“Family” and “human rights” are not things you can simply pick and choose to care about whenever it is convenient to you. Politicians should acknowledge the limits of their knowledge and expertise.


First published in November 2020.


I don’t know what is right thing to do over Christmas with Covid-19. There are so many arguments on both sides, and they are all made out to be black and white.

I am not a scientist, unless you count economics. I am not a doctor.

I am a human rights specialist though and that is where this whole thing really hits home.

When the likes of Conservative MP Steve Baker suggesting he could take a case to the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) for violations of human rights, despite no such violations occuring,   because – despite what this government thinks – human rights laws weren’t drawn up by idiots. They recognise a need for collective good during national emergencies and public health crises.

Others talk about the needs of families, and others about the importance of Christmas.

These are important things, but the levels of hypocrisy from those who view family as something which only applies to people born in the UK or the idea that one religious festival is more important to its believers than anothers is to its.  

As I said, I do not know what is the right thing to do regarding Christmas. I know that my opinion is to maintain lockdown for longer and that mixing poses a risk of increasing spread, but that’s my opinion, and it is not close to an expert one.

What I do know is that if you want to have a serious discussion about the rights and wrongs about this, it is needed to acknowledge that “family” doesn’t mean anything to this government unless it is a play to its base. They do not care about families beyond their own.

They have soured the word “family”.

When you take pride in pushing policies which separate migrant families, prevent unaccompanied child refugees reaching theirs in the UK, etc. then, you show you don’t care about families. You care about polling and votes.  

I’ll leave better minds than mine, with knowledge of the multiple factors at play, to determine what is or isn’t the right thing to do over Christmas.

I just wish politicians would do the same without invoking “family” as if it is something you can pick and choose to care about.🔷



Dan Sohege, Human rights advocate, international refugee law specialist, immigration economist, charity fundraising professional and Director of Stand For All.


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[This piece was first published as a Twitter thread and turned into the above article on 23 November 2020 with the purpose of reaching a larger audience. It has been minorly edited and corrected, and published with the author’s consent. | The author of the tweets writes in a personal capacity.]

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