Thursday, 13 May 2010

A great moment for Civil Liberties

I was pleased to see that the coalition has managed to agree on a package totally getting rid of Labours nasty 13 year assault on our freedoms

The parties agree to implement a full programme of measures to reverse the substantial erosion of civil liberties under the Labour Government and roll back state intrusion. A freedom bill to repeal ID cards, and stop the horrible excesses of power under Labour. Hopefully no longer will a peaceful protester be arrested for reading out a list of our war dead.

Our agreement says that we will implement:
  • A Freedom or Great Repeal Bill.

  • The scrapping of ID card scheme, the National Identity register, the next generation of biometric passports and the Contact Point Database.

  • Outlawing the finger-printing of children at school without parental permission.

  • The extension of the scope of the Freedom of Information Act to provide greater transparency.

  • Adopting the protections of the Scottish model for the DNA database.

  • The protection of historic freedoms through the defence of trial by jury.

  • The restoration of rights to non-violent protest.

  • The review of libel laws to protect freedom of speech.

  • Safeguards against the misuse of anti-terrorism legislation.

  • Further regulation of CCTV.

  • Ending of storage of internet and email records without good reason.

  • A new mechanism to prevent the proliferation of unnecessary new criminal offences.
Part of why I am a Liberal Democrat as opposed to a Tory or a Labourite is that I believe not in an authoritarian state that knows best. It seems that the Tories have agreed with this agenda. That is good news. Will Labour agree to not reintroduce the database state if re-elected? It would be good to get a cross party consensus agreeing the previous government went wrong here.

The brilliant Shami Chakrabarti, director of civil liberty charity Liberty said of the coalition agenda,
“We welcome the way that the new coalition has bound itself together with civil liberties. It is Liberty’s job to hold it to its word. We celebrate the end of ID cards."

1 comment:

  1. It's a small start. I'll believe it when I see it. Perhaps a good yard stick will be when the cynical speed camera in Streetgate is removed and the "safety" (LOL) camera parnership is disbanded.