Distinguished NZer opens door for establishment to debate ethical human rights and rights omissions.
Human Rights Council (New Zealand)
10D/15 City Rd.,
(0064) (09) 940.9658
New Zealander Bryan Gould, high achieving academic and UK politician, has opened the door for the establishment to discuss the human rights omissions and ethical human rights, development and globalization.
Gould is a former NZ Rhode Scholar who joined the British Diplomatic Service in 1964. He was a Labour Party MP in the UK for 16yrs, directed Labour’s election campaign in 1987 and contested the leadership in1992. From 1994 to 2004 he was Vice-Chancellor of Waikato University. In 2005, he was made a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit
After reading my recent article, ‘Hope in Chch rebuilding, ethical human rights despite all attempts to crush human potential’ (http://www.guerillamedia.co.nz/content/hope-chch-rebuilding-ethical-human-rights-despite-all-attempts-crush-human-potential
“I read your article with interest and – as you won’t be surprised to hear – not a little agreement. I would strongly support your case for a stronger Bill of Rights – one that
properly complied with the UN Covenant. I hope your campaign succeeds,
though – as you point out – the ranks of those who are concerned about
such issues seem – in some senses – to be getting thinner” (email, dated 18 May 2012)
Our council promotes an ethical approach to human rights, development and globalization to replace neo liberalism. Support for this approach, albeit far more covert than overt, is growing on the internet in the social network sites, twitter, linkedin, and facebook.
On linkedin there is an adviser from PM John Key’s office, who joined my linkedin after I circulated the above article to nearly all MPs. It also includes the former NZ Chief Human Rights Commissioner, and the Founding President of PDHRE, a major international human rights NGO.
While on twitter there is the Mitchell Team, representing a long serving Republican Senator from Kentucky, and an independent, formerly US Comptroller General, standing in the forthcoming US Presidential elections.
The importance of opening up debate within the establishment is because as described in the above article the human rights omissions are not talked about and those that do, such as Amnesty International (US) and the New Zealand Human Rights Commission, are not reported in the mainstream media.
The seeming inability of MPs to discuss the human rights omissions could be related to when on entering parliament they must swear an oath to uphold the law (Section 17, Oaths and Declarations Act 1957) and this seems to mean upholding the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990 while ignoring the omissions.
Because the whole truth is not spoken the debate is heavily skewed in favor of those groups which benefit most by the omissions.
It seems absurd that the Key government’s present constitutional review would not discuss these omissions from the UN Covenant on Civil and Political Rights upon which the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990 is based (see title to the Act). This would mean including the excluded ‘self-help rights’.
The ethical approach also requires the inclusion of economic, social and cultural rights (e.g. ‘survival rights’) which comprises one of the covenants upon which the New Zealand Human Rights Act 1993 is based (see title to the Act). The ethical approach requires, at the very least, the core minimums of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights i.e. both ‘survival rights’ and ‘self-help rights’.
It becomes even more absurd when it is considered that human rights, because the omissions are unspoken, are paving the way for its own destruction which would be the case if the Treaty of Waitangi ends up being the foundation of a future NZ Constitution rather than human rights.
This is because as the above article shows the human rights omissions favor such extreme top-down control as found in neo liberalism, Maori ‘tribalism’ and also permitted by the Green Charter.
If there is such a major redirection in New Zealand the social networking sites could, as the Arab Spring showed, facilitate mass action (all are welcome to join my twitter, linkedin and/or facebook sites).
However Bryan Gould has opened the door to a much more civilized approach - open discussion by the establishment and the rest of society, including myself, on the human rights omissions and the ethical approach to human rights, development and globalization.