Tag Archives: public order bill

31 October – 3 November – this week in the Lords

I used to do this regularly, primarily because the party’s press releases seldom mention the work of the Lords Parliamentary Party. Perhaps it is time to reincarnate this feature…

Time once again to return to the red benches at the more dignified end of the Palace of Westminster, for a preview of events this week, and in particular the Liberal Democrat highlights.

Monday is a relatively low-profile day for the Liberal Democrat peers, with the Third Reading of the Social Housing (Regulation) Bill and the more controversial Northern Ireland Protocol Bill reaching its Committee Stage. Incidentally, it’s a sign of the rapidly changing makeup of the Government that the sponsoring Minister in the Commons on behalf of the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office is someone called Elizabeth Truss. Whatever happened to her, I wonder?

There is also a debate on plans to review the powers and functions of Police and Crime Commissioners, something that Liberal Democrats opposed at the time of their introduction. Brian Paddick, unsurprisingly, will be speaking from the Liberal Democrat benches.

In Grand Committee, the Higher Education (Freedom of Speech) Bill starts its Committee Stage, intended to enable the sort of people that you’d cross the street to avoid to have the freedom to be unpleasant on campuses. Think of it as part of the culture war that some people think we really need.

Posted in News and Parliament | Also tagged and | 4 Comments

We must protect Britain’s liberal democracy from the Conservatives

The Conservative Government is on an illiberal rampage, bringing in multiple laws which threaten our civil liberties

From suppressing voter turnout by requiring voters to show ID at polling stations, to criminalising the right to protest peacefully, to bringing the once independent electoral commission under government control, the UK – to borrow a phrase from SNP MP Mhairi Black – is “sleepwalking into fascism”.

The measures to tackle “serious disruption” in the Public Order Bill provide a blatant example. Not satisfied with tearing apart our democratic right to protest, the Home Secretary wants to impose banning orders on protesters, including electronic monitoring tags, travel restrictions, restricted internet access and curfews.

So this all begs the question; what can we do? What can we do to tackle these measures, and protect our basic democratic rights?

Luckily, we still have time before the Public Order Bill is set to become law, so the opportunity to protest peacefully is available to us. For those unable to attend physical protests, a plethora of options is available – contacting MPs, writing articles, getting involved with political parties and groups that fight to protect our rights.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 7 Comments
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