Opinion: A Future Fair for Whom?

Thorne Godinho is a member of the Democratic Alliance, the Lib Dems’ sister party in South Africa.

Since 1997 the United Kingdom has brought in new laws that many fascists would wholeheartedly admire. Civil liberties, individual freedoms, personal autonomy and private property rights are ignored by the Labour-run government – who would rather pursue their idea of a better society, than a free one.

Tony Blair’s dynamic leadership, coupled with the more centrist vision of his party, won New Labour the election in 1997; but 13 years of Labour rule has shown that the former socialist party is still essentially a supporter of large government and overbearing control of the populace.

To track the breakdown of freedom in Britain one merely needs to look at Labour’s criminal justice policies, which Chris Huhne, the LibDem’s Shadow Home Secretary, has called ‘legislative diarrhoea’. Labour’s idea of being tough on crime does not include tackling the crimes people actually care about or improving the appalling conviction rates, but rather introducing absurd laws which have led to the mass criminalisation of Britain’s youth.

As Huhne describes:

Britain is the sick man of Europe in terms of youth justice. We have the lowest age of criminal responsibility and highest rate of youth imprisonment. In Labour’s first decade in power, a million children were convicted of a criminal offence and another million were cautioned.”

In 2006 there were 4.2 million CCTV cameras in Britain, roughly one camera for every 14 people. Labour has created 4300 new criminal offences – including so-called Anti-Social Behaviour Orders or ASBOs – since it came to power. The British government now prohibits begging, performing music in public for tips, loitering, and even whistling, amongst other things.

Through many of these bizarre laws, regulations and surveillance policies the government is encroaching on citizens’ personal freedoms. Hundreds of thousands of young people’s futures are at risk because of government policy, condemning them to a life free of opportunity. Furthermore, smoking and hunting bans now effectively mean that private property rights are disregarded, signalling even further state intervention into the lives of private citizens and thus into the economy.

Gordon Brown and his statist Labour cronies would like the British electorate to believe that a vote for their party is a vote for the myth of a “Future Fair for All”. Economic and social freedoms are indelibly linked to fairness; thus Labour’s campaign slogan is rather ironic, as they have managed to create an unjust society with an authoritarian government.

Instead of curbing personal freedoms in the name of crime prevention, the Lib Dems will put 10,000 more police on the streets. The party will curb the state’s intervention into the lives of private citizens, and make government more democratic and transparent.

Britain desperately needs positive change, and only the Liberal Democrats have the policies that will create a fairer and freer Britain.

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This entry was posted in Op-eds.


  • Malcolm Todd 12th Apr '10 - 10:14am

    The British government now prohibits … , loitering, and even whistling, amongst other things.

    At the point where this fella seriously tries to tell us that the British government prohibits loitering and whistling, it becomes clear that this is not an article to treat seriously – “sister party” or not.

  • Malcolm Todd 12th Apr '10 - 5:40pm

    Thorne: read your own references.* Neither of them shows that whistling or loitering has been “prohibited” by the government. Of course that wasn’t the whole point of your article, and if your argument is that this government cares little for personal liberty then I wouldn’t disagree. You may simply be overselling your case in the interests of rhetorical effect; in which case, take my point to be that your rhetoric simply undermines your point by making it look as if you believe every paranoid anti-Labour myth that the press and the dear old internet promote. (Your reference in your last comment to the “destruction” of personal liberty is more hyperbole. It doesn’t impress me.)

    *Though read anything emanating from the Daily Mail with extreme care. I don’t know how familiar you are with the British media, but the Mail is the home of paranoid, hate-filled panic-mongering which lies, distorts and lies again, so nothing it says should ever be believed in the absence of supporting information.

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