Still No Liberty 54

My unease at the Lib Dem coalition with the Conservatives is crystallising into real alarm. We hear today from Theresa May that the 28 day detention without charge is to be extended. Apparantly is being renewed six months at a time under the coalition as opposed to a year at a time under NuLab.

That is supposed to be progress? Bollocks. It appears that the government has predictably been captured by the security services already.

Every Lib Dem MP who votes for 28 day detention without charge has forfeited forever the right to call themselves a liberal.

Anyone remember what the coalition agreement said about civil liberties? As I said at the time, my concern was that the Lib Dems had negotiated a fine sounding piece of paper while the Tories had got all the key ministries and the practical levers of power. This seems a prime example.

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54 thoughts on “Still No Liberty

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  • Sam

    I’ll put a bet on – after some time, you won’t be able to tell who are the pigs, and who are the humans anymore.

  • mike cobley

    Craig – looks like the days of the Orange Bookers are numbered. And isn’t it time arsalan got over his scary-Liberal-zionists-schtick? – his lies and distortions are becoming a burden on this blog.

  • ingo

    Craig, I remember asking you to wait until the election is over before jopining the new rightwing Clegg Liberal democrats.

    If given the chance again, knowing what you know now, would you have still joined them?

    Further, if this course of the Liberals is going from Conservative strenght to strenght, what are those disaffected planning to hold their party to policies past by their conferences?

    The Lib Dems cannot walk all over activists opinions and take their democratically decided policies in vain, or can they?

  • glenn

    Good Lord, anonymous at 10:23 above, you certainly are putting a lot of stock into this scare-story of yours! ok, tell me – when can we expect the first European death penalty warrants to be carried out?

    We could put a bet on it – I’ll wager not a single death penalty will be carried out in Europe as a result of the Lisbon Treaty. Couple of thousand pounds says I’m right, and none will be carried out by the end of next year. You up for it?

    If you’re too scared to take on a bet, and too cowardly to even use a regular pseudo-name, are you also too lazy to quote which part of the Lisbon Treaty calls for a DP reintroduction?

  • Clark


    there seems to have been quite a large increase in people who won’t even pick a name to display, since about the time of the UK election. Tiresome, isn’t it? These people don’t seem to understand the reciprocal relationship between liberty and responsibility. There are so few web forums like this one. where not even registration is required to post a comment, it is a shame that these people won’t even perform that little courtesy.

    Anonymous posters,

    I can’t tell why you choose not to pick a name to post under, but I ask you to do so. It makes the threads much easier to follow, and comments easier to reply to.

    If you’re worried about being identified, I’d point out that (1) the IP addresses of all visits to this site are recorded in Craig’s server logs (this is standard practice on all websites), and (2) the ISP that supplies your internet connection is obliged to keep records of net activity. Not signing a name to your comments only inconveniences users of this site; the authorities can still investigate you by other means, if they choose to do so.

  • glenn

    Clark: Agreed, it is very tiresome. It’s kind of hard to take someone seriously when they won’t put down as much as a reference number for continuity in a discussion. It could lead cynics to wonder if they really are prepared to stand by their claims.

    There are, as you say, very few sites indeed anymore which don’t require registration. Mike Malloy’s is another one: . I’d highly recommend listening to his show, by the way – he also gets a great deal of heat for having the courage to tell the truth about contentious subjects such as the “third rail of politics”.

  • MJ

    “there seems to have been quite a large increase in people who won’t even pick a name to display”

    That may in part be due to the fact that, for IE users at least, the ‘Remember Me?’ option no longer retains your details for more than one session, meaning you have to remember to fill them in each time.

  • technicolour

    Wooh, and I’m me!

    Hey all. Agree about choosing names though a bit fed up with this one. MJ; why aren’t you using Firefox?

    And do I get off the hook because I supported a particular Lib Dem candidate rather than the Lib Dems per se? (she didn’t get in, either).

    This is nonsense, isn’t it? Casino banking split – gone. Promise to end child detention – replaced by plan to ship Afghan children straight back to holding pens in Afghanistan. Withdrawal of funds/support for the gypsy community on the quiet. VAT increase. Freeze on child benefit. And, as this post well reminds us, the list goes on.

    In what sense have the Lib Dems achieved any power? They have squandered the rights we gave them on a mess of pitiful concessions, when they could have sat back and voted with our hearts when it counted.

    What persuaded Clegg to say the Lib Dems would automatically join the party with the most votes? Was that a question asked of members, ever?

  • Clark


    yes, good to hear from you again. Yes, the Lib Dems are remarkably unimpressive. We’ll never find out if they’d have been any better if the number of Tory / Labour MPs had been nearer to equality. They’d best show some backbone soon or they’ll be discredited for decades.

    If you pick a new name, please post a comment telling us, so that I don’t have to guess!

  • technicolour

    Hello Clark. Good to hear you too. All well?

    Richard pointing out on a thread below that there might be a Lib Dem split, and this could be a constructive thing.

    If there is a split, would that mean a general election?

    If there is a general election and the splitters (the ‘real’ Lib Dems) all get re-elected on a promise to stand by their original promises, would the split off party hold the balance of power?

  • Suhayl Saadi

    And will suhc a possited split refelct the old alignments of SDP and Liberal Parties? Think David Owen and other such scary monsters. Mind you, Charles kennedy was also originally SDP, wasn’t he? And he seemed like a relatively decent sort.

    I know a ‘rump’ group of Liberals (and one of the SDP) refused to join the new LD Party.

  • technicolour

    hey Suhayl. Well, they’d just have to stand by their original commitments – no rise in VAT, restoration of civil liberties etc.

  • Suhayl Saadi

    I see that Catriona Bhatia (daughter of David Steel and a senior councillor in the Borders, ex-LD parliamentary candidate there) reportedly has been “toppled” from an important position on the Education Committee of the local authority at the demand of th Conservatives because she protested publically against the proposed Council cuts in free nursey places; like the Govt., the council is Lib-Con, though I think maybe the senior partners are the LDs there. She’s a mother of four young children, I think. Perhasp we’ll be seeing more this type of thing across the country.

  • technicolour

    People with socially responsible and informed views being removed from positions of influence?

  • avatar singh

    Caraig it must be very frustating to live in a fasicst state. but despair not-when the elites are no longer able to deliver brread and circus to the plebs the elite will self destruct.

    here is a comment from someone about angloamerican variety of fasism passing as democracy.

    First of all, what is a “fascist police-state”?

    A police-state uses the law as a mechanism to control any challenges to its power by the citizenry, rather than as a mechanism to insure a civil society among the individuals. The state decides the laws, is the sole arbiter of the law, and can selectively (and capriciously) decide to enforce the law to the benefit or detriment of one individual or group or another.

    In a police-state, the citizens are “free” only so long as their actions remain within the confines of the law as dictated by the state. If the individual’s claims of rights or freedoms conflict with the state, or if the individual acts in ways deemed detrimental to the state, then the state will repress the citizenry, by force if necessary. (And in the end, it’s always necessary.)

    What’s key to the definition of a police-state is the lack of redress: If there is no justice system which can compel the state to cede to the citizenry, then there is a police-state. If there exists apro forma justice system, but which in practice is unavailable to the ordinary citizen because of systemic obstacles (for instance, cost or bureaucratic hindrance), or which against all logic or reason consistently finds in favor of the state?”even in the most egregious and obviously contradictory cases?”then that pro forma judiciary system is nothing but a sham: A tool of the state’s repression against its citizens. Consider the Soviet court system the classic example.

    A police-state is not necessarily a dictatorship. On the contrary, it can even take the form of a representative democracy. A police-state is not defined by its leadership structure, but rather, by its self-protection against the individual.

    A definition of “fascism” is tougher to come by?”it’s almost as tough to come up with as a definition of “pornography”.

    The sloppy definition is simply totalitarianism of the Right, “communism” being the sloppy definition of totalitarianism of the Left. But that doesn’t help much.

    For our purposes, I think we should use the syndicalist-corporatist definition as practiced by Mussolini: Society as a collection of corporate and union interests, where the state is one more competing interest among many, albeit the most powerful of them all, and thus as a virtue of its size and power, taking precedence over all other factions. In other words, society is a “street-gang” model that I discussed before. The individual has power only as derived from his belonging to a particular faction or group?”individuals do not have inherent worth, value or standing.

  • Clark


    getting by, exhausted; thanks for asking. How are things with you? I’ll hopefully find Richards “LD Split” post as I catch up on the threads!

    Avatar Singh,

    yes, those are a good descriptions. The British system is a very clever disguise. Keep the population either too busy to care or completely demotivated about politics, use a voting system that ensures that the big parties always get the most votes, corporate media to keep most heads in the sand – no particular entity to blame. Perfect cover.

  • Richard Robinson

    “Richards “LD Split” post”

    Wasn’t much of a deal. I just suggested that the LD/Con hookup might expose a few orthodoxies to stresses from directions they haven’t met before (to the same extent), so things might have more of a tendency to come apart along different lines. I didn’t intent to point to the LDs particularly, it might be equally likely among the others {however likely that might be, maybe I’m just wrong).

  • Clark

    Richard Robinson,

    I feel that splits within any party would be a good thing; maybe I’m just frustrated, the current stupid UK voting system is making no progress.

    It reminds me of the typical ending of an episode of “Time Tunnel”; the Time Tunnel has been patched back together after it’s last explosion, but it’s probably dangerous to try to use it. But our time travelers’ situation is so hopelessly compromised that we may as well give it a go as nothing could be worse anyway. Desperation politics.

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