Saturday, 21 June 2008

What's the Story behind the Story?

Some of the right wing press rang a story this week that "A United Nations report says Britain should abolish its monarchy". The reference is a meeting on the UN Human Rights Council, which met a few days ago.

Subsequently the Sri Lankan delegation issued this statement -
"The Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka to the United Nations in Geneva wishes to contradict several inaccuracies and distortions contained in a report in the London Daily Express, which seems to have been echoed by certain other news organizations, to the effect that Sri Lanka called for the abolition of the British monarchy. There was no such call, not by Sri Lanka and not by the UN Human Rights Council. Indeed the quote cited in the Daily Express does not include such a call. It recommends only that the UK 'consider' the holding of a referendum on the desirability or otherwise of a written constitution, preferably republican, with a bill of rights. The Daily Express has omitted the reference to a bill of rights."

So why have the British right wing press run this story, which they know will anger some people? Is this a prelude to an attack on the UN (see the Daily Telegraph's website for outraged responses).

Why do they want to attack the UN now?

Is it to push the idea of a "Concert of Democracies" which was proposed by the Princeton Project (http://www.princeton.edu/~ppns/report/FinalReport.pdf) and is supported by both candidates in the US Presidential Election.

It is a serious proposal - and merits consideration - but there are some on the right in the UK and US who are vehemently anti-UN. Are they starting a propaganda offensive, for motives many people would strongly disagree with?

Interestingly Lord Hannay has the following question down for answer in the House of Lords on Tuesday "to ask Her Majesty’s Government what is their assessment of proposals to establish a league of democracies composed of all democratically-ruled countries."