Saturday, February 28, 2009

Hope for civil liberties yet

Today I was extremely impressed to see the Modern Liberty convention website. It is proof to me that many people are united in their disliking of and resistance to excessive and disproportionate surveillance and the curtailment of civil liberties.

I found the "Petty Britain" page to brilliantly highlight the problems of poorly designed and written legislation and the brandishing of essentially innocent people as criminals. For example one man got a criminal record because his wheelie bin's lid wasn't firmly closed (see the site for more information). This is absolutely ridiculous.

As I've been growing up, increasingly I've seen the British civil liberties campaign evolve. What was once just a few disparate individuals trying to raise awareness has now grown into something which now unites NGOs and has cross-party support in government. Since the ID card bill was passed, I firmly believe it is only the Labour party whip which is keeping things going. The surveillance state is more vulnerable than it might first appear. The people of Britain will reclaim their liberties yet, and when we do, we will be able to turn to the rest of the world and say once again, this is how a liberal democracy should be.

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