Party groups unite against increased surveillance

Yesterday Mark Pack summarised the current state of play on the snooping row (“The wheels are coming off the online monitoring wagon”).

This topic has generated more emails, blogs and tweets from angry Lib Dems than anything I can remember. Party members seem to be united in their opposition to increased monitoring, so much so that statements from the so-called right and left of the party are virtually interchangeable.

From the Social Liberal Forum:

Any furthering of the already-extensive powers to interrogate peoples’ communication, especially in the absence of proper oversight, would constitute an ineffective and illiberal intrusion of our civil liberties and as such are unacceptable to Liberal Democrats and the wider public.

From Liberal Reform:

These proposals would mark a regression on civil liberties for the Liberal Democrats: extending rules that we campaigned against will be unpopular, unnecessary and inconsistent. They would not be in compliance with either the coalition agreement or liberal principles.

From Liberal Left:

We sacrifice our civil liberties at our peril. This is a terrible move in the wrong direction, one that no amount of window dressing by the masters and mistresses of spin in the party will make more palatable.

 

 

 

* Mary Reid is a contributing editor on Lib Dem Voice. She was a councillor in Kingston upon Thames and is a member of Federal Conference Committee.

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6 Comments

  • Steve Griffiths 5th Apr '12 - 9:46am

    Speaking as one of the many ‘disappeared’; i.e. one of the thousands of activists that left the party over fees, coalition, rightward drift of the party etc, if you get this one wrong then you can forget us ever returning. You are just about to notice our absence at the upcoming May local elections – good luck!

  • Richard Dean 5th Apr '12 - 10:08am

    We do not defend our civil liberties at our peril. This move needs better discussion that this – does it improve our situation given the nature ofthe threats to our liberties? There are bad people out there, but there are bad people in here as well! No-one likes to lose a little liberty in order to defend a bigger one, but this may be an appropriate move in the right direction, one that rational debate may make more palatable. Or less as the case may be. The absence of debate is wholly anathema to the principles of liberal democracy.

  • Joshua DixonApr 04 – 4:55 pm…………….These groups may aim to divide us, yet our principles are what keeps us together and clearly make us stronger when we unite…………

    I, too, love “Mom and apple pie”.
    However, what are our principles; no tuition fees, the disabled, the NHS, 50% tax, etc.?

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