“Liberal Democrats lead on liberty” – Henry Porter

Henry Porter writes in The Guardian:

By far the best undertakings on liberty come in the Liberal Democrat manifesto, which is hardly surprising, given that it has been stalwart in its defence of liberty under all three of its leaders since the last election. Nick Clegg’s attack on Labour’s authoritarian streak is especially welcome and will be significant if there is a hung parliament on May 7, which – astonishingly – is what 32% of voters desire.

The party will introduce a freedom bill, regulate CCTV, reduce local council surveillance, restore the right to protest, protect free speech, offer guarantees to investigative journalism, scrap ID cards, end plans to spy on email and internet connections, scrap ContactPoint, reduce pre-charge detention to 14 days and scrap secret evidence. The Lib Dems go much further than the Tories on the DNA database and offer wholehearted support for the HRA.

On civil liberties, the Lib Dems win hands down. But one important question remains: what on earth prevented the Tories from making similar commitments? Fear or lack of conviction?

You can read the full piece here.

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