Last week, Woking’s Conservative Member of Parliament, Jonathan Lord, voted for the Safety of Rwanda Bill including several key amendments.

I’m aghast at the Conservatives’ Rwanda policy – its abject cruelty, staggering costs, high chance of continued failure, diversion from pressing problems we all face, and that it doesn’t solve why desperate people cross the Channel in dangerous boats.

Those are all important and I could easily devote this column to those Conservative shortcomings. But today I want to share something deeper regarding our precious democracy.

The Conservatives’ office in Woking is called Churchill House, after Winston Churchill, both a former Conservative and a former Liberal. Winston Churchill’s legacy is the one thing that should bring the modern Conservative and Liberal Democrat parties together.

Churchill, in the aftermath of a Europe ravaged by the Second World War, was a leading light in ensuring human rights across our continent were made secure against future oppression by states and their governments.

He drove the creation of the European Convention on Human Rights against a backdrop of totalitarian states – fascist and communist – from the 1910s to the 1940s. Put simply, what it means to be human and the rights of each human need protecting against the state.

The Liberal Democrats place this principle at our heart. Human rights do not pick and choose between human beings, between gender, religions, occupations,  ethnicity, lifestyles, and other dimensions of life. This is for good reason.

Woking’s MP voted for a Bill that allows the state to set aside complying with laws where the state believes it to be inconvenient. Those include the European Convention on Human Rights and the British Human Rights Act. He went farther and voted for amendments made by his colleagues at the extreme of his party that not even the Prime Minister and mainstream Conservatives could stomach.

Those amendments would tear up the UK’s obligations to follow human rights laws and related legislation.

I believe that’s both shameful and dangerous. The shame of the UK, once a global leader in advocating human rights, from Winston Churchill through to modern times, now aligned with a clutch of countries that believe states get to pick and choose whose human rights should be protected.

The danger is twofold. First, our country’s stance allows other nations to consider what human rights they want to sidestep or suspend. The next time UK citizens are holidaying or working abroad can they be sure their rights will be safeguarded by the government of the country they are visiting?

The deeper danger is to you,  or me, or your neighbour, or the person you work with, or the stranger on the train;  anyone; all of us. Why?

Either human rights protect all of us or they protect none of us. It’s the thin end of the wedge for Jonathan Lord and his Conservative colleagues to effectively say “Well, human rights almost always apply except to some immigrants”. Where next?

“Well, to a few more immigrants” and “well, to some of those noisy protesters” and “well, to...”and you can fill in the blanks. This is a slippery slope. I fear that the government and current Conservative Party do not grasp the danger or choose to ignore it at all our peril.

Liberal values are a cornerstone our of country. We erode them at our collective peril. If you’ve read to the end, I thank you. This can be a dry topic but it’s one of the most vital. I’m passionate that our communities understand these basis democratic principles so we may cherish and protect them. As the Second World War’s centenary gets closer, we must not forget lessons written in blood.

Finally, on a lighter note, I expect the Woking Conservatives will now rebrand their office as they clearly reject Winston Churchill’s legacy. With their record of economic incompetence, both locally and nationally, perhaps “Truss Tower” fits the bill.