Author Archives: Norman Baker MP

Norman Baker MP writes…Why the Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Bill is compatible with human rights

Data CenterAs a party we care deeply about human rights. Left to their own devices, the Conservatives would have pulled us out of the European Convention. Thanks to the Liberal Democrats, we have stopped that from happening.

So I am concerned by some suggestions that the emergency legislation we published on Thursday isn’t compliant with the ECHR. This is simply not true.

As many of you will know, in April this year the European Court of Justice overturned the EU Data Retention Directive. They did so on the basis that this …

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged and | 38 Comments

Norman Baker writes… “We’re not turning into authoritarians!”

Today the Independent published a story about the Coalition Government’s plans to reform anti-social behaviour legislation.  I know that many Lib Dems may well be concerned by the story. Indeed, if it were true I would be worried! But it is not. It is utter nonsense to suggest we are targeting skateboarders, ramblers, youngsters playing in their local park, or anyone else going about their daily lives perfectly reasonably.

In reality the new anti-social behaviour powers are designed to protect such activities. Rather, the power is designed to stop problem drinking, aggressive begging, dog fouling – any behaviour that spoils the …

Posted in News and Parliament | Tagged and | 19 Comments

Norman Baker MP writes… Proud of the Lib Dem record on crime prevention

Two weeks is a long time in politics. In a few days I’ve gone from high-speed rail, environmental issues, and cycling to anti-social behaviour, drug policy and tackling violent crimes. It was a fantastic opportunity to work in the Department of Transport, and I know Susan Kramer will make an excellent Minister. We have achieved a lot in a short period of time, and I know Susan will continue to develop positive, progressive and sustainable transport policies.

I am very pleased to have been appointed as Minister for Crime Prevention, and continuing the good work which Jeremy Browne has done in …

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged , and | 6 Comments

Norman Baker: something to get people out of their cars and on their bikes

bicycle route signYesterday the Coalition Government announced a dramatic boost to cycling funding, reaffirming our commitment to promote safer cycling and to get more people to switch from four wheels to two.

As the Lib Dem Transport Minister, I have worked hard to champion cycling within government and to increase investment in its infrastructure. I am delighted that we have now announced the biggest ever single cash injection for cycling funding in England. We are spending nearly £150 million to make cycling easier and safer.

Our party has long recognised the overwhelmingly positive …

Posted in News | Tagged , and | 9 Comments

Norman Baker MP writes…Peter Mandelson is wrong: HS2 is vital

You may have seen earlier this week that Peter Mandelson (the man who gave us the fiasco of the Millennium Dome) came out and questioned the cost of High Speed Rail. I found this particularly rich coming from a key member of the Government which crashed the British economy.

The Government’s plans for High Speed Rail (HS2) come on top of the significant package of investment in our railways that we have already announced which alone represent the biggest investment by any government in the United Kingdom’s rail infrastructure since the 1840s.

HS2 is an absolutely essential investment, not simply because it …

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged and | 46 Comments

Norman Baker MP writes… High Speed 2: Transforming our national rail network

High speed rail Medway - Some rights reserved by Matt's photostreamIn the two centuries since the Golden Age of British railways, from the opening of the Stockton and Darlington line in 1825, Stephenson’s Rocket and the railway boom of the 1840s, Britain has tumbled from the position of being the envy of the world, to lagging sadly behind. The busiest sections of our old Victorian railways are now struggling to cope as the railways become increasingly popular. As anyone who travels regularly by train as I do will know, the West …

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged and | 20 Comments

Norman Baker MP writes… Green light for more green buses

Last year there were an estimated 2.3 billion bus passenger journeys in England. More people up and down the country get to work by bus than by all other forms of public transport combined, and over 50% of students use them to get to classrooms and lectures. More than that, they provide a life-line for rural communities and just as vital in cities in terms of reducing traffic jams and air pollution by getting people out of cars. But even while people are reducing their carbon emissions by hopping on the bus rather than using their cars, we want to …

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged and | 4 Comments

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  • User AvatarPhil Wainewright 27th May - 12:12am
    Thank you Katherine for a bit of honest passion. It's a welcome antidote to the evidence-based pragmatism that LibDems feel obliged to practise. For goodness...
  • User AvatarMatt (Bristol) 27th May - 12:11am
    TCO, I agree that there is incoherent anger and rage. There is also focused, rational, well-articulated anger. And that should go hand-in-hand with clear policy-making....
  • User AvatarJayne Mansfield 27th May - 12:10am
    @ Glen, I find them refreshing.
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    @ Stuart, I watch iplayer rather than the television. Whereas, my husband and I used to check the Sunday Times TV guide and decide on...
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    Jane, Thank you for taking the time to read my comments.
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    ... grandfather.