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Clause 2 — Addition to list of treaties

Part of Orders of the Day – in the House of Commons at 8:45 pm on 5th February 2008.

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Photo of Bill Cash Bill Cash Conservative, Stone 8:45 pm, 5th February 2008

In a moment, if the hon. Gentleman will forgive me. I was just about to mention the origin of the human rights legislation, a subject in which I know he has a great interest.

The legislation began with the universal declaration of human rights in 1949, which I have studied in depth. The distinguished Lebanese jurist Mr. Malik was the rapporteur, and his reports placed enormous significance on the rights of the individual. There was a huge battle between him and Mr. Topialeck and the other Soviet representatives, who were trying to put their version of the declaration.

There is no time to go into the details, but the four freedoms that were agreed did not include democracy. In contrast, I believe that democracy is the first freedom, because all else follows from it. That is what I am concerned to insist on in these debates, because democracy means that my constituents have the right to decide in a general election what sort of Government they want and what laws are applied to them.