Two weeks, two major achievements for the Liberal Democrats in government

Last week the Green Investment Bank made its first loans, as Nick Clegg mentioned yesterday, and this week the Protection of Freedoms Bill received Royal Assent and became an Act, as Tom Brake wrote about on this site.

The Protection of Freedoms Act includes the banning of rogue private wheel clampers, who are so unpopular that when Lynne Featherstone announced the plans last year it resulted in wall-to-wall positive coverage from the broadcast media, the tabloid press, the broadsheet press and even the pollsters. When the media and 87% of the public love a policy of ours that we have just turned into law, it is well worth telling the public about it…

On the more traditional civil liberties fronts, the Act includes:

  • the repeal of powers to hold serious and complex fraud trials without a jury
  • an end to the routine monitoring of 9.3 million people under the radically reformed vetting and barring scheme, replacing the dreadful old system where innocent could never mean innocent
  • millions of householders protected from town hall snoopers checking their bins or school catchment area, a great improvement on the deeply flawed RIPA legislation introduced by Labour – though there is much more to be done on that when RIPA comes up again in the next Parliamentary session
  • the scrapping of Section 44 powers, which have been used to stop and search hundreds of thousands of innocent people and widely implicated in over-zealous policing stopping photographers from taking innocent and innocuous photos for no good reason
  • the permanent reduction of the maximum period of pre-charge detention for terrorist suspects to 14 days
  • DNA samples and fingerprints of hundreds of thousands of innocent people deleted from police databases
  • thousands of gay men able to clear their name with the removal of out-of-date convictions for consensual acts
  • an end to the fingerprinting of children in schools without parental consent
  • restrictions on the powers of government departments, local authorities and other public bodies to enter private homes and other premises for investigations and a requirement for all to examine and slim down remaining powers
  • the extension of the scope of the Freedom of Information Act and strengthening the public rights to data

Oh, and the right to marry after 6pm in the evening has been granted, at least to straight people (another topic that will come back later in this Parliament for more debate…).

Two weeks, two major achievements for the Liberal Democrats in government.

* Mark Pack has written 101 Ways To Win An Election and produces a monthly newsletter about the Liberal Democrats.

Read more by or more about , , or .
This entry was posted in News.
Advert

6 Comments

  • LondonLiberal 3rd May '12 - 12:28pm

    i didn’t even know some of those restrictions existed. Thanks for a very helpful and illuminating update, Mark. Definitely worth shouting about.

  • Ruth Bright 3rd May '12 - 5:52pm

    So glad you’ve highlighted some of these changes Mark. Like many people I have several CRB clearances for several different organisations. Nevertheless today my young daughter and I were moved on from watching my son play football at school because I was standing near a separate After School Group where a specific CRB check to the school is required! This is a total misunderstanding even of the current rules – but it shows what a daft world of suspicion the whole CRB system opened up.

  • Stuart Mitchell 3rd May '12 - 6:29pm

    “the permanent reduction of the maximum period of pre-charge detention for terrorist suspects to 14 days”

    You can hardly call the reduction “permanent” when we know that Theresa May is carrying a copy of the Draft Detention of Terrorist Suspects (Temporary Extension) Bill around in her handbag, ready to be deployed whenever she deems it necessary.

  • Mostly good stuff, though I was disappointed to find the GIB funding ‘energy from waste’. Presumably this means incinerators, which rather undercuts those campaigning against incinerators at local level. Have BIS never heard of the waste hierarchy??

Post a Comment

Lib Dem Voice welcomes comments from everyone but we ask you to be polite, to be on topic and to be who you say you are. You can read our comments policy in full here. Please respect it and all readers of the site.

If you are a member of the party, you can have the Lib Dem Logo appear next to your comments to show this. You must be registered for our forum and can then login on this public site with the same username and password.

To have your photo next to your comment please signup your email address with Gravatar.

Your email is never published. Required fields are marked *

*
*
Please complete the name of this site, Liberal Democrat ...?

Advert



Recent Comments

  • User AvatarRonald Murray 28th Mar - 11:03am
    I am a Lib Dem member but don't have my login details here on my computer. I was brought up a quaker and pacifist but...
  • User AvatarLaurence Cox 28th Mar - 10:58am
    The problem with the Liberal Democrats' position on defence is that since Lord Garden's untimely death in 2007, we have not had any senior politician...
  • User AvatarLyn 28th Mar - 10:57am
    Actually, I'm not sure that I would mind giving up my UK citizenship for a EU citizenship if a separate EU citizenship existed. In fact,...
  • User AvatarRob Parsons 28th Mar - 10:46am
    I very much like the implication that Jeremy Corbyn was designed not to be used.
  • User Avatarfrankie 28th Mar - 10:22am
    @David Evans I was in deep moderation David. I upset people by screaming "Your making a terrible mistake". I must admit after awhile of screaming...
  • User AvatarCassieB 28th Mar - 10:05am
    ethics gradient: that is interesting, having never played the game. Though I suspect May and co have 2 of hearts, 6 of clubs, and a...