Upcoming Events

International | Rights and Freedoms

no events match your query!

User Preferences

  • Language - en | ga
  • text size >>
  • make this your indymedia front page make this your indymedia front page

Blog Feeds

Cedar Lounge
For Lefties too Stubborn to Quit

offsite link More on the polls from the weekend? 06:06 Tue May 29, 2012 | WorldbyStorm

offsite link Retail sales down 1.5 per cent in April. And the solution? 20:20 Mon May 28, 2012 | WorldbyStorm

offsite link ACRA Magazine? 16:42 Mon May 28, 2012 | WorldbyStorm

offsite link Noel Cullen RIP. 07:33 Mon May 28, 2012 | WorldbyStorm

offsite link Irish Left Archive: The Spirit of Freedom, Vol I, No. I, Issued by Dublin H-Block Armagh Committee ... 07:30 Mon May 28, 2012 | WorldbyStorm

Cedar Lounge >>

Irish Left Review
Joined up thinking for the Irish Left

offsite link Rabbitte?s rush to give away offshore rights could cost us billions | Colm Rappl... Mon May 28, 2012 21:52 | Donagh

offsite link Why the Treaty Won?t Work Mon May 28, 2012 12:35 | Michael Burke

offsite link Poem for the anti-Fracking campaign Mon May 28, 2012 12:07 | David Lordan

offsite link Unions join forces in calling for no vote on austerity treaty Mon May 28, 2012 11:57 | Irish Left Review

offsite link Inside the Revolution: A Journey into the Heart of Venezuela Mon May 28, 2012 11:47 | Ramona Wadi

Irish Left Review >>

A shot at bias in the media

offsite link The Household Charge - How They Failed to Shape Our Perspectives Wed Apr 25, 2012 10:48

offsite link The web's political rainbow Wed Dec 07, 2011 09:47

offsite link The Forgotten Constituency: The Majority and The Irish Economic Crisis Fri Mar 11, 2011 11:49

offsite link A curse on the zombie establishment Tue Sep 21, 2010 15:11

offsite link 'Officials say', 'officials say', 'according to an official' Tue Jul 27, 2010 17:05

MediaBite >>

Distinguished NZer opens door for establishment to debate ethical human rights and rights omissions.

category international | rights and freedoms | news report author Sunday May 20, 2012 09:53author by Anthony Ravlich - Human Rights Council (New Zealand)author email anthony_ravlich at yahoo dot comauthor address 10D/15 City Rd., Auckland City, New Zealandauthor phone (0064) (09) 940 9658 Report this post to the editors

Ethical human rights, development, globalization to replace neoliberalism and unleash human potential

An ethical approach to human rights, development and globalization to replace neo liberalism has support from a distinguished New Zealander which could open the door to its debate by the establishment which has always steadfastly refused to discuss the many human rights omissions from NZ's human rights law. The ethical approach requires that all have, at the very least, the core minimums of the rights in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights i.e. both 'survival rights' and 'self-help rights' sufficient to enable the individual to reach his/her full potential while also exercising a duty to the community. It emphasizes a 'bottom-up' approach to development to take society forward which promises to considerably reduce unemployment. The ethical approach is now attracting some high profile attention on the internet social networks.

Distinguished NZer opens door for establishment to debate ethical human rights and rights omissions.

Anthony Ravlich
Human Rights Council (New Zealand)
10D/15 City Rd.,
Auckland City.
(0064) (09) 940.9658

New Zealander Bryan Gould, high achieving academic and UK politician, has opened the door for the establishment to discuss the human rights omissions and ethical human rights, development and globalization.

Gould is a former NZ Rhode Scholar who joined the British Diplomatic Service in 1964. He was a Labour Party MP in the UK for 16yrs, directed Labour’s election campaign in 1987 and contested the leadership in1992. From 1994 to 2004 he was Vice-Chancellor of Waikato University. In 2005, he was made a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit

After reading my recent article, ‘Hope in Chch rebuilding, ethical human rights despite all attempts to crush human potential’ (http://www.guerillamedia.co.nz/content/hope-chch-rebuilding-ethical-human-rights-despite-all-attempts-crush-human-potential),
Gould states:

“I read your article with interest and – as you won’t be surprised to hear – not a little agreement. I would strongly support your case for a stronger Bill of Rights – one that
properly complied with the UN Covenant. I hope your campaign succeeds,
though – as you point out – the ranks of those who are concerned about
such issues seem – in some senses – to be getting thinner” (email, dated 18 May 2012)

Our council promotes an ethical approach to human rights, development and globalization to replace neo liberalism. Support for this approach, albeit far more covert than overt, is growing on the internet in the social network sites, twitter, linkedin, and facebook.

On linkedin there is an adviser from PM John Key’s office, who joined my linkedin after I circulated the above article to nearly all MPs. It also includes the former NZ Chief Human Rights Commissioner, and the Founding President of PDHRE, a major international human rights NGO.

While on twitter there is the Mitchell Team, representing a long serving Republican Senator from Kentucky, and an independent, formerly US Comptroller General, standing in the forthcoming US Presidential elections.

The importance of opening up debate within the establishment is because as described in the above article the human rights omissions are not talked about and those that do, such as Amnesty International (US) and the New Zealand Human Rights Commission, are not reported in the mainstream media.

The seeming inability of MPs to discuss the human rights omissions could be related to when on entering parliament they must swear an oath to uphold the law (Section 17, Oaths and Declarations Act 1957) and this seems to mean upholding the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990 while ignoring the omissions.

Because the whole truth is not spoken the debate is heavily skewed in favor of those groups which benefit most by the omissions.

It seems absurd that the Key government’s present constitutional review would not discuss these omissions from the UN Covenant on Civil and Political Rights upon which the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990 is based (see title to the Act). This would mean including the excluded ‘self-help rights’.

The ethical approach also requires the inclusion of economic, social and cultural rights (e.g. ‘survival rights’) which comprises one of the covenants upon which the New Zealand Human Rights Act 1993 is based (see title to the Act). The ethical approach requires, at the very least, the core minimums of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights i.e. both ‘survival rights’ and ‘self-help rights’.

It becomes even more absurd when it is considered that human rights, because the omissions are unspoken, are paving the way for its own destruction which would be the case if the Treaty of Waitangi ends up being the foundation of a future NZ Constitution rather than human rights.

This is because as the above article shows the human rights omissions favor such extreme top-down control as found in neo liberalism, Maori ‘tribalism’ and also permitted by the Green Charter.

If there is such a major redirection in New Zealand the social networking sites could, as the Arab Spring showed, facilitate mass action (all are welcome to join my twitter, linkedin and/or facebook sites).

However Bryan Gould has opened the door to a much more civilized approach - open discussion by the establishment and the rest of society, including myself, on the human rights omissions and the ethical approach to human rights, development and globalization.

Related Link: http://www.hrc2001.org.nz/
author by Sean Cruddenpublication date Mon May 21, 2012 20:55author email sean at impero dot iol dot ieauthor address Jenkinstown, Dundalk, Co Louthauthor phone 0879739945Report this post to the editors

Hi Anthony. Your epistle from New Zealand is a breath of fresh air. The concept of "ethics" seems to introduce a thoughtful and philosophical appraoch to the general issue of human rights. When I was a student the way our course in ethics was divided up was in two streams: general ethics; special ethics. I do not want to beat about the bush. I want to raise the special case of mental patients whom insiders see as being deprived of essential human rights here in Ireland and abroad in Europe as well?

Related Link: http://imperodotorg.wordpress.com/
author by W. Finnertypublication date Tue May 22, 2012 10:43Report this post to the editors

Public discussion and consideration of the way the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights has been excluded -- very DELIBERATELY I am inclined to assume? -- from our primary, secondary, and third level education services in the Republic of Ireland (since 1948), and similarly in many other -- if not all? -- nation states (including New Zealand I suspect) is a subject that now urgently needs to be brought to the fore (in my opinion).

"I have tried (during the past few years) to keep you regularly informed regarding my situation, particularly in connection with the GOVERNMENT IMPUNITY PROBLEM: which is where I feel I am absolutely STUCK (through no fault of my own) for the past 14 years or so. A list containing information relating to my efforts to keep you informed, mostly using the HSE (Health Service Executive) e-mail address, can be viewed via the following Internet link:
http://tinyurl.com/blwqo5v "

The excerpt in the paragraph immediately above is from a letter sent last Saturday (i.e. May 19th 2012) through the registered post to Dr Anne Jeffers (Consultant Psychiatrist).

The full text of the registered letter in question can be viewed at:

Backup copy (of registered letter text) at: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/TheCelticParty/message/913

Related Link:

author by opus diablos - the regressive hypocrite partypublication date Tue May 22, 2012 11:06Report this post to the editors

..to human rights...to replace neo-liberalism.'

I'm curious as to how you could have an unethical approach to human rights....

Given that ethics is defined as the 'study of morals in human conduct' (Oxford Reference Dictionary)surely once you consider humans to have inherent rights you are already into moral/ethical considerations?

I thought that was what most of us who have been critical of the amorality of neo-liberalisim had been engaged in for several decades.

Neo-liberal ideology posits corporate rights and the inherent rightness of market rule as being above human rationality, and indeed sacralises the acquistive pursuit of monetised numerological financial growth as a good in itself, without questioning the effects on human values of this elevation of an abstraction of what should be a means into an end in itself. To many of us this is the antithesis of ethical consideration, and it is because we consider the ethical/moral capacity for judgement of negative/positive action what differentiates us from other biological forms and gives us our essential humanity that we oppose ideological thinking in general, and the rationalisations of the current dominant neo-liberal idiocy systemised anti-morality in particular.

Neo-liberalism dispenses with human or social values and reduces good/bad to mathematical/pseudo-economic jargon in a superstitious belief-based adherence to ideological formulae, irrefutable as any other religious dogma. This dispenses with the conscientious consideration required for ethical thinking.

It seems slightly tautological to frame your approach as the opening of a door to a debate that is as old as humanity. Or have I misunderstood?

author by W. Finnertypublication date Tue May 22, 2012 17:12Report this post to the editors

Reply to opus diablos at Tue May 22, 2012 11:06

"I'm curious as to how you could have an unethical approach to human rights..."

There are any number of ways it seems to me.

The one that concerns me most is the way that the "every individual and every organ of society ... shall strive by TEACHING and EDUCATION to promote respect for these rights and freedoms" section of the UN UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS continues to be COMPLETELY ignored by the vast majority of our people, including our Minister for Education it would seem: over 63 years after this United Nations document came into existence, and which the Republic of Ireland signed up for in 1955 (as far as I can remember).

"Now, Therefore THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY proclaims THIS UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS as a common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations, to the end that every individual and every organ of society, keeping this Declaration constantly in mind, shall strive by teaching and education to promote respect for these rights and freedoms and by progressive measures, national and international, to secure their universal and effective recognition and observance, both among the peoples of Member States themselves and among the peoples of territories under their jurisdiction." (Excerpt from the Preamble at: http://www.un.org/en/documents/udhr/index.shtml)

Related Link:

author by opus diablos - the regressive hypocrite partypublication date Tue May 22, 2012 19:49Report this post to the editors

..I accept that.

But my point was about the 'opening of a door' as though it were a strange and exotically novel approach.

I think you are simply alluding to the ancient practise of using a progressive agenda as a wedge to insinuate a regressive and atavistic reactionary program, as with lip-service, stalking-horses, and hypocritical practise generally.

I'm working off Occam's razor, the waste involved in overcomplicating that which can be more economically(in the sense of energy/time saving) expressed in tackling the problem without garnishing it with redundant tautology.

If you are serious about human rights, as opposed to using the label on the tin to further a less than fully human agenda, is(are?) not ethics already, to use a buzzword, embedded?

Ethics themselves can be waved as a flag for subliminal agendas. Look no further than Rome, or our legal systems operated in the interests of the mega-criminals of global corporate piracy.

Correct me if I misread your comment.

author by W. Finnertypublication date Wed May 23, 2012 01:53Report this post to the editors

I see the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights as a POTENTIALLY very useful social tool, which appears to me to have been designed by competent and genuine people, several of whom had first-hand experience of living through all of the many social horrors of TWO world wars: with the specific intention of trying to avoid a THIRD; and, in the knowledge that the very recent arrival (for them, in their time around 1948) of nuclear and thermonuclear weapons, meant (in effect) that a third world war could, in all probability, only end in the destruction of civilisation (in its present state of development), possibly the end of humanity altogether, and maybe even of end of "life on earth" as a whole.

The people concerned did their job very well (in my view).

However, the extremely valuable social instrument they created has never (to date) been used in the way they hoped it might; and, the big stumbling block (as I see things) is the failure of governments to ensure that the subject is taught in schools and colleges of all kinds.

Now, as a direct result of failing to teach people of the social dangers connected with the "Whereas it is essential, if man is not to be compelled to have recourse, as a last resort, to rebellion against tyranny and oppression, that human rights should be protected by the rule of law, ..." (Excerpt from the Preamble at: http://www.un.org/en/documents/udhr/index.shtml), since 1948, "rebellion against tyranny and oppression" -- through the use of thermonuclear war, is very much "on the cards" again it would seem -- as evidenced by the way the Russian Government is steadily, during the past six months or so -- but very calmly and very responsibly in my opinion -- expressing fears about NATO "nuclear defence hardware" (so called) being installed all around the Russian Nation which they believe -- correctly I suspect -- may have an entirely different purpose altogether.

"Protected by the rule of law":

As my case very clearly shows, human rights are NOT being protected "by the rule of law", by the several governments involved in my case: which, in all probability (I suspect) is in large part a direct consequence of the systemic "educational failure" -- particularly in relation to the education of lawyers -- which appears to me to be contrived, and not just simply a "global coincidence" of some kind.

Fortunately, and thanks to the Internet, all individuals with access to it can now easily find information for themselves on the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights (if, as individual human beings, they chose to do so for themselves), and thus find a way around the extremely dangerous systemic set of global "educational failures" in this particularly important area of education: failures which I suspect may be "kept alive" deliberately for a considerable time to come by many governments (including our own perhaps?), and particularly those who have a fondness for "tyranny and oppression" (or criminal bullying in other words).

Related Links:




author by Sean Crudden - imperopublication date Wed May 23, 2012 23:13Report this post to the editors

My view is impressionistic and I feel the man from New Zealand means well and is genuinely trying to open a door. Many people involved in the whole area of human rights have a legalistic approach as if it were possible to pass a law to guarantee my human rights and yours. Did the law guarantee Saddam's human rights in the end? It's not just an irony but it is a sad fact of life that many people consider the 2001 Mental Health Act a barbaric instrument that undermines the human rights of mental patients and this is 2012? For us a legal approach will not serve. Something along educational or philosophical lines might serve us better? Like what William Finnerty is driving at.

author by W. Finnertypublication date Thu May 24, 2012 06:34Report this post to the editors

"Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler" (Albert Einstein)

The Constitutions of the Republic of Ireland and the United States of America are believed to have both been very firmly founded and built on the doctrine of the "tripartite division of powers of government" between the three main branches of government: Executive, Judicial, and Legislative.

Why is it that this core-issue doctrine, which was designed primarily to protect against the well known and all too frequent social horrors associated with government bullying and tyranny -- despotism (in other words) of the kind (for example) the "ruling elites" of Nazi Germany arrogantly and brutally indulged themselves in to "lawfully" (supposedly) murder and otherwise abuse tens of millions of their own and other people, just a mere 2-3 generations ago -- and where the origins of the social protection in question (widely believed by well-informed people since around 500 BC at least, to be essential for the safety of humanity generally) can easily be traced back to the "golden" days of Ancient Greece, now appears to have been completely abandoned (for all practical purposes) by the Government of the Republic of Ireland, and by the Government of the United States of America as well?

"Abuse of power by one (of the three main branches of government) can be checked by the others and tyranny, hopefully, is prevented." (From  "Principles of Irish Law"  by Dublin Law Lecturer Brian Doolan.)

Related Link:

author by opus diablos - the regressive hypocrite partypublication date Thu May 24, 2012 09:44Report this post to the editors

I'm not questioning intentions, Sean..I'm on the same case of the economics of the razor(I will stick with Occam, W, he holds precedence by eight centuries).

And I agree law is not sufficient, we need cultural change, but law has to be a part of that. Our fundamental cultural values are neo-feudal, and as such unfit for survival purposes in the 21st century, unless we accept resource wars as a foundation for any psychologically healthy society, which our political masters obviously do because they accept authoritarian pyramids of power as 'natural'. It serves their ego-based ambitions which are based on the need for external affirmation of self-valuation. Equality is insufficient for their insecurities so they seek status...but now I'm away on a tangent into mental health...but then it is all connected.

My point, again, is that once you enter the consideration of 'rights'(or the corresponding and often conveniently elided, responsibilities) are you not automatically into ethics?The conscientious deciding of what is the diference between allowable or acceptable behaviour and what should be avoided and condemned as pre-human?
For me, language itself, and our casual uses of it, are central to this necessary debate.

As such I find the original claim puzzling, to say the least. For the moment(no sign of the original poster reponding).

author by W. Finnertypublication date Thu May 24, 2012 11:44Report this post to the editors

The definitions in the section below are from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ethics


Ethics, also known as moral philosophy, is a branch of philosophy that involves systematizing, defending, and recommending concepts of right and wrong behavior.

Major areas of study in ethics may be divided into 3 operational areas:

Meta-ethics, about the theoretical meaning and reference of moral propositions and how their truth values (if any) may be determined;

Normative ethics, about the practical means of determining a moral course of action;

Applied ethics, about how moral outcomes can be achieved in specific situations;

Each of these areas include many further sub-fields of study.


Much more on the "Ethics" subject can be found at the same http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ethics

Related Link:

author by opus diablos - the regressive hypocrite partypublication date Thu May 24, 2012 12:52Report this post to the editors

Its the debate about what constitutes right and wrong.

We can unwind that into all sorts of semantic circular self-gratifying intellectualising until all our personal sacred cows stream home for milking...but if human rights are to have a meaning they must be universal ...and I do belive the UN declaration has codified them as such.

The ethics are embedded in the code and ratified.

Its the IMPLEMENTATION and REALISATATION that remains missing. We can refine away merrily on the legalistic and philosophical fronts..it wont stop one bullet, one torturer, one kids starving or one land-grab or resource theft from our common HUMAN heritage.

Instead of abstract ethical circles, maybe a wee discussion of our human obligations to each other and the responsibilities of coporate claim-jumping 'ownership' need stirring in. Corporate 'rights' are trumping humanity on all fronts.

Yes we need grass roots, ground up, programs..but at a time when the UN Security Council is being questioned for its inneffective tackling of Syria(while Congo, Palestine, growing Sahel famine and countless other inconvenient crises are ignored),children can be found who realise that modern war is idiotic..without the language of ethical garnish.

Human rights and the UN have been hijacked to serve inhuman privilege.

author by W. Finnertypublication date Thu May 24, 2012 14:47Report this post to the editors

Reply to Opus at Thu May 24, 2012 12:52

When governments violate human rights law it ought to be possible (in my view) to go to any law-firm in any part of the country and say "I'd like you to act on my behalf for the purpose of stopping this, receiving compensation for damages done, and whatever else is appropriate (in the particular circumstances)".

As my case shows very clearly, it is not possible to do this at the present time. No law firm will take legal action against government crime, even though people need protection from government crime just as much as they do against all other forms of crime.

In other words, our legal profession is allowing our Government (Executive, Legislative, and Judicial) to not only commit -- but to get away with committing -- extremely serious criminal human-rights violations with impunity.

This, in my view, is not only what "remains missing", but which NEVER has been in the Republic of Ireland since 1948 (as far as I know): and, all of which is 100% unethical in my opinion.

Related Link:

author by opus diablos - the regressive hypocrite partypublication date Thu May 24, 2012 15:29Report this post to the editors

..from the post and thread.

And I don't think its about your, or my, cases.

Its Bryan Gould's claim to be opening '.. a door for the establishment to discuss the human rights omissions and ethical human rights, development and globalisation.'
And the replacement of neo-liberalism, a necessary endeavour.

These are general rather than specific to you or me and our personal experiences, and I do think its a central set of issues; and the point I'm trying to focus on is the tautology of 'ethical human rights'.

The issues you raise are specific to you, and I think more a matter of the law firms being businesses first and interested in justice only as a product, and also a downstream effect of representative rather than participative democracy.

Disagree if you disagree, but can you address the point?Without the lockdown on single case history, or even Ireland.
Its global issues, global problems, and a search for viable alternatives globally that are required.

The commodification of law is central, and its corruption of original intent.
We need to adress it, unfortunately, in more general terms...it grows increasingly critical with the cascading erosion of any semblance of adherence to law-based international systems. A foundation was laid with the UN charter, as it was with the League of Nations before it, and as it was with the foundation of our own attempt at national democracy, and other states' attempts. Its our failure to maintain and upgrade that creates the critical collapse. Liberty and eternal vigilance etc....

Or do you disagree?

author by W. Finnertypublication date Thu May 24, 2012 16:40Report this post to the editors

Reply to Opus at May 24, 2012 15:29

The creation of unconstitutional legislation by our Government (Executive, Legislative, and Judicial) is by no means an issue which is specific to me, at least not the way I see things.

Unconstitutional legislation, and indeed unconstitutional activities of all kinds -- by our Government (Executive, Legislative, and Judicial) -- are issues which not only adversely affect every man, woman, and child of the present generation, but those of future generations as well: if, that is, remedial action is not successfully taken.

The Constitution of the Republic of Ireland is the Supreme law of the Republic of Ireland; and, when our Government (Executive, Legislative, and Judicial) violates it, it is committing extremely serious human-rights crime -- of a treasonous form -- against ALL of the people of the Republic of Ireland (in my opinion).

Related Link:

author by opus diablos - the regressive hypocrite partypublication date Thu May 24, 2012 17:08Report this post to the editors

I'm not disagreeing with that. And perhaps the moderator thinks we're on topic...but its not exactly what was posited for discussion.
I was trying to address the issue raised, which is a bigger set of questions.

That the Irish constitution has become 'more constitutional than the constituents themselves' has parallels in the skewing of human rights agendas to suit major pigs elsewhere.. but is a local manifestation of a global phenomenon...from the France of 1789 to the American revolution and our celebration of 1916 while 'cherishing' some of our children more equally than others..

I've quoted the opening text. I'm not into repetition. Perhaps you should open a thread on the local manifestation... before it becomes a hobby horse.

I still think the global needs addressing and that was the issue flagged, and you still fail to state whether you consider 'ethical human rights' is tautology, i.e. redundant verbosity with a potential agenda of profitable obfuscation.

I can see YOUR point, and even agree...but are you deliberately evading/avoiding mine?Its not the way to get me to follow your links, if thats your intent.

author by W. Finnertypublication date Thu May 24, 2012 17:42Report this post to the editors

Reply to Opus at Thu May 24, 2012 17:08

I feel I have already addressed the "global" (as you put it) in the following excerpt:

"5) Concerns of a general (but very deep and serious) nature FOR HUMANITY AS A WHOLE (including myself of course), and which involve fears relating to the threat of a thermonuclear World War 3 starting up at any moment now, which are directly related to BLATANT violations of the Constitution of the United States of America, by the present Government (Executive, Legislative, and Judicial) of the United States of America: for the sole purpose, it appears to me, of meeting the wishes and demands of the leading members of the Global Banking Cartel. More on this particular concern of mine can be viewed via the sections marked 147 to 156 (inclusive) of the "Opportunity Knocks" List at the following Internet location: http://www.humanrightsireland.com/IrishLegalProfessions/11August2011/Email.htm#Bottom_of_List "

The above excerpt has been taken from the following location:

author by opus diablos - the regressive hypocrite partypublication date Thu May 24, 2012 20:39Report this post to the editors

..you win..I give up trying to get you to stick to topic or answer a direct question...it seems a passing allusion and back to the hobby-horse is your best shot. Ce la..

But in parting, if you were more inclined to be less monocular I might just have clicked on one of your links.

So maybe your best shot hit your own foot. A conversation, is best conducted as dialogue, whether on-line or otherwise. Good luck with your ops.

author by W. Finnertypublication date Fri May 25, 2012 08:19Report this post to the editors

Reply to Opus at Thu May 24, 2012 20:39:

For as long as governments around the world can STILL commit extremely serious crimes against their fellow human beings -- with impunity, some 63 years after the United Nations brought into existence the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (which most governments of the world signed up for at the time in 1948) -- I don't think any of us wins: at least not among the 99%.

Related Link: http://www.humanrightsireland.com/
author by opus diablos - the regressive hypocrite partypublication date Fri May 25, 2012 11:41Report this post to the editors

..as people refuse to address points raised on a thread, and instead divert into some personal fixation with 'mom 'n apple-pie' truisms...democratic debate will be just an idea whose time is yet to come.

author by W. Finnertypublication date Fri May 25, 2012 14:07Report this post to the editors

Reply to Opus at Fri May 25, 2012 11:41

I believe it is for me -- and for me alone -- to decide how I wish to respond to points raised by other people on this or any other thread.

Also, I do not feel under any obligation to explain or justify my decisions regarding such maters to anybody. I believe that is my own business entirely.

Why you seem to believe that you should have control over how I respond to points you make on this or any other thread is a complete mystery to me.

Related Link: http://www.humanrightsireland.com/

author by opus diablos - the regressive hypocrite partypublication date Fri May 25, 2012 14:33Report this post to the editors

I guess I'll just have to hope you and yourself entirely will be very happy together.

author by W. Finnerty.publication date Fri May 25, 2012 14:54Report this post to the editors

Reply to Opus at Fri May 25, 2012 14:33:

As you wish. The choice is entirely yours.

Related Link: http://www.humanrightsireland.com/

author by Sean Crudden - imperopublication date Fri May 25, 2012 15:48Report this post to the editors

Well I am not really in any position to dictate but I think ethics comes in to it at a basic level. Surely a basic ethical consideration is that everyone including women, children, pupils in school, mental patients, patients in general, the disabled, the old, prisoners, people on death row, should be afforded human rights. Should William Finnerty be afforded more human rights than Opus Diablos or Seán Crudden? A true ethical outlook might colour our understanding of legal; constitutional; executive function where governments, corporations, committees, dictators, are concerned. So often nowadays the accepted modus operandi is to grab, bully, destroy; in our own immediate self interest. No-one seems to look down the road where all the rapine and exploitation is leading?

Related Link: http://seancrudden.wordpress.com/
author by opus diablos - the regressive hypocrite partypublication date Fri May 25, 2012 18:12Report this post to the editors

its what it says on the label...human rights...what you have the right to if you are human...life, food, shelter, a share of work and reward, treatment if ill...a fair trial if accused of criminality..

That was my point, ethics inheres in the topic without indulging in linguistic gymnastics that are redundant, which is what tautology is.

People have been looking 'down the road' at least since the satires of Juvenal and our own Swift, and before him many of the Gaelic bards..Cad a dheanamaid feasta gan aidhmaid was penned long before we even called them rain-forests about the deforestation of Ireland(largely to keel the British navy for its predations)using Cill Cais as metaphor for the rapine.

author by W. Finnertypublication date Sat May 26, 2012 11:49Report this post to the editors

Reply to Sean Crudden at Fri May 25, 2012 15:48


Please note that I NEVER asked to be afforded more human rights than anybody else, and that I never would ask for such a thing.

Useful as human rights theory can be, I believe practical considerations relating to specific cases need to be taken into account as well. Without such considerations, it seems to me that the whole subject of human rights would be totally meaningless.

For example, when the State (Republic of Ireland) notified me that it had decided to charge me with a CRIMINAL offence because I lost my temper and shouted at Mr Enda Hoey (Enforcement Officer, Galway County Council): AFTER he totally REFUSED -- under ANY circumstances -- to look at the piped raw sewage discharge which was coming from New Inn Primary School and entering the river which flows through the centre of New Inn Village, about 100 yards or so UPSTREAM from the pump-house for the local community water supply, and about 50 yards from where myself and Mr Hoey were standing at the time (in the middle of a beautifully fine Spring/Summer's day), I decided to start preparing for my court defence with the use of a professional lawyer.

The main part of my "intended defence" -- in court -- involved the matter of unconstitutional legislation (BOGUS and completely invalid law in other words) connected with Local and Central Government plans, at the time (i.e. May 2002), for the creation of TWO huge Superdumps in the New Inn (County Galway) area: and which -- indirectly because of an entirely LEGAL "public sign" containing the www.finnachta.com address, and nothing else - which I had erected at my brother's business premises for the purpose of drawing attention to the bogus law, in the run-up to the 2002 General Election, was the main purpose of Mr Hoey's visit to New Inn Village on the day in question.

Mr Hoey was demanding that the sign with the www.finnachta.com address (leading to the unconstitutional law information) simply had to come down IMMEDIATELY; and, please note, I did not lose my temper with him until after (1) Mr Hoey had very reluctantly agreed that I could apply for retention of the sign, and (2) that he would send me the necessary retention papers by post when he got back to his Office in Galway City: which he NEVER did. Instead, Mr Hoey and his colleagues at Galway County arranged to send the Garda Siochana (Republic of Ireland Police), who turned up the next day.

To my utter amazement, I found that no lawyer would "touch my case with a 60 foot barge pole" for as long as I insisted on they raising the issue of unconstitutional legislation in court: and, that in my view, is a very straightforward and an extremely serious PRACTICAL violation of human rights (which adversely affects all citizens of the Republic of Ireland). To date, and despite much effort on my behalf (and with some very important help contributed by a senior social worker and a medical doctor), the matter has never been put right: even though numerous facilities exist (under human rights law) for putting it right: and which means that all involved in the criminal abuse I have been subjected to during the past 10 years or so are getting away with their crimes with impunity, and with little likelihood (in my opinion) that any of them will stop committing such crime in the future.

Related Link:

author by opus diablos - the regressive hypocrite partypublication date Sun May 27, 2012 14:06Report this post to the editors

..in that '..I NEVER ask...' and then usurping the thread every time to publicise your own personal case at every opportunity, at the expense of the general discussion of whether 'ethical human rights' is tautological, and as such merely another quango-style manipulation of an urgent agenda for an end that is self-promotion.

That '...practical considerations relating to specific cases..' for illustrative purposes might be more credible if your examples were less consistently and recidivistically subjective.

The habit is self-defeating.

author by W. Finnertypublication date Sun May 27, 2012 14:32Report this post to the editors

Reply to Opus at May 27, 2012 14:06

I'm very grateful to you for your opinions.

Related Link:

author by Sean Cruddenpublication date Sun May 27, 2012 16:14Report this post to the editors

Well, William. It was a clumsy attempt at humour. I do not think that you have or should have any more human rights than anyone else. Sorry for using old-fashioned language but I agree with you that consideration or examination of the individual case gives more insight into ethics than a lot of abstract generalisations. To me, too, the particular is more interesting than the general. The case you outline so eloquently involving your good self, Galway County Council, The Garda; strikes a chord in my imagination. In my experience a stickler for rectitude will generally lose the battle confronted by a well-organised bureaucracy. That is why so many people are dissatisfied with (local) government, the Church, Health Service Executive, etc. My own opinion is that you had right entirely on your side. But the processes of administration, law, etc., which were put in train did little or nothing to vindicate your rights. In fact you received no immunity or protection. It's a very clear case in point. The main reason why I do not see a battery of laws and procedures as being of any practical effect in affording rights to mental patients or any other vulnerable group.

author by W. Finnertypublication date Sun May 27, 2012 18:55Report this post to the editors

Reply to Sean Crudden at Sun May 27, 2012 16:14


Thank you for your comments.

It seems to me that the "well-organised bureaucracy" you mention, or the "well-organised group of government criminals" as I see them, have depended a lot for their criminal successes -- up to now -- on keeping their wrongdoing well hidden from the general public.

My hope is that the arrival of the "Internet Age" might -- eventually -- "put a VERY LARGE spanner in the works" for them in that regard.

There must be a new and lower limit to the amount of lies, corruption, crime, cover-ups and so on, that even a "well-organised bunch of government criminals" can keep hidden from the general public in the Internet Age, or so I would like to think at least.

Related Link:

author by Sean Crudden - imperopublication date Mon May 28, 2012 08:19Report this post to the editors

Yes, William, it is easier now to publish what one wants to say - or to publish even if one really has nothing to say. However from an ethical point of view it is probably very wrong to use the internet for selfish purposes or for self advancement or worse still to bully or belittle other people be they friends or enemies. It is easy to imagine oneself, when one sits at a keyboard, as a straight person and a righter of wrongs. However a victory won on the internet is often a Pyrric victory. The hard slog, the infighting, the daily battles; that continues. And if you are a fighting man you really cannot sleep. Victories in court are often a one-day wonder and in my estimation are no more important than the result of a football match. But honestly there is no way for a thinking person to avoid trouble in this life nor is it any answer to shy away from it.

author by opus diablos - the regressive hypocrite partypublication date Mon May 28, 2012 11:58Report this post to the editors

would you agree, sean, that clear and consistent thinking helps clarify ethical questions?

And do you think you can discuss human rights in an ethics-free zone, or once you are discussing the subject are you not immediately into ethical issues by definition?

If they are our 'rights', and it is 'wrong'(unjust) to withhold them is that not an ethical discussion?

Is that too complex an idea to elicit a reply, either positive or negative?

author by W. Finnertypublication date Mon May 28, 2012 14:17Report this post to the editors

Reply to Sean Crudden at Mon May 28, 2012 08:19

I note all of what you say.

The main point for me is that some things -- but by no means all of course -- are well worth fighting for, even if there is a high risk of just a Pyrrhic type victory, or even of no victory of any kind at all perhaps. For some it is preferable to die fighting against something they intensely dislike, than to give in and submit to it.

How would we be living today (if at all) I wonder, were it not for the Pyrrhic type victory of the Russian people who first proved to the world that the armies of Hitler were NOT invincible: at a cost to themselves of (among many other things) the loss of millions of their own people fighting it out, street by street, in places like Leningrad and other such places.

Put another way, I believe there are some very basic human rights types of wrongdoing -- such as (for example) the wilful creation and sustenance of unconstitutional legislation by our Government (Executive, Legislative, and Judicial) -- which cannot sensibly be compromised over by any responsible citizen of voting age in the Republic of Ireland; or, in any other republic similarly constituted to ours: such as the Republic of the United States of America in particular: where "constitutional violation" issues get REALLY serious for the whole of humanity, when account is taken of the fact that the United States probably has the world's largest stocks -- by far -- of nuclear and thermonuclear weapons: many of them now deployed (and all ready for firing at literally any moment) in places like the Eastern Mediterranean, the Persian Gulf, and the coastal waters of Northern Australia.

Bunreacht na hEireann (the Constitution of the Republic of Ireland) is the SUPREME law of the Republic of Ireland, and when Local and/or Central Government violate it they need to be peacefully and lawfully challenged without delay (in my view).

Failure to do so results in our Local and/or Central Government committing serious human rights crime, with impunity, against their own citizens; and, the longer that kind of government criminal abuse is allowed to continue, the worse things are likely to get for the vast majority of the people of the Republic of Ireland (in my opinion).

There should (in my view) be straightforward and GENUINE facilities in place for all Republic of Ireland citizens to SAFELY challenge what they suspect are unconstitutional activities (including unconstitutional legislation) by our Government (Executive, Legislative, and Judicial).

As my case clearly shows however, when I tried to challenge unconstitutional legislation connected with the "Superdump" issues in East Galway in 2002 -- by peaceful and lawful means using the road sign shown at http://www.finnachta.com/Election/May_2002_General_Election.htm -- the response of Local and Central Government was to try their best to CRIMINALISE me: and not just once, but TWICE. And, although they failed in both of their attempts to criminalise me, they did succeed in forcing me to spend two lengthy periods living in "forced exile" outside of the Republic of Ireland jurisdiction, which totalled somewhere in the region of around four and a half years. A Pyrrhic type victory some might think, but not myself: because despite all the difficulties I encountered, I still think it was worth it: especially when I remind myself of all the many sacrifices that 30 or so generations of our forbears made between 1169 and 1937 to get to the point where Bunreacht na hEireann (the Basic Law of the Republic of Ireland) could became a reality for the people of the Republic of Ireland.

Criminal abuse of the kind Mr Enda Hoey and his colleagues at Galway County Council initiated against me in 2002, and which was followed up and vigorously supported by Central Government, regarding the "Article 28 A Constitutional" issue, is completely unacceptable to me; and I don't believe I would ever compromise or kowtow to such criminal abuse: even if it means I have to face starvation as a result of Central Government blocking my old age pension.


Number of comments per page
© 2001-2012 Independent Media Centre Ireland. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by Independent Media Centre Ireland. Disclaimer | Privacy