21 Jun 2008

Trevor Phillips addresses NDC - The conscience of our Nation

The UK faces two great challenges, Equality and Human Rights Commission chair Trevor Phillips told conference: "How we live with our planet, and how we live with each other."It is this second that concerns the commission, he said, pointing out that the new super watchdog was charged with being "the conscience of our nation".It was a duty it would not shirk from, Mr Phillips said. Like UNISON and its members, the commission had "a passionate commitment to the basic values of decency and fairness for all, and to building a society where human rights were sacrosanct."Our commission, like your union, even if we know our position is not popular with the public, will stick with it," he said, speaking of his support for "an idealism that has fallen out of favour". Of both UNISON and the commission, he said: "We are not simply here for ourselves, but to protect the fundamental principles of equality and justice... to create a community that is better, more equal and more humane."We will be here to remind people that this is what decent, civilised societies strive to do."

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