other words, American politicians are not able to introduce laws that would have a negative impact on the right to free speech of their citizens.
The US Constitution enjoys legal supremacy in the United States. Laws that contradict it can be described as “unconstitutional” and struck down. While nothing is perfect in practice, the presence of the first amendment provides and invaluable safety net for free speech in the United States; one that we could well do with having in the United Kingdom.
We at For Britain recently held our very first national party conference. It was an enormous success. Our manifesto for 2018 was published (you can read it in full here ) and went down very well with our supporters. For Britain has many unique proposals to put to the British public. Chief among these is our proposal for a new UK Constitution, to bring similar protections to the UK as are enjoyed in the US.
It will not however be an American document, but a very British one. In fact, the US Constitution was inspired by a British document, one of the greatest of our history – the Magna Carta. Though it did not itself guarantee freedom of speech, the Magna Carta laid the foundations of personal liberty in Britain, and would be followed up later by another vital British constitutional document, the Bill of Rights. Written in 1689, the Bill of Rights brought about notions of several vital civil liberties, and gave legal birth to the concept of free speech by guaranteeing it to Members of Parliament.
The Human Rights Act of 1998 (HRA) provides for the protection of free speech – at first glance at least. It reads: “Everyone has the right to freedom of expression. This right shall include freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart information and ideas without interference by public authority and regardless of frontiers.”
However, in the very next paragraph, conditions are placed: “The exercise of these freedoms, since it carries with it duties and responsibilities, may be subject to such formalities, conditions, restrictions or penalties as are prescribed by law and are necessary in a democratic society, in the interests of national security, territorial integrity or public safety, for the prevention of disorder or crime, for the protection of health or morals, for the protection of the reputation or rights of others, for preventing the disclosure of information received in confidence, or for maintaining the authority and impartiality of the judiciary.”
The key words here are ‘for the prevention of disorder or crime, for the protection of health or morals’. This renders the protections of free speech in the HRA largely ineffective, because Parliament can restrict our speech if it decides it is a threat to the protection of “morals”. The question is – whose morals?
We know that the HRA does little in practice to protect our right to free speech, and we know this because Parliament has brought in to being, and supported, so-called ‘hate speech’ laws. We know also that these hate speech laws are routinely used to shut down criticism of mass migration and of course Islam. Far from protecting our free speech, the Human Rights Act is a tool being used to suppress it.
To this end, For Britain proposes two things – scrap the Human Rights Act and introduce a UK Constitution; one that has legal supremacy and which will protect freedom of speech (and other rights) from interference or reduction at the hands of MPs, who frequently appear to work against the freedoms of the British public. The situation today is such that British people need protection from Parliament, and a UK Constitution will provide this protection.
The new UK Constitution we propose would, like the US version, have the status of legal supremacy. It will guarantees several inalienable rights that Parliaments may not legislate against. It will be accompanied by a Constitutional court that will strike down laws incompatible with the Constitution.
To compensate for the loss of the Human Rights Act, For Britain will also introduce a Public Sector Accountability Act to allow ordinary citizens to petition the court for a review of the employment contracts of senior police, NHS, CPS or any public sector chief executive, and determine whether this person has failed in their basic duties. If they have, they may be removed from their post.
It is time for Britain to look forward, but before we do so, we must gather the greatness of the past and bring it along with us.
The British people need protection from British politicians, and mechanisms to truly hold the powerful to account.
For Britain will provide both. It is time for change, and our party will make that change; we will do so, as always, For Britain.
Anne Marie Waters
Leader, For Britain Movement