In many ways our social freedoms, the freedoms of particular groups, have made great leaps foward under Labour.
We now have comprehensive anti-discrimination laws, civil partnerships, paternity leave, among other initiatives – all supported by the Lib Dems. But at the same time our individual civil liberties have been undermined.
The Government monitors us to a greater extent than ever before, while refusing to tell us the information we most want to know about them. All sorts of longstanding British traditions – like the right to a jury trial or the right to protest at Parliament – are under threat. ID cards and the database state cost billions but make us no safer. The cold eyes of CCTV cameras have replaced real policemen on many of our streets.
So it’s timely that the Liberal Democrats are proposing a Freedom Bill which will tackle some of the worst threats to our freedom.
For example, the Bill aims to:
• Scrap ID cards for everyone.
• Restore the right to protest in Parliament Square.
• Scrap the ContactPoint database of all children in Britain.
• Remove innocent people from the DNA database.
• Reduce the maximum period of pre-charge detention to 14 days.
In an appropriate spirit of openness, the party is inviting comments on the Bill. What’s good, what’s bad, what’s missing: let’s have your views. And if you’re on Facebook and support the Bill, why not join the Facebook group here.