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.

54 thoughts on “Still No Liberty

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  • glenn

    The LDs, far from being the alternative they always claimed to be, are in fact “Tory-Lite”. I feel thoroughly conned in my support and campaigning for them at the last election, and it’s clear none of the three main parties stand for the majority of the people any longer.

    It looks very much like they’ll turn this tentative recovery into a very harsh downturn, with a “jobless recovery” the best we can look forward to, and even that some way off. Public unrest at the lack of jobs and decimation of services will generate Greek-style levels of protest – and that is what the new authoritarian measures are for.

    What I most wanted to hear in the budget was the imposition of import taxes to the same degree as our products are subjected, at the very least. That is the only hope of having a manufacturing base in this country, but instead we’re going to have a “Do you want fries with that?” service economy.

  • MJ

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

    Well excuse me but the Lib Dems’ own manifesto sought only to reduce it to 14 days, already plenty illiberal enough. You appeared happy to campaign on that manifesto Craig so I don’t really see what your problem is.

  • Anonymous

    oh yeah and nice bonuses for the bigwigs at Network rail.

    I dont know, im no politician but er cancelling the subsidy would be a good f..k off message to those slurping at the gravy train.

  • brian

    They seemed to slip this in under the radar a bit, a vocal campaign by Lib Dems over the next 6 months will make this a lot harder to pull off next time.

  • Matt Keefe

    Clegg sees himself as a grand reformer – he’ll trade anything for a shot at creating what he calls the new politics. Missing the point entirely.

  • Anonymous

    “It appears that the government has predictably been captured by the security services already.”

    It’s really much simpler than that: They have no principles. None. Whatever opposition they previously expressed was purely situational: they were in opposition, therefore they opposed the government. They now are the government, therefore they will seek to expand its powers. The ex-government will oppose, but only because they are in opposition.

    “Anyone remember what the coalition agreement said about civil liberties?”.

    No, because I don’t waste my time listening to obvious lies from professional liars.

  • German Girl

    I am sorry to ever have expressed that the LibDem-Tory coalition might be good for GB.

    The mirror sums it up quite nicely: the poorest and weakest will suffer most while corporate tax is slashed 4%.

    The poorest and weakest did not cause the financial crisis but they are sure paying for it.

    The bankers are being rewarded for … ? yeah, what have they done to be rewarded? Oh yes, they messed up the economy.

    One of the most interesting facts is that polemic claims do have a massive impact on that what people seem to think and do (no protest) about these cuts. These polemic claims include:

    – the lefties squandered money and it is their fault we are in a recession

    – public sector workers are being overpaid for doing nothing so cut wages and pensions

    – lower taxes will spark an economic recovery

    I just wonder if George Osborne did at least make a decent account about his public sector job cuts. Those who will lose their public sector jobs will not be able to find new jobs quickly because we are in a recession. Cutting public sector jobs means that there will be a few more people getting social benefits. Did Osborne include the benefits he will have to pay to unemployed former-public-sector-workers in his austerity-cuts-plans?

    Did Osborne understand that cutting government spending by 6bn this year also means that these missing 6bn will not spark economic growth but that there will be an economic-growth-gap thanks to these 6bn?

  • Clark

    What does it take for the Lib Dems to break the coalition? Which are the best sources to judge the mood within the Lib Dems? What with this and the budget, there should be a lot of internal discontentment.

  • alan campbell

    “The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which.”

  • arsalan


    I’m not going to say I told you so, so instead I will say

    “What do you expect from the ‘friends of Israel'”

    Why did you think the Liberal Democrat Friends of Israel would behave any differently to the Labour Friends of Israel.

    And imprisonment with out being accused of any crime is exactly an Israel policy, because no one but Muslims are imprisoned without trial.

    Israel can do that in the Palestine, and with that law Israel can do that here.

    If ever any Non-Muslim is ever imprisoned without trial here, it would be because that person is known to say things against Israel, or is thought to say things against Israel.

  • alan campbell

    Even Pete Townshend could have told you:

    “And the parting on the left

    Is now the parting on the right…Meet the new boss

    Same as the old boss”

  • Ingo

    Clark, if they cannot break up over VAT, voting reform or over fiancial regulations, they will not bark much when Israel attacks Iran, will they?

    Their distinctive lack of support at the highest level for a proper choice in the referendum, their lack of coming forward and help to make this purple campaign a success, is omminous and forboding.

    It feels as if they are tearing their own flesh apart and should they break the coalition, they might fail to make a diference at the next election having gone too much to the right of the spectrum.

    Its not just the economy…

  • Abe Rene

    alan campbell:”The creatures outside looked from pig to man..”

    That’s what I grumbled to a fellow Nulab member in 1997 – that we were seeing the last chapter of Animal Farm in front of us. Here it’s more difficult, because Lib Dems have only a minor share of power. Lowering the period of detention from 28 days and six months extended to something less may be the best they can do.

    But it will be interesting to see whether Nulab opposes 28 days because of a purely cynical wish to oppose the government (“We’re REFORMED Nulab now, and we oppose this oppressive legislation!”) or whether they will stick with it, thinking that once they’re back in power it will be handy to have such legislation already in place.

  • Bert

    I believe that this present coalition government arrangement has been deliberately manoeuvred/assuaged into place.

    The factors that lead me to believe this are:

    *The tmely dripped revelations of MP’s expenses by the establishment bastion D.Telegraph, resulting in more than a third of those elected never having served in the Commons before, resulting in less knowledgable scrutiny of parliamentary process, & newbies too busy trying to get to grips with the archaic system (I mean MP’s voting by walking noticably through a frickin door (The ‘Division’ system – & check out “Nodding through”)

    *Stage-managed ‘Leaders Debates’ and the Nick Clegg factor/arrangement, his initial spike in ratings, & then the TV voting fraud that occurred in the post debate polls (as pointed out by yer man Craig, here)

    *Widely reported voting fraud in the preceding weeks involving e.g. postal vote fraud in Jack Straw’s constituency (5% increased majority), Andrew Dismore (he who drove most of the select committee scrutiny of the counter-terrorism bill, & was so dogged in challenging the labour Gov’s proposals for inquests without a jury…

    Lots of local examples of fraud, probably now forgotten e.g. in Liverpool Wavetree, Ricky ‘Royale Family’ Tomlinson said that he might stand as a reaction to the Labour parashooting in of a London luvie (28-year-old Luciana Berger) who thwarted the bookies, thanks to the local Polling stations running out of ballot papers…

    * Fixing of the government parliamentary term for 5 years & the re-jigging of the percentages required to force a ‘vote of no confidence’/change of government.

    Anyone else have such the same hunch?

    Then again, it’s probably just another silly conspiracy theory….

  • Vronsky

    For those of us privileged to live north of the north wind, there is no news here. We have already seen that the liberal democrats are neither liberal nor democratic. I don’t see why I should refrain from an ‘I told you so sort of post’, so: I told you so.

    No Scot will be remotely surprised by what is unfolding – we’ve seen it all already, except up here ‘liberal’ ‘democratic’ support was for that other conservative party – that *really* extreme one, who wear red rosettes. Armed with a manifesto that looked a lot like the SNP’s, the LDs refused coalition with the SNP and joined the conservative and unionist parties in opposition. By their deeds shall ye know them.

    I have a friend who is a social worker in a Spanish speaking community in Utah, the territory of the other LDS – the mormons. She was asked by one client if she was LDS. No, she said (thinking she had heard ‘are you el diez’) – I’m probably just about a seven with my makeup on. The British LDS are just about a two with their makeup on, very thickly. I’m surprised they seduced you, Craig.

  • kingfelix

    Craig was warned, by myself and others, not to support the Lib Dems.

    Instead of lamenting them, where’s your personal note of contrition, Craig, for being so hopelessly wrong on this one.

  • Ian M

    I thought Clegg sounded desperate in his interviews, manically trying to maintain that the the Libs had some sort of influence in the budget. The excuses and examples he came up with were trashed by Humphrys, quite rightly, as wishful thinking, aspirational and utterly ineffectual. Now this news about detention is a further nail in the coffin that the Libs have any input into government policy at all. The tories have taken them for a ride, contemptuously tossing them a few scraps to cover their nakedness. I really hope the party revolts and takes them out of the coalition, since the Libs can be a far more effective influence on the Tories when they have to get a majority for every vote. At the moment it is pathetic to watch them humiliated and ignored, but it is infuriating to see the Tories getting a free pass in policy thanks to the Libs.

  • JimmyGiro

    If they don’t have enough evidence for a charge, then they don’t have enough evidence for arrest.

    Anybody who is being arrested arbitrarily, should have the automatic right for violent self defence; it would be up to the arresting party to prove the virtue of their assault.

    In Roman Law you can only punish for a crime in law; if there is no evidence, there is no crime, hence no cause for arrest.

  • Arsalan

    Craig you are what is known as a typical middle aged liberal. It is gullable people like you who keep used car salesmen in business.

    Hay Craig Would you like to deposite £1000 in to a bank account I hold in Nigeria, and then I will deposite 5000000000 in your bank acount and give you a fee of 10 000 000?

    My acount number is 419419419

    Craig be honest we all knew the Libs are a bunch of lying Zionists.

    You probably know more about their lying and their Zionism than the rest of us, so why the game?

    Why did you waste time posting their shit through peoples doors?

    Wouldn’t it be of more use if you produced your own stuff and posted it through doors?

    Instead of knocking on doors to tell people to vote for who you regarded as the least Zionist, but turned out to be just as Zionist, wouldn’t it have been better if you knocked on doors to tell people not to vote for any of the zionists?

    If people stopped voting on mass, that might be what it takes to get the bastards to listen to us.

    Because no voters are seen as swing voters, people who vote for other parties are seen as people who vote for others.

    We all need to be ‘no voters’.

  • Clark

    Craig was right to support the Lib Dems, and he is right to criticise them now.

    For a while before the election the Lib Dems were doing well. With a more balanced three way split of MPs we could have seen a lot of reforms, especially voting reform, which would have opened the door to real progress. If the Lib Dems had got the most votes and the least MPs the case for voting reform would have been greatly strengthened.

    The mainstream media successfully influenced the vote towards Tory. The more liberal Liberals have been shut out. That the mainstream media saw the Lib Dems as a threat should tell you something.

    Arsalan, your ‘no vote’ suggestion is up against the same problem as any smaller political party. Under the current system voters can’t know that enough others will (not) vote with them, so they vote negatively.

  • Ruth

    Bert, you said:

    ‘What I believe that this present coalition government arrangement has been deliberately manoeuvred/assuaged into place.’

    This is exactly what I was saying before the election. I, like you, believe the expenses scandal was deliberately used to get rid of many MPs not just to replace them with easily manipulated new MPs but to put in MPs who are affiliated to the security services. I believe the intelligence services work for the power behind the scenes or hard state as some people call it.

    Often in intelligence activities it is the subordinate partner who really runs the show. So is Nick Clegg an intelligence asset?

    Having a coalition with the Lib-Dems creates an illusion that the government will be liberal, fair and restore our rights. It’s a pschological ploy to get us on their side with the huge cuts pending and far more to come.

    I don’t believe the 28 day detention was brought in to deal with Muslim ‘terrorists.’ It was for those taking part in civil unrest, which, of course, is bound to happen with the vast number of redundancies to be made. Are intelligent, unemployed people just going to sit around with no jobs on the horizon, massive reductions in income living on benefits with nothing to do?

    Surely they’ll start rebelling and contemplating setting up a real democracy rather than this elitist farce that we have. Maybe the idea of communism in its true sense will be rekindled.

    So, any little hint of rebellion will bring the threat of spending 28 days in detention. Under the veneer of liberalism we become a fascist state.

  • glenn

    Anon at 25/6, 01:35 – the Lisbon treaty didn’t specifically prohibit the death penalty, but it didn’t specifically prohibit sending small boys up chimneys and burning witches at the stake either. This nonsense was brought up months ago, with Brown apparently saying, “Oh no! I’ve re-introduced the death penalty, we’ve got no choice now!” Utter BS.

  • Anonymous

    but it didn’t specifically prohibit sending small boys up chimneys and burning witches at the stake either.


    Get off the subject ploy. You sound like Larry from St. Louis/angrysoba. Are you telling us that Professor Schachtschneider is lying?. Please clarify, instead of going into a rant.

  • glenn

    Anon at 2:33am: Why don’t you quote the direct reference from the source itself? And rather than regarding the good professor’s alleged opinion as the final matter, why don’t you reference the relevant words from the Lisbon Treaty that are giving you such a severe case of the vapours?

    You are making the extraordinary claims, and supposedly quoting the opinion of some humanities prof in Germany via libertarian sources does not put the onus on me to prove the opposite.

  • Anonymous

    ‘You are making the extraordinary claims, and supposedly quoting the opinion of some humanities prof in Germany via libertarian sources does not put the onus on me to prove the opposite.’


    Yes it does!

    You are now making an allegation that the UK Libertarian Party and Professor Schachtschneider are lying?. You think the UK Libertarian Party would put a lie on their blog?.

    I think it is you that has to produce evidence to support that allegation.

    Of course you can’t can you, without leaving yourself open to being sued by both parties.

    ‘You are making the extraordinary claims’.

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