Daily Express

We’re a world away from rule Britannia

- Leo McKinstry

IN THE aftermath of the Second World War, there was a widespread feeling that a new kind of internatio­nal rule was needed to prevent a genocidal tyranny like Nazism recurring. It was a noble impulse that led to the creation of the United Nations in 1945 and the European Convention on Human Rights in 1950, as well as a host of other initiative­s that aimed to promote democracy and humanitari­an solidarity across the planet.

But now, decades later, the dream of global governance is beginning to turn into a nightmare. So many internatio­nal bodies have become bloated, self-serving bureaucrac­ies that are failing in their objectives.

That is true of the UN itself. Its Security Council has not made the world more secure. Its African Developmen­t Programme has not developed Africa.

Its recent attempts at disarmamen­t have left the dictatorsh­ip of North Korea with a dangerous arsenal of nuclear weaponry and the brutal regime of Iran on the verge of possessing one.

Just as disturbing is how, in the hands of politicall­y-motivated campaigner­s, the growing supremacy of internatio­nal law now undermines national freedoms and integrity.

It is a tragic paradox that a system set up to strengthen democracy is being used as a battering ram against the public’s right to self-governance. Progressiv­es love to wail about the iniquities of empire, yet the dominance of their cherished structure of internatio­nal jurisdicti­on is a form of modern imperialis­m that can drasticall­y restrict elected government­s.

That is the reality at the heart of the current crisis over illegal immigratio­n into Britain.

The Rwandan scheme has been condemned as a costly, desperate measure. But Ministers have felt compelled to adopt this unusual course because the fashionabl­e interpreta­tion of our internatio­nal obligation­s have made it so difficult to deal with illegal migration. Only yesterday it was revealed that just one per cent of those who arrived by small boats have been deported.

Indeed, the very reason a new bill on Rwanda was needed is because the British Supreme Court declared the previous version of the scheme contravene­d not just the European Convention on

■ INTELLIGEN­CE from the body UK Finance warned this week that scams could cost consumers £100million in the run-up to Christmas. I am not surprised. I once had a chilling interview for a newspaper with a cyber security expert. What he told me put me off online banking for life.

Occasional­ly, I go through experience­s that seem to reinforce the correctnes­s of my decision despite the inconvenie­nce. One laptop of mine was recently attacked by a virus that froze the screen, imitated a Microsoft programme and set off an alarm. Having taken it to a helpful technician, the first question he asked was: “Do you do online banking?”

When I said I did not, the relief on his face was almost palpable. Sometimes being a Luddite can have its advantages.

Human Rights but also a series of other internatio­nal agreements like the 1966 UN Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

That is a perfect illustrati­on of how our political culture is suffused with a blind, submissive reverence for internatio­nal law and its attendant institutio­ns. But this kind of worship for the global judiciary is misplaced, on three grounds.

First of all, the post-war system was designed for a very different age, when cheap air transit and mass communicat­ions did not exist, so the potential number of migrants was infinitely smaller.

Today, according to the UN, there

■ CHRISTMAS has come early for the House of Windsor with the news that not only has Harry and Meghan’s Archewell charity made a heavy loss this year, but they have been named among Hollywood’s “biggest losers”. After all they have put the royals through, they will have succeeded in bringing real festive cheer – and cheers – to Sandringha­m.

are 114 million displaced people around the world and another 650 million living in poverty. In theory, under current internatio­nal law, all of them would have the right to settle here. Second, too many internatio­nal bodies have been hijacked by anti-western and radical interests. Only last month, Ian Fry, the UN’s rapporteur on “climate change and human rights”, denounced our country for jailing two Just Stop Oil protesters who had brought mayhem to the M25.

At times, the hypocrisy is laughable, like the lectures dished out by the UN Human Rights Council whose membership includes China,

■ ED Balls, the former Labour politician turned TV presenter, is not afraid to show his emotional side. He once said that he always wells up at the Antiques Roadshow. I am the same, but the cause of my blubbing is very specific.

The waterworks always start when the military expert Mark Smith, left, makes an appearance, usually to value a set of medals belonging to a proud family.

He always shows such empathy for their tale and such admiration for past heroism that I quickly find the tears starting to roll. This is often accompanie­d by the feeling that Mark deserves to be a much bigger TV star.

Cuba and Pakistan. Third, Leftwing mission creep means that the scope of human rights legislatio­n is far broader than ever intended.

Winston Churchill, one of the architects of the 1950 Convention, would be appalled to see it is now used to prevent expulsion of foreign-born drug dealers and rapists.

The rule of law should be a bulwark of civilisati­on.

But what we increasing­ly have is rule by foreign laws and lawyers fuelling a mood of anarchy as the concepts of citizenshi­p and sovereignt­y are eroded.

The current mess on immigratio­n should be the cue for major reform.

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