Finnie Slams UK Government on Human Rights Approach
Local MSP John Finnie, Scottish Greens, slammed the UK Government for its approach to Human Rights and disability benefits during a debate in the Scottish Parliament.
Finnie’s amendment to Cabinet Secretary Angela Constance’s motion, highlighting the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) inquiry into violations of rights in the UK, was passed by 85 votes to 31 with only the Conservatives voting against.
The amendment stated that the parliament:
‘is resolved that dignity, equality, and human rights for all cannot be realised as long as disabled people continue to experience violations of their basic rights under the policies adopted by the UK Government.’
During the debate Mr Finnie highlighted how the UK government was failing disabled people and spoke of Tory hypocrisy – highlighting Ruth Davidson’s photo op in a Motability scooter earlier this year at the same time her party were stripping claimants of their mobility vehicles.
Following the debate John said:
“There is a clear need to ensure that a fair Scotland is underpinned by respecting and implementing human rights. I was pleased to take part in a largely constructive debate and happy to lend my support to the Scottish Government, Labour and the Liberal Democrats all of whom, in addition to ourselves, put forwards amendments which focused on different areas of human rights.”
“The constructive tone of debate of course ended when the Conservatives, the nasty party, had the gall to stand up in the Scottish Parliament and say they support human rights, while systematically attacking some of the most vulnerable people in our society. The UK government have repeatedly been condemned by the UN for violations of human rights through their vindictive ‘welfare reform’ programme.”
“The most telling example of Tory hypocrisy was earlier this year when their Scottish Leader, Ruth Davidson, took a joy ride in a Motability scooter at the same time as her government in Westminster are stripping 800 mobility vehicles from those who need them every week.”
“In my closing remarks I offered members on the Tory benches the opportunity to intervene and defend their government’s actions. It is quite telling that instead they chose to hide behind their lecterns silently, rather than attempt to defend the indefensible.”
The full amendment successfully argued by John Finnie states:
“notes the report of the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) on its inquiry into violations of rights in the UK, which was issued on 6 October 2016, and its report on its concluding observations under its reporting cycle, which was issued on 29 August 2017; expresses grave concern that, in its October 2016 report, the UNCRPD found systematic violations of the rights of disabled people; acknowledges that one of only two positive findings in the August 2017 report concerned measures taken in Scotland; expresses concern at the absence of action and the dismissive attitude of the UK Government regarding the 85 recommendations made by the UNCRPD in August, and is resolved that dignity, equality, and human rights for all cannot be realised as long as disabled people continue to experience violations of their basic rights under the policies adopted by the UK Government.”