Justin McKeating explains why human rights are like a puppy:
We’ve just got a puppy. Cuddling the puppy is fine – who doesn’t like cuddling puppies? But the walking, training, and active input? The shiftless eight year-old doesn’t enjoy that so much. It’s hard work. You see, when you’re eight, the idea of having a puppy is very, very nice. The annoying reality? Not so much.
Which brings me to human rights. Obviously.
You see, when you’re the government, the idea of having human rights is very, very nice. The annoying reality? Not so much. Look at the kids losing their minds in Yarl’s Wood detention centre. Reminisce on the ‘humanitarian intervention‘ conducted with airstrikes and cluster bombs and depleted uranium and beatings and hoodings and murder. Watch a British government nuzzling beheaders and torturers in the name of business. See Jack Straw flashing his petticoat at the Daily Mail and accusing the Human Rights Act of being a ‘villains’ charter’.
This explanation actually makes a lot of sense. The government is quite keen on human rights in the abstract. But in the concrete, they chafe at the government’s ability to do what it wants (which is in fact largely their purpose) so the governmnet are against them.