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Sunday, December 07, 2008

In defence of freedom

Curiously missing from the pages of the Observer when the story of Damien Green's arrest broke, Henry Porter is back:

Most of us spend our time these days with our heads stuck in our screens or worrying about the economy, but out there, real and important changes are taking place.

There is a new world where economic disaster is matched by the collapse of standards that were all part of the gentlemen's agreement; tolerance, respect, fairness and shared values are being vanquished by the police and by bullying, oppressive officialdom.

You see evidence in ID cards issued to foreigners, the banning notices handed to football fans in Manchester who had caused no trouble whatsoever, but were detained and forcibly bussed back to Stoke-on-Trent without seeing their match, and also in the Metropolitan Police's Form 696, which requires venues and club managers in London 'to report to the police the names, addresses, aliases and telephone numbers of performers'. More worryingly, Form 696, which was promoted by Sir Ian Blair, demands the venue define 'the ethnicity of their audience'.

There is no room for complacency. We must all be on our guard against the erosion of our liberties.


From the Observer article

"...After the past 10 days, many must be convinced of the need for a Bill of Rights (but not responsibilities!) with entrenched privacy laws...."

You've already pointed out that we have a "Bill of Rights", but that Bill of Rights, but those rights mainly protect MPs not ordinary subjects, and not papists.
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