The Council of Europe is peddling a fantasy
When it gathered in Strasbourg on Tuesday* to condemn “the extensive and often virulent attacks on the rights of LGBTI people”, the Council of Europe singled out a small collection of the most inhospitable countries. It contained the usual suspects — Russia, Turkey, Poland, Hungary — but also a more surprising addition: the United Kingdom.
The UK has left the European Union, but we remain a member of the Council of Europe. The CoE is an older and larger organisation — hence the inclusion of Russia and Turkey — and is built around the European Convention on Human Rights. This week’s meeting revealed just how empty some of those human rights have become.
Tonia Antoniazzi’s speech in the House of Commons this week was remarkable, not because of what she said – the need for accurate recording of crimes according to sex – but because she had the courage to actually say it.