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Saturday, November 07, 2015

Is Labour practising 'nodding dog' radicalism?

Tim Farron is absolutely right to accuse Corbyn's Labour Party of acting like a “nodding Conservative dog” for giving qualified support to Theresa May’s controversial plans to shake up Britain’s surveillance laws.

In the Independent, he promises to lead the fight against the Draft Investigatory Powers Bil, saying that the Liberal Democrats will table amendments to the legislation in an attempt to give judges, rather than ministers, the power to authorise warrants to intercept the contents of people’s communications and hack computers:

Mr Farron told The Independent:  "The Home Secretary has created a sham of judicial authorisation that doesn't fool me, the public or the experts. It is an utter disgrace.”

He added: “The Labour Party is even worse though. It is acting like Conservatives on this Bill and just acquiescing. It is about as useful as a nodding dog.  The Liberal Democrats will make sure the public's concerns are heard.  You can't rely on Labour or the Tories to stand up for our hard won civil liberties."

The Lib Dems will also seek “redress” for individuals who are no longer under suspicion, under which people would be told they had been under surveillance unless there were a specific reason to maintain secrecy.  The United States, Germany and Belgium have such a provision, the Lib Dems say. “You can’t seek justice if you never know you’ve been spied on,” said a party source.

This is the sort of robust Liberalism that we need from the party leader and shows that there is still a place for the Liberal Democrats in British politics.
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