The UN’s Special Rapporteur on adequate housing landed on our shores recently.
The BBC seemed to take her seriously. No mention of her loony, animal sacrificing, hard core Marxist, witch doctoring proclivities though.
Just as well that we have Guido Fawkes to bring us the low down on her.….not to mention the Daily Mail:
Couple of questions the BBC might like to ask, apart from what are her own politics?….
First who asked her to bring her unique skills to this country and pronounce on the political process here?
It is clear that this was part of the political fight and that she must knowingly have supported that fight…as the video from Guido shows….in which she is talking at an ‘Axe The Bedroom Tax’ meeting.
Second, what exactly does the UN say about ‘adequate housing’ provision?
The BBC tells us that…
The UK is a signatory to a number of international treaties which protect the right to adequate housing and non-discrimination.
Hardly informative…doesn’t give you the full picture of exactly what the UN requires a government to do….if it did you might start to question the UN’s role…and possibly the BBC doesn’t want to encourage that sort of independent thinking and questioning of authority…left wing type authority anyway.
The obligation to recognize the human right dimensions of housing and to ensure that no measures are taken with the intention of eroding the legal status of this right.
As defined by the first Special Rapporteur, “the human right to adequate housing is the right of every woman, man, youth and child to gain and sustain a safe and secure home and community in which to live in peace and dignity”.
This definition is in line with the core elements of the right to adequate housing as defined by General Comment No. 4 of the United Nations Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.
According to the Committee, while adequacy is determined in part by social, economic, cultural, climatic, ecological and other factors, it is nevertheless possible to identify certain aspects of the right that must be taken into account for this purpose in any particular context. They include the following: a) Legal security of tenure; b) Availability of services, materials, facilities and infrastructure; c) Affordability; d) Habitability; e) Accessibility; f) Location; and g) Cultural adequacy.
The obligation imposed by the UN seems to be almost regardless of finanacial considerations…and indeed suggests that in time of economic hardship even more be spent on housing.
The obligation of States is to demonstrate that, in aggregate, the measures being taken are sufficient to realize the right to adequate housing for every individual in the shortest possible time using the maximum available resources.
This obligation “to achieve progressively” must be read in the light of article 11.1 of the Covenant, in particular the reference to the right to the “continuous improvement of living conditions”. The obligation of progressive realization, moreover, exists independently of any increase in resources. Above all, it requires effective use of resources available.
The UN’s demands seem based upon a utopian wish list that barely recognises the realities of the real world. They are amorphous and unlimited in scope…they are so open to interpretation that any government would be committed to housing anybody and everybody who turns up demanding a house…and not just a house…but the right to ‘security, peace and dignity’….and all at a price they can afford….and if that isn’t sufficient the government must ensure that people being housed also have the full enjoyment of other rights such as the right to freedom of expression and association…. ’indispensable if the right to adequate housing is to be realized and maintained by all groups in society.’
Individuals, as well as families, are entitled to adequate housing regardless of age, economic status, group or other affiliation or status and other such factors.
In the Committee’s view, the right to housing should not be interpreted in a narrow or restrictive sense which equates it with, for example, the shelter provided by merely having a roof over one’s head or views shelter exclusively as a commodity. Rather it should be seen as the right to live somewhere in security, peace and dignity.
”Adequate shelter means … adequate privacy, adequate space, adequate security, adequate lighting and ventilation, adequate basic infrastructure and adequate location with regard to work and basic facilities – all at a reasonable cost”.
Those ‘vulnerable and disadvadvantaged’ who need the UN’s help include…..
‘…in particular, homeless persons and families, those inadequately housed and without ready access to basic amenities, those living in “illegal” settlements, those subject to forced evictions and low-income groups.’
Reading the UN’s ‘Rights’ you come to the conclusion they are very worthy but unworkable being so open to interpretation and making such open ended demands of any government.
It would seem anybody could demand to be housed by the government as a ‘human right’ under this ’Right’ and if there was no housing in a particular location, say near to someone’s job, the government would have to build it….‘adequate location with regard to work and basic facilities’….and be forced to provide provision for those in ‘illegal settlements’….so all those travellers or the numerous Romanians sleeping rough in London would have to be housed on demand….and presumably any other immigrant to this country who just strolls in legal or not.
All sounds pretty sensible and reasonable to me.
Can see why the BBC might not want to dig too deeply into that…might make people question the UN, and why an unelected body can interfere so radically with the internal politics and economic running of a country, overturning the legal, and approved by Parliament, policies of a sovereign government…and why any government would sign up to such overbearing and intrusive legislation especially if it can seemingly be imposed by the ruling of one, highly partisan, person who seems to have invited herself into the country and pronounced judgment based on a few days roaming around the UK whilst having her hand held by campaign groups opposed to the government’s housing policy.
Finally from 1944 and the first inklings of what the UN might look like are suggested…by newspaper editor Cecil H King:
As a result of the conference at Dumbarton Oaks, a tentative scheme has been put forwrd for a world security organization. It is very like the old League of Nations and quite clearly won’t work. There are to be five permanent members of the Executive Council: Russia, America and Britain, together with China and France! The first clause of the proposals records the sovereign freedom and independence of every state represented in the new league. This means that we go on record with the statement that Nicaragua and Russia are equally free, independent, sovereign states. This is mischievous rubbish. The fiction that France is one of the world’s great powers and that Germany and Japan are not, is another obvious source of trouble. The Russians, moreover, are insisting on the right of veto in any case involving sanctions. If ever there was a stillborn scheme, this is it.
Can’t say he was wrong…..Russia is proving to be the exact thorn in the side that King predicted and the UN a toothless, ineffective, corrupt body….Though Sheila Fogarty claimed that Russia was only interested in ensuring the survival of the UN security council as a bulwark for peace….no mention of its own extensive interests in the survival of the Syrian regime.