I Will Support This Government 197

Having now seen the coaliton agreement, I can say that I can broadly support this government and am convinced that it will be an improvement on the bunch of authoritarian war criminals who have been replaced.

Here are the parts of the agreement that to me constitute a radical change for the better in the political possibilities for our country:

Civil Liberties

Scrap the ID card scheme, the National Identity register, the next generation of biometric passports and the ContactPoint Database.

Outlaw the finger-printing of children at school without parental permission.

Extend the scope of the Freedom of Information Act to provide greater transparency.

Adopt the Scottish approach to stopping retention of innocent people’s DNA on the DNA database.

Defend trial by jury.

Restore rights to non-violent protest.

A review of libel laws to protect freedom of speech.

Safeguards against the misuse of anti-terrorism legislation.

Further regulation of CCTV.

Ending of storage of internet and email records without good reason.

A new mechanism to prevent the proliferation of unnecessary new criminal offences.

End the detention of children for immigration purposes.

Add to that a fully elected House of Lords under PR, and fixed term parliaments, and this does represent real truly important change for the better.

The full coalition agreement is here.


Lifting the basic tax allowance towards £10,000 and restoring the state pension link to earnings are also major changes.

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197 thoughts on “I Will Support This Government

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  • Tony

    Re. Clark’s “Britain doesn’t have to support an attack on Iran in parliament. They won’t be involved.”

    We are providing the airbase in Diego Garcia from which the bombers will fly – the nukes are already there on our soil.

    Maybe it does not require a UK Act of Parliament to authorise the bombing, but I feel sure the UK Parliament could and should take a view on the US and Israel using our soil from which to launch such a disastrous nuclear attack.

  • Parky

    well we shall see what we shall see..

    i remember when blair hit downing street there was a lot of froth at the time about a new britain, new way beacons of hope, blar blar blar. So what happened? George W came along and blair joined his gang, the rest is history.

    I was just concerned that the tv commentators, Nick Robinson particularly (didn’t he used to be Brains in thunderbirds ?) was so keen to tell us that no sooner had cameroon set foot in number 10 that Obama (bin laden) was on the blower inviting him over to world domination hq in the summer to discuss his plans for our country. So rule nothing out! Cameroon did what he had to do and if that meant getting into bed with another ex-public school-boy then that had to be so…

  • Terry

    That’s a good point Tony.

    I’m sure Clegg would have difficulty having knowledge of an operation from there.

  • technicolour

    But as the nation tittered its way through the first coalition press conference, thousands of grassroots Lib Dem activists were this morning still sitting in front of their television sets gaping in abject horror.

    Anne Hobbs, whose husband Roy is secretary of the South Lincolnshire Liberal Democrat Association, said: “His bottom jaw just kept sinking lower and lower and then he let out this pathetic little squeak and dropped his cup of tea.

    “He’s got some very limited movement back in his left arm, but he is basically catatonic. I’m going to have to sellotape some gauze over his mouth otherwise he’ll end up choking on a wasp.”

  • angrysoba

    “The IAEA’s first report on Syria in November said the site bore features that would resemble those of an undeclared nuclear reactor and Damascus must cooperate more with U.N. inspectors to let them draw conclusions. Syria denies covert nuclear activity.

    Thursday’s report said Damascus, in a letter to the IAEA this month, had repeated its position that the desert complex targeted by Israel in September 2007 was a conventional military building only.

    But Syria, it said, was still failing to back up its stance with documentation or by granting further access for IAEA sleuths to the bombed location and three others cited in U.S. intelligence handed to the U.N. watchdog last year.”


  • Anonymous

    Clegg and his negotiating team have taken the Tory/neocons shilling. If truth be known its a lot more then a shilling, a lot more. They are in for five years,they have made sure off that, no way can they be got out. They know whats coming, they have protected themselves.

  • Anonymous

    ‘further access for IAEA’

    Yes,they have been there. It has been already established that there’s no nuclear material there, never was.

    Thanks for pointing that our angrysoba.

  • technicolour

    “The British Ministry of Defence has said in the past that the US government would need permission to use Diego Garcia for offensive action”. – Sunday Herald 10 March.

    Craig & or lawyers: How have they managed to change the criteria for dissolving parliament/a vote of no confidence? How? Which legislation provides them with the ability to do this?

  • angrysoba

    ” IAEA inspectors found other unexplained uranium particles during a routine inspection of Syria’s miniature neutron source reactor, a research reactor outside Damascus that had been declared to the IAEA. Syrian authorities twice tried to explain the presence of these particles, but IAEA inspectors found their explanations inadequate, believing instead that they raised concerns about possible links to the particles found at Al Kibar. Although Syria allowed IAEA inspectors to return to the research reactor this month, it continues to spurn IAEA requests to visit Al Kibar, citing national “sovereignty.””

    “The IAEA’s latest report on the Syria investigation was the first released by the new IAEA director-general, Yukiya Amano, who took office in July 2009. It was blunt and forthright, clearly restating that the destroyed facility had all the characteristics of a nuclear reactor and openly questioning whether Syria’s declarations were correct and complete.

    The Syrian government denies that the Al Kibar facility housed a nuclear reactor. At first, it claimed that the uranium particles found at the site came from the bombs Israel had used to destroy it, an explanation the IAEA dismissed as having a “low probability.” Then, at a recent IAEA Board of Governors’ meeting, Syrian Ambassador Bassam Sabbagh claimed that Israeli planes sprinkled the particles over the site — an equally specious explanation that cannot account for the particles found at the research reactor outside Damascus.”


  • Anonymous

    ‘bore features’ ‘characteristics’

    What does that mean?. A lot of spin (we know who by) and so far NO real substance.

    Says it all.

  • Duncan McFarlane

    angrysoba – why is it that the possibility that Syria might have a nuclear reactor is a concern, but that fact that Israel already has one and somewhere between dozens and hundreds of nuclear weapons isn’t?

    And how could Syria or Iran getting nuclear deterrents threaten countries that already have either nuclear deterrents or allies that have nuclear deterrents?

    It couldn’t – it could only deter Israeli or US attacks on them.

  • Anonymous

    “Tony, you’re a great bloke and everything, and I think you have a very good heart. You often say things I agree with a great deal. I’d like to have a pint with you some day.

    I don’t want to be a moderator, I don’t want there to be posts here that need deleting. That’s why I’m asking that you might consider kind of easing off on these sorts of posts about bands, your misses, your local and so on in the most current thread when people are trying to talk on topic.”

    It’s been said before by others, but Tony doessn’t seem to care and keeps on devaluing the blog with his self-indulgent off-topic rambling.

  • Suhayl Saadi

    This thread was about the Con-Lib Coalition. How on earth did Syria enter the discussion? You can get really beautiful mosaique boxes in Damascus. I know a great qanun (sort of a horizontal harp) player, a musical genius she is, who is from Damascus.

    Syria, the road to Aleppo…


    Was it because I checked and critiqued Douglas Murray’s overtly pro-Israeli state stance in his article in The Daily Telegraph?


    The Middle East is obviously an ionising topic: I can feel the gamma rays… come off the screen.

  • writerman

    Those who hope and believe, that this government will pursue policies that are anything more than cosmetically different from those of New Labour, are going to be very, very, disappointed indeed.

    Why? Primarily because the country isn’t really “governed” by the politicians at all, but by the “market.”

    It’s sad to see how many people honestly think that Gordon Browne is responsible for the dire state the economy is in, and that some other leader would have done things differently.

    Surely it’s obvious, with the new merging of the Liberals and the Conservatives, that we don’t, in reality have a multi-party system at all, but rather a multi-faction system?

    New Labour could easily have joined this government too, but this merging woul have revealed the true nature of the Westminster system for what it is; one-party rule, a monopoly, disguised as a democracy.

  • Suhayl Saadi

    Not wanting to divert matters further, here’s that Syrian qanun player, Maya Youssef. She’s conservatoire Western Classical-trained as well as Arabic music-trained:


    This may seem like a very simple statement, but I feel it’s crucial that it be stated. It’s important, I always think, to remember when we discuss ‘The Middle East’ and we discuss the possibility of ‘bombing the Middle East’ (again) that we are talking about people. All kinds of people – people like Maya.

  • Mark

    What does “Ending of storage of internet and email records without good reason” mean?

    Does it mean that blanket data retention of communications data will stop? Or is this done for “good reasons”?

  • Rob

    “I will support this government.”

    I won’t.

    With every significant government post given to Tory hardliners, and with no way to bring down the government against the wishes of the Conservatives, I don’t believe for a moment that the “agreement” will be honoured except in the most token way. Economic policy will continue to be driven by “the market” (as it was under Blair). We will continue to support Israel in everything it does (as under Blair). We will continue to support dictators such as Karimov as “valuable allies” in the “War” on “Terror”, exactly as under Blair (indeed, with Ricketts as National Security Advisor, probably more so). The anti-trade union laws which Thatcher introduced and Blair

    so admired will remain. Large companies will be exempted from the need to undergo Health & Safety inspections, and I’m sure the families of the resulting dead workers will consider it was worthwhile because we won’t have a third runway at Heathrow.

    I wish you were right, Craig, but as far as I can see the only difference beteen this bunch and Blair is that they haven’t been caught out in any obvious lies yet. But early days.

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