Just yesterday I posted an article with the phrase “too many people try and get away with misusing it (Human Rights Legislation), citing ‘individual human rights’ as an excuse or reason for non-compliance of other societal rules or regulations”.
And this morning, I was watching the news at the Dale Farm travellers’ site unfold. Sure enough several of the travellers and their supporters being interviewed made the exact statement – their human rights were being infringed by the police, bailiffs and the council by being evicted from their homes.
Local residents ask how human rights legislation can be cited to support people who have clearly infringed planning regulations; in their eyes, broken the law. I will not comment on the rights or wrongs of this complex situation, but I am just using it to exemplify how one person or group’s rights can conflict with another’s.
As it happens, I am in favour of communication rather than violence in order to try to find acceptable outcomes to conflict situations. I am sure, with care, mutual understanding and sensitivity, the council in Basildon and the traveller community who have settled there could have reached an acceptable agreement.
As with most conflicts, the sides have become increasingly entrenched, as have the views of the rest of us have become polarised. There are many varied and complex diversity issues at play here and, as is often the case, most of those involved are not showing any willingness to see the point of view of the other side! Isn’t that how wars start?