Enough is enough

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.

I have to queue for longer than ever in my surviving local Post Office or the one in the city centre since many so others have been shut.

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.

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5 Comments

  • Fantastic post.

    On the local groups front, No2ID have some active local chapters or you could start one. A lightly-advertised inaugural meeting in Oxford drew a huge number of people, and has been going strong since.

    Liberty also recently set up a local university student society – something other unis may like to start.

    Also one other thought for Lib Dem activists: why not have a local Focus-style leaflet about civil liberties issues (featuring Labour’s wrongs and Lib Dem solutions) to hand out at civil liberties events in your area? I’m sure a lot of people who are concerned about these issues would be natural recruits as members or activists themselves, if someone highlights our stance and asks them to help sell it.

  • I would like to see every Lib Dem-run council in England pass NO2ID’s motion opposing the database state – it’s providing actual protection to people. You can see the motion text at http://www.no2id.net/resources/motions/

    For all the party’s opposition to the Database State and National Identity Scheme in Westminster, I don’t see a lot of local parties actually doing anything about it…

  • If you go to the British Library you can find out about the work of (the frankly brilliantly named) King Hywel the Good :-)
    http://tinyurl.com/8gwsj9

  • This is probably the best blog I have read here.

    Superbly put and a shocking indictment of our society.

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