But I want to start with a very basic point. The European Convention of Human Rights is a considerable achievement of post-war Europe – perhaps the finest achievement of post-war Europe. Indeed, it was a direct response to the atrocities seen before and during World War II, and it has been remarkably effective in defining common principles and common standards that are now agreed by almost all countries across the continent.
I think far from looking to row back from it, we should be proud that politicians from across the UK played such a leading role in its formation – Winston Churchill championed it, and a leading Scottish Conservative, David Maxwell Fyfe, played a major part in drafting the ECHR. And of course, the UK was one of the first states to ratify the Convention.
NICOLA STURGEON Pearce Institute, Govan , 23 September, 2015
‘Maxwell-Fyfe’s involvement in drafting the ECHR was key. In certain ways, in his very person he also provided a living link between the Convention and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights Just as the Universal Declaration reflected the insights and experiences of men and women who had just witnessed and in some cases had been personally devased by the events of the second world war so the text of the European Convention was moulded by a man who had been indelibly affected by the same epoch making events . ’
FRANCESCA KLUG - A Magna Carta for all Humanity published Routledge 2015
TOM BLACKMORE HAS SPENT MORE THAN 20 YEARS EXPLORING HIS GRANFATHER'S LIFE, OR AT LEAST THE FIRST 50 YEARS OF IT. WITH HIS PARTNER, SINGER/SONGWRITER SUE CASSON HE HAS RETURNED TO THE STORY TIME AFTER TIME. AND THEIR CHILDREN HAVE NEVER KNOWN LIFE WITHOUT THE SHADOW OF PAST GENERATIONS CAST LONG OVER THEIR GROWTH TO ADULTHOOD.
WHAT APPEARED AT FIRST SIGHT TO BE A STRAIGHTFORWARD BIT OF HISTORY, HAS BECOME AN INTIMATE ODYSSEY. THIS DOCUMENTARY FEATURE WILL EXPLORE THE CAUSES OF THE RESISTANCE TO THE STORY: THE PROTAGANIST, THE STORYTELLER, THE MEDIUM & THE UNSETTLED SPIRIT OF AN AGE, IN WHICH PEOPLE GRAPPLE FOR AN UNDERSTANDING OF WHO THEY ARE AND HOW THEY CAN FEEL FREE. AT THE SAME TIME IT WILL TELL THE STORY AND LOOK AT ITS DAWNING IMPACT THROUGHOUT EUROPE.
If our unfortunate generation has proved one thing it has demonstrated that the barbarian is not behind us but always underneath us ready to rise up.
David Maxwell Fyfe
Yet I am haunted by some words from a song to which we used to listen in more carefree days:
"On fait des serments
On les oublie"
Having propounded high ideals in defeated Germany I feel the responsibility for doing my part to see that they are not forgotten by the victors.
David Maxwell Fyfe 1949
How long does it take to forget? Well, as it turns out, in twenty-first century Britain, it takes seventy years.
MEMORY FILM POLEMIC SONG
FROM NUREMBERG TO STRASBOURG
'An amazing and really important piece of work... the most incredibly stimulating piece of history. Stunning.'
Baroness Helena Kennedy
Mansfield College, Oxford University
'One of the most beautiful things I've ever heard...sublime. A secular hymn to humanity'
'Your performance was wonderful.
Everybody was impressed and moved.'
Dr Astrid Betz, Memorium Nurnberger Prozesse
'The show was fantastic.'
Henrike Claussen, Director Memorium Nurnberger Prozesse
'It was magical'
Julia Bryan, Senior Education Manager,
National Museums, Liverpool
'A wonderful and meaningful performance'
Professor Francesca Klug OBE
Dominic Grieve QC MP
'The melodies are well constructed and communicate a level of intrigue and satisfaction at the developing structure of the convention of Human Rights....(they) are played well by composer and pianist Sue Casson and sung beautifully by the group'
'' lyrical piano and ... exquisite singing... Sue Casson's compositions are delicate and uplifting....
A fine tribute to an idealistic and important figure'
Read the script as it develops here