Monday, October 03, 2005


Foxy takes a stand


Launching the Conservative Party's human rights initiative, Shadow Foreign Secretary Dr Liam Fox said:

"As members of strong and free liberal societies, we must speak up for the oppressed, we must support those who speak up for themselves in the face of danger. That is why I am pleased to be launching this group under the chairmanship of Gary Streeter.

"Extending democracy around the globe is a noble project. But democracy is not a guaranteed process. Democracy, like human life itself, is at its most vulnerable in its early stages. It also does not just mean access to the ballot box. It must also mean access to a way of life. It should not mean having your home bulldozed, because you have been designated as trash, as in Zimbabwe – a notional democracy.

"In Burma, democracy has been extinguished. In Darfur, lives are blighted not just by famine but also by violence. And, in this country, everyone seems to forget about the Congo – even though the death toll there in the past six years has been a staggering 3.8 million.

"All around the world, democracy needs underpinning by a freedom agenda. There are three basic pillars to this agenda - the free market, the rule of law and respect for human rights.

"Free market societies are far more able to unleash the creative potential of their own population than other economic systems. From economic liberty flows the natural desire for democracy among the people of any given country. The rule of law is also essential – equally applied to government and citizen, consumer and business. Within this context, respect for human rights can flourish, and democracy is strengthened."

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