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Don’t waste this opportunity to rectify the attack on our civil liberties

By Dark Politricks

I am not going to try and predict the outcome of tomorrows general election in the UK as the polls are the closest they have been for years and for the first time as far as I am  aware of it’s actually a three horse race. Recent polls have shown that the three parties are all within the margin of error of 3-5% which means that we literally have no idea of what the outcome will be. Add to this the fact that apparently 40% of the population is still undecided and likely to change their mind there is not a fortune teller around who could accurately forecast the result.

The last few weeks has seen the Liberal Democrats break into the public consciousness and their recent surge in popularity has helped to push Labour down into third place in the majority of polls. This has been encouraging not only from a personal point of view but also from the view of someone generally interested in politics as it’s always healthy for the status quo to be turned on its head from time to time. No section of the political class should ever expect the right to govern or believe it’s their turn to rule.

With the first televised debates in UK history, much of the public has seen the real face of the Lib Dem’s for the first time and many liked what they saw. Whether this will transfer into votes tomorrow or not is another question but even if the Lib Dem’s only achieve their usual 20% they have changed the face of politics forever and helped re-engage a disinterested public who had all but given up on the political process after the recent scandals at Westminster.

Personally I have no real affinity with any political party and I have probably voted for as many different parties as I have had elections in which I’d been able to vote. Along with many others I think the recent expenses scandal and the earlier peerages for sale fiasco has shown our political system for the corrupt club of old school boys it really is.

The bailouts and the banking crisis has shown that when it comes to making a choice between the public and big business, those with money always pull the strings and our first past the post electoral system is likely to be shown up tomorrow as totally unfair and undemocratic especially if Labour come third in the popular vote but manage to hold on to power.

Whatever way you look at it the current Labour administration has had 13 years to make the country better and they have spent billions in doing so. Yes Labour has done some very good things for the country such as bringing in the minimum wage, recourse in the UK courts for the Human Rights Act, helping to get peace in Northern Ireland and the building of many schools and hospitals.

However they have also done many bad things such as the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the hundreds of tax increases, the failure to hold a public inquiry into the 7/7 bombings, driving up a huge national debt and most of all they have destroyed our civil liberties and turned this country into what many people legitimately feel is a high tech surveillance state.

I feel their time has come. The question is who do you trust to reverse these attacks on our civil liberties, the Tories or the Lib Dems?

The Lib Dem’s have a brilliant reform bill called the Freedom Bill which aims to reverse many of the laws brought in by Labour. The Tories talk about a UK Bill of Rights and rolling back some of Labour’s surveillance state apparatus. The question is who do you trust to actually implement anything? If you remember the 90’s like me then the answer won’t be the Tories therefore I hope that whoever wins that the Lib Dem’s get enough seats to be the only logical choice for a coalition partner and that they then wield their influence to pass through their Freedom Bill at the earliest opportunity.

Labour is calling the Lib Dem’s and the Tories soft on crime for their pro-civil liberty perspective. However we must realise that if our society is broken then a bigger stick is never the solution to fix it. You can build as many prisons as the budget allows for and you can put CCTV cameras on every wall and in every shop as well as GPS devices on every citizen but as long as we live in a divided society that rewards corruption and misuse of power there will always be crime.

Civil Liberties are not a far fetched idealistic theory to be discarded whenever the Government wishes but until people realise this and make more of an outcry over those we have lost already it will be too late. There will come a day when even the most ignorant of the “nothing to hide, nothing to fear” brigade has had enough but it will be far too late to do anything about it and the ability to protest will just a far fetched dream of the past.

It’s already hard enough to protest without being labelled a domestic extremist and being logged on the new Police database. Even if you do get your permit woe betide daring to go too near a policemen in case you get slapped, battered and even killed. Try to take a photograph of the police brutality at hand and you are in breach of anti-terrorism laws (or so the police see it) and its only a matter of time until groups of people who complain about concepts such as liberty, freedom and excessive government power are treated like the terrorists the laws were supposedly brought into combat. Don’t believe me? Just look over the pond to the USA and see how Tea Party members, Ron Paul and Bob Barr supporters, ex service men and libertarians are being labelled as just that by the media and the establishment.

So our liberties are not just a theoretical concept that some suggest come way down the list of priorities but instead they are at the core of our national being and what separates us from the terrorists we are supposed to be fighting. The fine line that needs balancing between security and liberty has been pushed way too far in the wrong direction by the current government and tomorrow we actually have a chance to rectify it. Please don’t waste this opportunity.

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