Theresa May got a lot of praise for her speech in response to Wednesday’s terror attack, and rightly so. In that speech, she stated that “democracy – and the values it entails – will always prevail. Those values – free speech, liberty, human rights and the rule of law – are embodied here in this place, but they are shared by free people around the world.” Quite right. Never were truer words spoken.
Perhaps I’m being over-simplistic here but it strikes me that a lot of those values have been under sustained attack by those specifically entrusted with their protection: our elected government. This has been attempted under the guise of Ms May’s own notorious Snoopers’ Charter, which can most certainly be seen as a threat to free speech; in her party’s continued insistence that Britain withdraws from the European Convention on Human Rights; and, most recently, in the shameful challenge that Brexiteers mounted against the Supreme Court’s ruling that Parliament was entitled to a vote on the implementation of Article 50 – a ruling which protected the proper parliamentary process and a challenge which therefore posed a threat both to democracy and to the rule of law.
Let us hope that, in response to this week’s attack, the Conservative government has now determined to uphold these cherished values upon which our British sense of honour and justice is founded.