Ken Clarke's replacement as Lord Chancellor, Chris Grayling, was one of the blacker suits promoted in David Cameron's recent reshuffle. Clarke's moderating influence shouldered out of the way, the Daily Mail and their ilk are salivating at the prospect of Grayling "showing his mettle" to those pesky Euro judges which every authoritarian British nationalist seems ardently to believe are "taking over" - or "waging war" - on British justice. At the very least, with Grayling in charge, we can expect more rhetorical firecrackers of this hue to be thrown, no doubt attracting volleys of applause from the UK's right-wing, nationalist press.
But to be fair minded about things, is there any evidence whatever that the UK has been subjected to particularly harsh, or intrusive review by the European Court of Human Rights as Grayling as his ilk believe? This is a central contention of the now-familiar argument advanced by parts of the Conservative Party, and significant segments of our national press. And, if you dip into the statistics, it's inveterate nonsense.
I've a wee post up at the UK Human Rights blog this morning, comparing Britain with the other forty seven member states in the Council of Europe now subject to the Court's jurisdiction. It turns out that the UK government actually loses a smaller percentages of cases in Strasbourg than forty two other states, enjoying the fifth lowest percentage of adverse judgments, finding at least one violation of the Convention has occurred. Embattled Britannia? Just a victim fantasy.