The public opinion research accompanying the report of the National Human Rights Consultation suggests that those proposing a charter of rights have a tough task ahead.
These days, only bastards and people who know a little political philosophy are likely to question the whole idea of ‘human rights’ (‘nonsense upon stilts’, as the utilitarian philosopher Jeremy Bentham memorably called them). So on questions about parliament paying attention to human rights or increased education on human rights only one or two percent of respondents express opposition.
But only 7% of respondents disagreed with the proposition that human rights are adequately protected (with a large 29% not expressing a view).
Worse for the main advocates of putting general human rights into legislation or the Constitution, the public isn’t in general very sympathetic on some of the issues that are driving the human rights push in the first place. Continue reading “Will a human rights charter be popular?”