The man on the radio said that the Human Rights Act (1998), which incorporates the EU Convention on Human Rights (1950) into English Law, is a ‘charter for terrorists and criminals’. Like that was a bad thing. The mistake here is to assume that human rights exist to look after people who obviously deserve it (you know, people like you and me, who listen to the radio and own sandals). Wrong. Human rights exist to look after everyone, and particularly those who are at risk of persecution. And we all know that the first thing the powerful do when they want to persecute an individual or a group is to redefine what they do as either criminal or (more recently) as terrorism. It’s as simple as that. Human rights laws that only looked after obedient and respectable members of society would be a sham. It is at the periphery of society that human rights are most important and where they should be least up for compromise.