What are the current progressive battlegrounds for “rights” in the UK?

The reason I ask is that all of the areas I can think of could be said to already be relatively “progressive.”

  • The Abortion Act 1967 makes abortion legal until the end of the 24th week.
  • The wage gap is close to zero (and negative in some age groups) when subjected to a multivariate analysis.
  • The Communications Act 2003 prohibits incitement to violence and menacing trolling.
  • The Equalities Act 2010 prohibits discrimination against all the protected groups.
  • The Employment Rights Act 1996 gives the right to leave for child care (eg. 52 weeks for maternity) and to flexible working patterns.
  • The Working Time Act 1998 mandates 28 days paid holidays, breaks from work and attempts to limit working hours.
  • The Pensions Act 2008 gives the right to an occupational pension.
  • The National Minimum Wage Act 1998 gives a minimum wage.
  • 9
    I'm afraid I have to VTC as too broad. Rights for men, women, children, families, adoptive parents, foster parents, people with long-term disabilities or illnesses, people with temporary disabilities, people with non-visible disabilities or illnesses, gay people, non-binary people, asexual people, employed people, employed people on zero-hours contracts, employed people on low wages, unemployed people, people owning their own home, people renting a home, people living in flats, farmed animals, wild animals...?
    – Graham
    Jun 18 '19 at 9:28
  • Nice question but I guess you can follow up with another. IMHO the battlegrounds moved from the courts to the hearts and minds. While there are a nice set of laws there are people using media to stimulate and propagate hate, fear, xenophobia, fascism, racism. The battlegrounds don't changed they moved.
    – jean
    Jun 18 '19 at 12:24
  • 2
    Would you count issues like mass surveillance and censorship?
    – usul
    Jun 18 '19 at 13:02
  • This is a curious framing; in the title you ask about "rights" generally, without reference to progressivism or conservatism, but in the body you ask specifically about progressive battlegrounds. But "rights" are not uniformly progressive nor conservative; plenty of civil rights conflicts involve conservatives advocating for the retention or restoration individual rights that progressives have eroded or destroyed. I can't tell if you're deliberately asking specifically about rights that progressives are fighting for, or have a blind spot where you assume rights are inherently progressive.
    – Mark Amery
    Jun 18 '19 at 13:17
  • 1
    @pjc50 There's a bunch of issues around free speech, religious freedom, parental freedom, and freedom of children where conservatives are trying to retain liberty while progressives erode it. Trying to roll back occupational licensing to preserve the right to work is yet another cause I've mostly seen pushed by the right. Then there's discrimination against Asians in the US, which is a current conservative point of anger. Finally, with the rise of "affirmative consent" standards, we've seen conservatives become (perhaps unlikely) champions of due process and sexual liberty.
    – Mark Amery
    Jun 18 '19 at 16:46

Abortion is legal until the end of the 24th week.

Not in Northern Ireland. UK progressiveness really ought to remember to look at the whole UK.

I would say that the big areas at the moment are:

  • Preventing a regression of rights, especially in relation to Brexit; this might include employment rights, and definitely includes the rights of the 3m EU nationals here.

  • Immigration rights more generally: treatment of asylum seekers etc. The Home Office has operated an increasingly expensive, punitive and arbitrary process for legal immigration over the past few years in an attempt to discourage people. This includes the restrictions on spousal visas as well.

  • Rights for trans people: e.g. GRA Scotland consultation. There is a significant anti-trans media and social media campaign on at the moment.

  • Benefits for disabled people: again subject to arbitrary and unfair bureaucratic processes. This attracted condemnation from the UN.

  • The right not to burn to death: Grenfell and related issues of safety in social housing. Housing availability and affordability more generally is an area of concern.

  • Extreme poverty: see the UN Special Rapporteur on the subject.

  • Thank you. Do you have a link for the asylum policy changes?
    – 52d6c6af
    Jun 17 '19 at 15:41
  • 1
    "The right not to burn to death" - I don't think this is an issue at all. There are building codes that already cover this very well; building codes change with time as new understanding is gained. Far bigger I think is "the right to have a roof over ones head".
    – UKMonkey
    Jun 18 '19 at 12:50
  • 2
    @UKMonkey building codes absolutely do change over time - what was permissible as cladding changed when it was discovered to be flammable, but this wasn't remediated in the case of Grenfell.
    – pjc50
    Jun 18 '19 at 12:58
  • @pjc50 I think you'll find that it was: cibse.org/news-and-policy/december-2018/… Granted - it took a little time to get through; but actually that's very reasonable because knee jerk reactions are bad when it comes to policy making.
    – UKMonkey
    Jun 18 '19 at 13:31
  • @UKMonkey wasn't remediate beforehand, I meant
    – pjc50
    Jun 18 '19 at 14:32

Access to legal aid, which is currently going backwards. While pjc50's answer is great, almost all of them will end up in court and without access to legal aid, anyone without significant reserves faces a severe disadvantage in the modern legal arena. Even an MP who originally supported and voted for the cuts has changed his mind.

Neill, a barrister, has said the original impulse may have been to cut down “on some instances of needless expenditure” but the pendulum has swung too far. “The evidence is pretty compelling that changes are needed … We cannot expect people who often have multiple problems in their lives necessarily to be able to resolve such things on their own,” he said.

  • 9
    "Nigel Evans backed policy in 2012, then spent life savings defending himself in court" - this is a classic rightwinger move of being unable to see the bad side of a policy until it affects him personally. The reduction in legal aid seemed to have been driven by a desire to stop people winning ECHR cases against the government, especially in immigration.
    – pjc50
    Jun 18 '19 at 8:41

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .