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Nonsense upon stilts

I am not a big fan of Bentham, but his terming of 'human rights' as 'nonsense upon stilts' seems quite extraordinarily apt in the case of those deemed to apply to protesters in Ottawa.

Bush, Calderon and Harper are having a summit meeting in Ottawa next month, and doubtless it will prove a fairly pointless exercise, in common with G8 meetings and the like. Why they can't do a bit of video conferencing is beyond me.

Anyway, politicians cannot hope to meet up anywhere without there being a rag bag of lefties, greens, and 57 varieties of other loons following the baggage train, and so it will be in Ottawa. Doubtless politicians everywhere regard the camp followers as just one more pain in the backside, but which can be shut out once inside the summit venue. Not, however, this time:

"There will be a video feed of the protests inside the buildings," a senior official said at a media briefing on the summit. "People have a legitimate right to protest."

The government said the decision to stream footage of the protests in view of the three world leaders is consistent with the protesters' human rights and assertions in courts that protesters have a right to be seen and heard".

Right. So it is not enough that one has the right to freedom of assembly and freedom of speech, but rather Ottawa falls just short of supplying the venue, soap boxes and bullhorns. Having once started on this folly, where will it all end, and might Bush, Calderon and Harper decide that they want to exercise their freedom of speech by having their bon mots relayed to the crowd by speakers mounted on Chinooks or somesuch?

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Anonymous Anonymous said... 10:15 am

I happened to be in Canada a few years ago when the G8 meeting was held at a small isolated village in the hills somewhere between Banff and Calgary. I did not see any protestors on my meanderings although there were the usual crash/crush barriers in place outside some hotels in Calgary town centre. In fact I think most folks in my hotel, myself included, were completely unaware or had forgotten that it was happening - until a coach-load of very heavily armed toughies (police, I suppose they were!) dressed in full riot gear decamped into the Banff hotel I was staying at one breakfast-time!

As you say, I do not recall anything of world shattering importance emerging from that meeting.  

Blogger The Hitch said... 1:50 pm

Jeremy bentham?
Isnt he more famous for having had himself stuffed and put on display?
Ive seen him and he looks like John McCrirricks twin  

Blogger Croydonian said... 2:22 pm

And if they really cannot make do with video conferencing, perhaps meeting up aboard the USS Nimitz or somesuch could save us all a pile of money, *and* allow the plod to get on with something more useful.

Hitch - yup, that's him. I'm a UCL boy, so know the corpse well.  

Anonymous Anonymous said... 2:36 am

President Calderone is one very fine president. When he was sworn into office, the city of Oaxaca had been without garbage collection for three months.

In a tropical climate, you can imagine the stench, the garbage turning liquid and running down the streets, the vermin ... everything.

The day after Presiden Calderone was sworn in, he ordered the military into Oaxaca with - and this is my favourite bit - orders to shoot union officials who tried to obstruct them.  

Anonymous Anonymous said... 4:26 pm

Why don't they send Brian Haw over?

Equality demands that every nutter in the country should be allowed to set up shop in Parly Square.  

Anonymous Anonymous said... 11:13 pm

C Dion - I don't understand your comment. (No offence.) Brian Haw is relevant to NAFTA how?

"Equality demands that every nutter in the country should be allowed to set up shop in Parly Square." You do understand, do you not, that Ottawa is not "in the country"?

I agree that people judged 'nutters' by the socialists should have the right to set up shop in Parliament Square (and further believe they should have the right to be armed), but am not clear on how your comments apply to Ottawa and the North American Free Trade Association.

I actually don't believe this will prove "a fairly pointless exercise", as NAFTA is working.

I don't know what to do about the 57 varieties of loonies and greens, given that the MSM loves them. For a start, I would suggest that the Atlas MSM of the world be decommissioned and required to solicit subscriptions. The BBC, probably the most destructive company on our planet, has to be removed except as a (voluntary)subscription service. This fascist organisation needs to go before Britain can be a country with a truly free press.  

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