Put to rights

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SNP MEP Alyn Smith (Letters, 3 October) asks “what serious-minded, ethical person” could oppose the Human Rights Act?” Answer: me.

He employed the usual trick of rights proponents: conflating opposition to rights legislation with approval of everything that is classed as a human rights abuse. I want to uphold many of the freedoms that rights laws try to uphold, it’s just that rights legislation is often not the best way to do it.

Rights are vague and vulnerable to spurious application, resulting in endless clashes of rights to be argued over by lawyers, ultimately delegating power to judges instead of parliament.

Rights culture tends to lead to a confrontational and uncompromising approach to disagreements, a failure to assign blame to those morally responsible, and a bias towards the “progressives” arguing that people should “have the right to” kill the unborn, kill sick relatives, take cannabis, and suchlike.

A uniquely solid foundation for a moral system, and handing over authority on such imprecise and ill-defined legislation to the EU is undemocratic.

Mr Smith’s inability to accept an alternative view as valid is only to be expected: he represents the SNP, after all.

Richard Lucas