*THIS* is why I voted for them yellow liberal types! :-D
Nick Clegg promised government that will restore individual liberties and value dissent this morning, as he set out his Deputy Prime Minster's brief to repeal Labour laws this morning. Setting out what he called a "big bang approach to political reform", he said illiberal and intrusive laws will be scrapped. Most of Clegg's …
I don't think Thatcher and Major were ever quite so bad from a civil liberties perspective -- I mean, at least Maggie bust Argy chops fighting for British Liberty in the Falkland Outpost.
That said, I am 5 years younger than you, so the reigns of Mrs "Get some Nuts" T and John "Peas be with You" Major are all mixed up in a haze of Transformers, Boglins, and Hero Turtles...
Well, not ANPR per-se. I have no problem with ANPR cameras reading number plates to check that the vehicle is insured, taxed, not listed as stolen, etc, but once those checks have been done and the vehicle checks out as "clean" then the record (of where and when it was "seen") should be discarded and not stored as a permanent record as it is now.
I would like to be the first to welcome our database-destroying, repeal-hungry old-liberal democratic overlords.
Seriously though, Clegg's really lashing himself to the mast on this one, highly admirable, even "brave..." in the words of Yes Minister.
He is staking his reputation on a number of principles and hard actions, if
nothing else a signal to friends and enemies alike that these aims are inviolate.
Sure they will be watered down a bit, vested interests of Govt, business and hyper-rich will eat into them - that's why he's started with such a concentrated solution.
First bit of good news from Westminster for years, centuries even.
Its good news to see a lot of this going, but I don't see any mention of Mandelson's total web spying Digital Economy Bill. So until that one is confirmed dead, I won't be celebrating.
Without the *official confirmation* of the death of the spying and censorship plans in the Digital Economy Bill, they might just as well be giving us our freedom back with one hand and taking our freedom away again with the other hand. So celebrating is pointless until that very Orwellian bill is utterly and totally confirmed dead.
Here's his full speech. Sadly no mention of the Digital Economy Bill
Current status of the Digital Economy Bill, is that it was "Issued Royal Assent on April 12, 2010, it will go into effect on June 12 of the same year." The LibDems have so far said they will replace it with something else but what is that something else? ... replacing it isn't killing it and so its interesting its not in his speech today.
The devil will be in the detail as usual. For instance, an elected house of lords sounds great right? I mean who would back hereditary peerage? Well having been through the last Labour government, I would. The house of lords became an unlikely saviour during this last government's totalitarian rampage, by blocking and watering down several of the worst, most invasive bills.
Make them elected and you politicise them. Politicise them and they will directly align with the house of commons, making their function as a backstop completely redundant. The next Labour will go nuts, and we'll all be tagged, carrying "papers" and have our communications automatically logged by "security services". Think I'm exaggerating? We'll soon see.
I believe this refers to the fingerprinting of kids in schools to ID them for meals. The idea is that they are less likely to lose their fingers than their dinner money or payment cards.
Mind you, I reckon little miss Cowherd would be quite capable of misplacing her own head if it wasn't firmly attached to the rest of her.....
"The House of Lords did work as a brake on New Labour but do you remember how ineffective it was between 1979 and 1997 when it had an inbuilt Tory majority?
They didn't stop the Criminal Justice Bill or the Community Charge (Poll Tax) for example."
I do struggle with this - what, precisely, was wrong with the Community Charge? It was a 1987 manifesto pledge, so clearly had a mandate. It ensured that every resident paid a share, rather than penalising those in smaller living units. It was badly administered and badly implemented but it was, in my opinion, considerably fairer than Council Tax.
Clearly, a local element to income tax or, for that matter, just a national income tax and direct grants to local councils, would be preferable, but that doesn't mean that the Community Charge was, of itself, bad.
In fact, despite what has been written, I believe one of the key reasons for the opposition was that millions of people who had escaped paying anything at all in local taxation (due to landlords paying rates) suddenly found they were expected to contribute.
I agree with the concerns that an elected upper house could be too politicised and end up rubber stamping legislation from the commons, but life-long peerages mean out of touch incompetents that can't be removed.
Perhaps a house of representatives would be better, where members with specialist knowledge and skills are appointed for a fixed term by specific groups, such as the GMC, CBI, TUC, Chartered Institutes, etc. Some of the more populist, hare-brained schemes of a government could then be scrutinise by experts in the field.
I'm astonished (and very pleased) that this really seems to be happening. Yeah, I know the proof of the pudding, etc, but this is further than most pre-election promises seem to get.
What I'd really like is if they go beyond the rubbish enacted by the last government and deal with older rubbish too, such as nuisances like the Gatso: and before the "hur hur, follow the rules, /the rules/!" brigade turns up, my hope is that in doing so we'll actually see patrol cars on the roads once again, which seem to have become an endangered species over the past 20 years. The amount of problems caused by overlooking non-speed-related road nuisances while they're too busy compromising everyone else's privacy hasn't exactly made the country a better place.
The likelihood of seeing the end of ID cards, the DNA database, kids being routinely fingerprinted and so on is an excellent start, though. But that doesn't stop me wishing that they go much further.
You normally have to apply for permission (from the local council or similar) to take photographs or film but this detail is normally observed in the breach for private use.
please, please have the balls to repeal the "anti-terrorist" shite especially detention without trial.
Wasn't a wasted vote.
Anyone hear Teresa May getting grilled on Radio 4's Today programme this morning? She was asked about the Tories' U-turn on their manifesto pledge to chuck out the Human Rights Act and was being pressed on an answer about whether the Tories - being the leading party in the coalition - would put their foot down if the Lid Dems disagreed but she wouldn't say yes and kept dodging the question. I think Clegg has way more power than he thinks right now. Most of the policy statements I've heard in the past few days have been coming either from Nick Clegg directly, or with a decidely Cleggy coating.
I have no major issue with an elected House of Lords, but it has to be done on a completely different scale, otherwise you get the same system as the US (which itself has some safe-guards, namely that the senate are only voted in, i think, 1/3rd of all members every set term).
You need fixed terms and only incremental voting, such that, for example, you effectively have a 25 year term (so, 20% voted every 5 years or 25% voted every 6 years). This gets away from the terms equating to the government and it makes the full term longer than any sitting government that the UK has ever had, at least in recent memory (18 years for Conservative from 1979 to 1997).
You also need other safe-guards, for example any and all gifts or meetings would have to be declared, to ensure any vested interests aren't all behind closed doors.
However, everything else Clegg is saying sounds good to me.
I wont be impressed until we hear about IMP, reduction in time held before charge, and a look at the extreme porn law and recent amendments to include drawings as real life.
the ID cards/contacpoint/dna are all easy things.
As to getting rid of Human Rights bill, that was always going to be pretty much impossible - anyone that supported the Tories on that mandate was a blind idiot.
"You also need other safe-guards, for example any and all gifts or meetings would have to be declared, to ensure any vested interests aren't all behind closed doors."
That doesn't appear to have made much difference to the results when it's come out. If, however, the member and their party couldn't vote where they had an interest (i.e. bribe), they'd have to work a damn site harder to get through unbalanced legislation.
And we'd probably be in a better place now anyway, certainly things like the Digital Economy Bill would be either workable or in the dustbin.
Not allowing the Tories to repeal the Human Rights act was a good start.
The reason for the current Human Rights mess, Health and Safety Mess, Equality mess, etc is all actually in the way Labour has been implementing Britain's international obligations including the European Convention of Human Rights. It was practicing a "pix-n-mix" approach as previously used by Brezhnev's Soviet Union.
These conventions are logically and legally complete structures. You either accept them as a whole or you do not accept them at all. If you pull a particular bit out the entire thing falls apart as a house of cards.
Human Rights is a prime example here. Britain has chosen not to implement the most supreme of all rights in that convention - the right to be innocent until proven guilty. If that was implemented, all terror laws, the H&S act, the vetting and plenty of other typical Labour law and ordnances would have been automatically invalid.
By the way, that was exactly the moment when I decided that I am definitely not voting Tory - when Cameron said that he intends to repeal the act. The act needs not be repealed. It needs to be amended so that the whole convention is accepted as a _WHOLE_. Unconditionally. Then it will work. Repealing it is a knee jerk reaction which shows a basic failure to understand why it is going wrong.
I was worried that a coalition between the Tories and the Lib Dems would end up as a one-sided affair with all the power in the Blue camp, but this sort of thing shows that the Tories *are* actually willing to be reasonable in their exercise of coalition power.
BTW To anyone who wants to write to Tory MPs urging them to get rid of (amongst other things) the Extreme Porn legislation, just point out that there would have been more "No" votes in the House of Lords (possibly enough to defeat it) if it hadn't been for the fact, as one Tory Peer admitted to me: "We don't vote on Lib Dem amendments".
Well now it's not a Lib Dem amendment, so let's see them prove that they really care about Freedom of Expression and get rid of that damned stupid law!
...because, along with the idiocy of the 'extreme pr0n' law, this also strikes me as a complete injustice - the very fact that citizens can be charged and prosecuted as 'sex offenders' for being in possession of drawings of wholly fictional (that's to say 'not real' in any sense of the meaning) kids is anathema both to justice and common sense. To be able to ruin lives in such a manner is spiteful, vindictive, bullying and downright cruel.
But I doubt we'll see any movement there, tbh. Does anyone imagine any of these politicians have the backbone to take on the vested interests in police and advocacy that have bequeathed us these terrible laws..?
But let's wait and see if it actually happens.
Though it was nice to see FORMER Home Secretary Alan Johnson having a wee rant on the Beeb:
Quote from BBC website-
"accused Mr Clegg of using "rampant hyperbole" when talking about surveillance and added that the previous government's law and order reforms had public backing.
He said: "If he [Mr Clegg] wants to ask the public which laws to get rid of, he should also ask which laws they would like to keep." "
'S funny, I don't remember him or his cohorts giving a fucking TOSS about public opinion when they were trying to stitch us up into the State of NuLabouria.
Dear Alan, YOU created our surveillance society! Now FUCK OFF you knobhead.
Every law from 97 onwards needs to be reviewed and in the majority of cases repealed.
Most were thought up on the spot as a knee jerk reaction to a news story and duplicated existing laws - knife crime was already illegal, it has since been made doubly and even triply illegal. Duplication of laws doesn't reduce crime or make prosecution easier, it gives the defence even more loop holes to exploit.
Even those laws which were planned in advance, where so shoddily drafted that in many cases have been applied to areas they were never claimed to target. We never quite know if this was incompetence or intentional given so many Labour MPs supposedly had a legal background.
There are still groups opposed to allowing us more freedom from intrusive surveillance & powers curbing our freedom- namely the police & security services. Came across an interesting article from the New Scientist that suggests that the Interception Modernisation Programme is still favoured by GCHQ & MI5:
I am sceptical whether this will be watered down. IMP shouldn't go ahead simply on a cost basis. Even if it doesn't it's still reckoned that deep packet inspection technology will still be deployed across the internet.
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