Yesterday, Nick Clegg made a speech on restoring British liberties (click link to see full speech).
I have read many comments about the timing, justification, detail announced etc. A lot of which appear to be in the vein of ‘let’s have a go at Clegg because we can’ or ‘here go the Lib Dem’s again, not meeting their manifesto promises, stopping short’.
It would be good if comments could be constructive using the following facts and rules:
- Opposition manifestos are based on assumptions, as until in Government you are unable to see the classified facts.
- All Government policies are based on that Governments perceived way of dealing with a situation and not announced just to p*** people off.
- Of course Ministers will ‘time’ their announcements carefully, all Party’s that have been in Government have done the same thing.
- Lib Dems ARE part of a Coalition Government which will run for the length of this Parliament, get over it!
- Gainsay is not a proper argument, it is churlish just to oppose EVERYTHING that is announced without a policy/idea to replace it.
- Lib Dem poll is low (we know, you don’t need to keep telling us!!), that was always going to be the case, but won’t always be so.
Right so back to Control Orders etc.:
Labour got their policy wrong in my opinion and as has been said in speech:
The British people have become accustomed to a vast array of infringements on their freedom.
Widespread and indiscriminate surveillance; Their DNA being held, unnecessarily; The proliferation of new criminal offences, and the growing number of reasons state inspectors can barge into their homes; The needless restrictions on people who want to work as volunteers.
The list goes on.
These didn’t happen overnight. They accumulated gradually, bit by bit.
Some have attracted high profile campaigns, like ID cards. Others slipped into our lives. Many now feel normal, even mundane.
And it is in that chipping away of our freedom that the real danger lies. Because it distorts our perception of what level of state interference we should tolerate.
Over time, it makes us less vigilant about our freedom. And we risk our children growing up too complacent about theirs.
So this Government is restoring British liberties with the same systematic ruthlessness with which Labour took them away.
Labour obviously thought it was the right way, they were in my opinion (and the Government’s) wrong. They had 13 years of seeing the confidential files and acting accordingly, the Coalition has had 8 months since the Agreement and questions are asked about policy depth and direction?
Conclusion: Lib Dems as part of Coalition Government will not and never could get all of their manifesto policies fulfilled, but something is better than nothing and definitely a change for the good.