Anyone from any political persuasion can list things this Government has done that annoy them.
Personally, I was annoyed enough to join millions of others on the march against the war in Iraq – now it’s time to hold them to account.
I’m not so sure how I will react if and when I get the orders from the Government to present myself at the interrogation centre in nearby Derby and hand over more personal information than is currently demanded from sex offenders. I’m not certain I’m ready to join Simon Hughes in jail for refusing an ID card.
I’ve never yet been arrested, so my DNA is not amongst the millions of samples wrongly held by the Police.
Now I’m no longer even safe in my own home.
If I become a debtor – or if my local council again wrongly summonses me for Council Tax non-payment, and sends the summons to an address I have told them I no longer live at – bailiffs have been given new powers to break into my house, use violence against me and physically restrain me.
And if somone accuses me of some nefarious internet or computer crime, the police don’t even need to knock on my door or get a warrant, before remotely accessing my computer and reading my files. And this is on top of other mad Government plans to track my every move on the internet and every phone call and text I send.
In a long posting last week, James Graham examined the state of play with the current government and civil liberties. His conclusion – it’s terrifying, and all right thinking people need to inform themselves about what’s going on and then get angry. Specifically, he said, take these steps:
1. Bookmark the Convention for Modern Liberty website and sign up to their news alerts.
2. Attend a Convention event, either the one in London, one of the regional and national events happening on the same day or a local event. If there is no event happening in your area, start organising one!
3. Join a pro-democracy and human rights organisation. Whichever tickles your fancy (although, obviously, joining Unlock Democracy helps pay my wages!) and get involved.
4. Join or set up a local group. It doesn’t have to be affiliated to anything, and it needn’t be anything more than you and a couple of your mates to start off with.
5. Write to your MP and ask them their starter for ten: “what do you think about the dillution of civil liberties over the past couple of decades and what do you intend to do about it in 2009.” And keep writing to them.
6. Go to the Taking Liberties exhibition at the British Library if you can, before it closes at the beginning of March.
7. Tell everyone you know to do the same.
Couldn’t have put it better myself.