Maybe not bad, perhaps. Possibly.

One of the many, many ways in which the last Labour Government demonstrated its complete unsuitability for power, and its total, overriding contempt for us, was in the introduction of thousands - literally, thousands - of new laws and regulations.

For 13 years, our freedoms have been steadily eroded, our rights increasingly curtailed, our liberties smashed with a mallet and flushed down the crapper.

But now, what's that on the horizon, glowing gold and flapping its magnificent wings? Why it's the Bird of Liberal Paradise, Nick Clegg.

Cleggy, in a speech last night, began to outline how the Coalition of ConDems would begin to undo some of the horrors inflicted by Gordon Brown and the Authoritarian Left, promising a Blue 'n' Yellow version of the Great Reform Act.

And some good stuff might be in the pipeline. Just a few highlights from Clegg's speech:

“I’m talking about the most significant programme of empowerment by a British government since the great enfranchisement of the 19th Century ... It is time for a wholesale, big bang approach to political reform ...

“It is outrageous that decent, law-abiding people are regularly treated as if they have something to hide. It has to stop.

“..there will be no ID card scheme."

“No national identity register, no second generation biometric passports.

“We won’t hold your internet and email records when there is just no reason to do so.

“CCTV will be properly regulated, as will the DNA database, with restrictions on the storage of innocent people’s DNA.

“There will be no ContactPoint children’s database.

“Schools will not take children’s fingerprints without even asking their parent’s consent.”

“..we’ll review libel laws so that we can better protect freedom of speech"

Now, CF is as cynical as the next blogger, but even he can hope.

Of course the Coalition won't go as far as any Libertarian would wish. Of course some of the ideas will never come to pass, and some will be watered down to homeopathically useless levels. Of course, there are already significant omissions from the list: Human Rights, Nick?

But on the other hand, looking at that list, fuck yeah.

Hell, we may actually be heading the right direction here. We could actually have some classical liberals in power. We might see some .. what was the word? .. 'change'.

Can you believe it?



JuliaM said...

"Now, CF is as cynical as the next blogger, but even he can hope."

Especially if the next blogger is me! But yes, you're right, welcome words. Let's pray they don't remain just that.

Uncle Marvo said...

Keep pushing, CF. Keep pushing. I think Nicky Boy genuinely wants this to happen. I think Cambo is onside with it, being a Liberal COnservative himself.

They have my support.

And my middle name is cynical.

Captain Haddock said...

I'll believe it when I see it & not until ...

Bristol Dave said...

If he does manage to get that through, I think I'll love him forever.


(P.S. your "highlights" link is broken.)

Jack Savage said...

If we are very very blessed some of the horrors in the pipeline will be shelved.
The "repeals" will be quietly kicked into the long grass. Sir Humphrey will tell them that this is a very "courageous" strategy and it will stop in its tracks.
Not a cynic,just a realist.

JohnRS said...

For now I'm still giving Dem Tories the benefit of the doubt but this will be one of their big tests. Let's hope they dont flunk it.

Fidel Cuntstruck said...

Yes we can hope, it's about we've got left anyway. Even I can feel a growing enthusiasm for the ConDems, but somewhere in the back of my head, a little voice keeps say "with all those great things in the pipeline, yet to be fully announced - won't they have just lots of good days to bury bad news"

Jill said...

I think they will repeal quite a bit - it was in both manifestos, after all.

However, they're suspiciously silent on control orders and the 28-day pre-charge detention for terror suspects. This power is temporary and can only be extended if the coalition lays a statutory instrument before parliament at the end of this month. Otherwise the maximum period will revert back to 14 days.

You might like to get onto They Work For You or wherever and enquire what they plan to do. I've already done it. To my mind, habeas corpus is the most important, critical thing of all.

Anonymous said...

How about one tiny, simple addendum to the Human Rights Act......

If you breach another human beings rights, i.e. kill or rape someone, etc.

Then the act does not apply to you.

You have to personally sign up to the human rights act by your own behaviour towards others.

Bye bye terrorist, you were trying to kill others, so tough shit about you getting tortured in Pakistan, should have thought about that before hand!

Jill said...

What a stupid thing to say, Anonymous. If you've done something illegal, of whatever degree, then the state gathers evidence against you, charges you, and makes you stand trial. If you're found guilty, you bear the brunt of the law.

If the state cannot prove you have done anything wrong, the state has no right to detain you. And if you don't think that could ever apply to you because you're not a terrorist, then you should investigate what these powers have already been used to accomplish in areas that have nothing to do with terrorism, and think again.

Anonymous said...

ooh 'the brunt of the law'.

I attempt to blow 60 people up on a train or bus or plane and i get a 'control order'....

I'm shitting myself !

David said...

Nobody has yet been able to argue what is wrong with the Human Rights Act. It is simply something that codifies in British law the European Convention on Human Rights, something the British were instrumental in setting up back in the 1950s.

The ECHR and the EU are NOT the same thing, you know, and never have been. The ECHR includes Turkey, for starters.

Now I know the right-wing press love going on about the HRA and all the ridiculous cases it brings, but it never quite gets around to reporting that most of these cases are chucked out of court and the rest have been misrepresented.

And regardless of how much I loathe Cherie Booth QC and her fellow troughers at Matrix, I don't think we should be restricting people's rights to settle their differences in court. It's one of the key freedoms we have in this country.

Anonymous, don't be a tool. The State should only punish people if it has found them guilty, and that punishment should be neither cruel nor unusual. Rendition and torture have no place in any investigative procedure, not least because torture doesn't bloody work.

Anonymous said...

please tell me why anyone who purposefully breaks the human rights of others should get human rights of their own, apart from the guilt you would feel ?

maybe we should completely disarm our soldiers because firing back at people who try to blow them up would surely contravene their human rights to shoot our soldiers ?

In fact lets go the whole hog and let the victim have no rights at all. It was his fault i suppose in the first place.

'The State should only punish people if it has found them guilty, and that punishment should be neither cruel nor unusual. Rendition and torture have no place in any investigative procedure, not least because torture doesn't bloody work.'

Tell that to Georgina Edmonds :

or rather should that be 'tell her that her killers have more rights than she does to live'

Anonymous said...

since when did 'might' become a legal precident ?

If I get locked up in a jail I 'might' get anally raped by another inmate, which is surely against my human rights.

Or what 'might' happen is being locked in a room playing with my playstation and watching tv, now that's what i call paying a 'debt back to society'

Anonymous said...

Can you believe it?

Let me Labour, New Britain...tough on crime, tough on the causes of, education, education...blah, blah, blah...British jobs for British workers...Global Society...New World Order...blah, blah, blah.



David said...

Oh dear anonymous, believing that prisons are full of Playstations and fun and frivolity for all the family.

How many prisons have you actually been inside? Quite a few don't even have flushing toilets in each cell.

Besides which, if you keep inmates bored and lonely, you get Strangeways. And if you take away parole, you get prisoners who have no incentive to behave.

As for 'giving human rights to criminals', yes, I believe that even murderers and rapists should be free to spend their time in prison without being tortured. Imprisonment is the punishment and I believe that prison should be clean and humane.

No idea what Georgina Edmonds has to do with the price of fish though. Maybe we should beat up a few black people to see if they know anything?

David said...

I could always mention the Birmingham Six and Guildford Four as reasons NOT to trust a) the police or b) anything the police want, too.

JohnRS said...

I'm with Anon 11:51.

Why should you get the protection of the (flawed) HRA when you're not prepared to allow others the same right?

If, like the terrorist we're now going to have to guard (for life?), you're a member of a terrorist group and are planning to blow people up why should the HRA apply to you?

I see no reason why he shouldnt be deported to his home country. No-one forced him to come here and do what he did. He brought this on himself and should suffer any consequences of his actions.

Big boys games - big boys rules.

Anonymous said...

I thought we already beat up black people like you lefties seem to think ?

I actually know I lot more about prisons than you think, being an ex-guard. Where myself and co-workers were more at risk than the actual offenders.

But u keep up your protests about people who were imprisoned almost 40 years ago like it was yesterday that the infractions took place, Most have us have moved on, unlike yourself who seem to think that most of the rest of us have slave plantations and cobble our workers.

Keep thinking you can just talk to terrorists over a cup of tea and they'll change their ways, and in forty years you'll still see people maimed and killed and your typhoo bill will be quite high.

They are called 'terror'ists for a reason, they aren't called 'a bit miffed'orists

Anonymous said...

So we have a terrorist from Pakistan who didn't make a stand in Pakistan because he might have been tortured in Pakistan, deciding to come here and make a stand instead because we won't torture him, or lock him up, just give him a terrorist version of an ASBO.

What a great legal system we have to protect the people of this country, makes me soooo proud !

Anonymous said...

p.s. Just checked on 'facebook' and you are right, not all have them have playstations.....

some seem to like the xbox 360 or nintendo wii.

Anonymous said...

Pity the Odious and completely unecessary Human Rights act is not being removed from the Statute Book. I actually heard some so called Human Rights Lawyer arguing for it to be kept because "it protects our basic rights that we have held for centuries"

WTF !!!

If we have held these rights for centuries( which we have) and the human rights legislation was only introducd during the last ten years, then we obviously didnt need it in the first place. Which we didnt.

Listening to some of these money grabbing Lawyers yu would think that before this legislation was introduced
1.Torture was OK

2. You could be banged up in prison without Charge as well as being tortured some more.

3. You would not receive a fair Trial if you ever got one that is , during which you could be tortured .

4.Justice did not exist in our courts and torture was de rigour.

Honestly thats what they would have you believe.

The fact is any of the abuses which people would find abhorrent were already outlawed and our system was fair with appropriate checks and balances.

A certain High Court Judge said at one time that such an act was completely unecessary and would only provide a gravy train for Lawyers.

Ask any proponent of Human rights Law, what it has brought which wasnt there before and he wont be able to tell you. Other than......a huge amount of inefficient, cumbersome procedures which didnt exist before with the result of many injustices and inability to deal with people who a threats to the well being of society.

The truth is it was brought in at the behest of Tony Blairs Wifes Lawyer chums and made many of them rich !!!

Get rid of it !


Anonymous said...

David the point is that Human rights legislation was NOT REQUIRED in our legal system.
Not only that but as always with such a mass of legislation( which may I remind you is unecessary) it creates plent of wriggle room for arguments involving angels and pinheads.
All that benefits are Lawyers.

You are correct about the British being instrumental in setting up ECHR but prey tell us why that was brought into being around that time.
I'll tell you, it was to prevent another Holocaust and was a direct response to the Nazi Regime.

It was designed or at least intended to prevent states from following that path down into the Barbarity of Belsen and all that surrounded it.

Ask yourself why none of what we see now was implimented in The Uk in the 1950's

Answer because it wasnt intended to be used in the way it is used now, thats not what they were looking to achieve.

Finally reading your posts Im glad to see you bringing out the old torture argument as if it was legal pre 2000. You make my previous argument for me I rest my case.

Anonymous said...

David said...

"Nobody has yet been able to argue what is wrong with the Human Rights Act."

Try reading The Assault on Liberty by Dominic Raab. This gives an excellent analysis of how the Human Rights Act has been used and abused to enshrine all kinds of "rights" which have nothing to do with the basic rights we should all have (i.e. basic civil liberties) but have more to do with forcing the state to provide for our every need. It gives people the opportunity to use the law to support a lack of personal responsibility for their own lives.