When I did my improvisation course recently the teacher, Chris, said something like this: When I have a group of kids and I ask them who wants to go first they all put their hands in the air and fight to get to the front, because they aren’t worried about success or failure on that attempt, they are just interested in having as many goes as possible. When I have a group of adults and I ask them who wants to go first they look at their shoes and try and hide behind each other, because they are worried about the quality of each individual go, about whether they can do it right, successfully. This is why children learn so quickly, he said, because they aren’t worried about getting it wrong. So, he said, when he asked for volunteers he wanted us not to worry about failure, instead to to expect it, and to remember that the most fun is to be had by trying to have as many goes as possible
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.