Thursday, 5 April 2012

Letter 61: Weaselly words in the Coalition Agreement

"Dear Dave,
Recognise this?⤵

We will be strong in the defence of freedom. The government believes that the British state has become too authoritarian, and that over the past decade it has abused and eroded fundamental human freedoms and historic civil liberties. We need to restore the rights of individuals in the face of encroaching state power; in keeping with Britain's tradition of freedom and fairness.

  • We will implement a full programme of measures to reverse the substantial erosion  of civil liberties and roll back state intrusion.
  • We will introduce a Freedom Bill.
  • We will scrap the ID card scheme, the National Identity register and the ContactPoint database, and halt the next generation of biometric passports.
  • We will outlaw the fingerprinting of children at school without parental permission.
  • We will extend the the scope of the Freedom of Information Act to provide greater transparency.
  • We will adopt the protections of the Scottish model for the DNA database.
  • We will protect historic freedoms through the defence of trial by jury.
  • We will restore rights to non-violent protest.
  • We will review libel laws to protect freedom of speech.
  • We will introduce safeguards  against the misuse of anti-terrorism legislation.
  • We will further regulate CCTV.
  • We will end the storage of internet and email records without good reason.
  • We will introduce a new mechanism to protect the proliferation of unnecessary new criminal offences. We will establish a commission to investigate the creation of a British Bill of Rights that incorporates and builds on all our obligations under the European Convention of Human Rights, ensures that these rights continue to be enshrined in British Law, and protects and extends British liberties. We will seek to promote a better understanding of the true scope of these obligations and liberties.

 Yes it's page 11 of  "The Coalition: our programme  for government". Your words, your promises. Strange that having set out such promises, and invited voters to hold you to account, it is now your intention to expand Government powers to monitor email exchanges and webmail visits of every person in the UK. 
Then there's the issue of closed courts. Surely secret hearings lead to secret law; doesn't secret law go completely against the grain in a democracy?
I just can't work it out what this is all about - and why now? Is it a way of showing just how different the two halves of the Coalition can be? Let's face it, a little tiff in public wouldn't do Nick's ratings any harm, what with local elections coming up next month. It could be that we have yet ANOTHER distraction from how disastrous the past couple of weeks have been for you (Cruddas,the Budget Granny Tax pastygate). Or... you really mean to expand surveillance - because if you do, that suggests page 11 of your programme for government is nothing more than weaselly words and failed promises. I do hope not...
Best wishes..."

1 comment:

Lisa said...

very well written! thanks for the share! Agreement Letters