Wednesday, 12 May 2010

Day 1: The Freedom Bill

Philip Johnson has just perfectly framed one of the major priorities for this new Conservative/coalition (CC for short) government. It's a Great Repeal or, the alternative, which I prefer, Freedom Bill which will, when enacted, move us forward in the titanic task of repairing the damage that thirteen years of Labour has inflicted on Britain's tradtional rights and liberties. He is, in fact, a champion of the cause:

As someone who has written countless articles, and a recently published book, Bad Laws, about Labour’s excessive legislation and the erosion of our civil liberties, the new government’s programme for tackling this through a Great Repeal Bill is greatly encouraging.

For this who have not seen the list of laws and databases set either for the axe or for review here it is. I can think of many more to add, and any suggestions are gratefully received. But it is a start.

The parties agree to implement a full programme of measures to reverse the substantial erosion of civil liberties under the Labour Government and roll back state intrusion.

This will include:

A Freedom or Great Repeal Bill.

The scrapping of ID card scheme, the National Identity register, the next generation of biometric passports and the Contact Point Database.

Outlawing the finger-printing of children at school without parental permission.

The extension of the scope of the Freedom of Information Act to provide greater transparency.

Adopting the protections of the Scottish model for the DNA database.

The protection of historic freedoms through the defence of trial by jury.

The restoration of rights to non-violent protest.

The review of libel laws to protect freedom of speech.

Safeguards against the misuse of anti-terrorism legislation.

Further regulation of CCTV.

Ending of storage of internet and email records without good reason.

A new mechanism to prevent the proliferation of unnecessary new criminal offences

Excellent stuff, and in Ken Clarke there is a true heavyweight who can get the job done. But this should be just the beginning. After Labour's wicked assault on our freedoms is tackled, more repeal bills will be required to heal the deep wounds of every other area of British public life Labour mauled with their nightmarish authoritarian statism and hyper-interventionism - most of all but certainly not exclusively in education.

This is a positive initiative that stops dead the previous government's sinister ideological legal and social manipulation and simultaneously will help to bring them firmly to book for their actions while in office.

Forget all the photo opportunities, it is this that says to me loud and clear: the CC government has made a good start on Day 1. It bodes well for the future.


  1. Hear hear. And let's also acknowledge that our partners, the Liberal Democrats, to thier very great credit, are as much in favour of civil liberties as we are.

  2. No complaints about that any more here, Adam.

    I now think I recognise that reservations I claim to have had are 1) not constructive (and probably would be self-fulfilling), and 2) by the looks of it so far, happily misguided anyway.


Any thoughts?