Thursday, May 17, 2007

The Constitution and Liberties debates - are we ready for a fight on our own ground? 

More excellent reportage and discussion on the new 'Our Kingdom' blog run as part of the Open Democracy setup. This one is a report by Anthony Barnett of two events - the annual Bindmans Debate (on Human Rights Cultures; a Social or Legal Phenomena) at University College London; and the launch of a new film, 'Taking Liberties' showing exactly what damage has been done to our freedoms during the Blair years - which if continued, the films introducer says, will take British liberties back to 1604. As the films blurb says:

TAKING LIBERTIES uncovers the stories the government don’t want you to hear – so ridiculous you will laugh, so ultimately terrifying you will want to take action. Teenage sisters detained for 36 hours for a peaceful protest; an RAF war veteran arrested for wearing an anti-Bush and Blair T-shirt; an innocent man shot in a police raid; and a man held under house arrest for two years, after being found innocent in court. Ordinary law-abiding citizens being punished for exercising their ‘rights’ – rights that have been fought for over centuries, and which seem to have been extinguished in a decade.

This is all coming onto political ground we LibDems claim as our own. The Bindmans Debate showed how the Tories are trying to position themselves - we cannot be complacent. So we need to be on our toes and ready to take on board what develops in fora and in resources such as these. Oh and make it even more part of our instinctive narrative of course.

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