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A letter to the Lib Dems regarding their recent Protection of Freedoms Bill

Dear Chris

Whilst I welcome your recent Protection of Freedoms Bill as a good first step to restoring some of our lost personal liberties when I compare the text of the bill against your original Freedom Bill there seem to be an awful lot of freedoms that haven’t survived your transition from a party of opposition to one of government.

Freedoms that need to be restored such as:

  • The restoration of all the rights to protest that have been removed including in Parliament square without first obtaining permission.
  • The extension to the number of people constituting a public assembly.
  • Restoration of the public interest defence for whistle-blowers.
  • The restoration of the right to remain silent when being questioned by the police.
  • Repeal of provisions which allow evidence of a defendant’s bad character to be brought up in court.
  • Repeal of provisions which allow bailiffs to use force when they break into your house to steal personal effects.
  • The re-balancing of the current extradition treaty with the USA that allows UK citizens to be sent abroad without prima facie evidence of the crime first being presented to a UK court.

Surely our citizens deserve the same rights afforded to those of US citizens and we should also remember that the USA is a country that consistently sends people to prison for whole life terms for crimes that wouldn’t merit more than 12-15 years in this country. It is also a country that still executes many innocent people each year and one which has repeatedly broken international treaties regarding the treatment of prisoners such as it’s use of torture by water-boarding.

Whilst I am happy to concede that the abolition of rouge wheel clampers is an admirable act I cannot help thinking that the Daily Mail’s headline on the day the bill was published would have been slightly different if any of the aforementioned items had remained within the bill.

Instead of cheering that “their” campaign against rouge clampers had been successful they might have been attacking the coalition for being soft on crime in the same way they attack the Human Rights Act for being an affront to common sense and a foreign plot to usurp British sovereignty.

I am not for one minute suggesting you would have removed such a large and very important section of your original bill purely because you wanted to avoid criticism from the right wing media. However it does look like someone in government made the decision that the common man only deserves a certain level of liberty and that we don’t deserve to have all these important freedoms that were stolen from us returned anytime soon.

Therefore I believe that someone from your party who was actively involved in drawing up the bill needs to explain why the Protection of Freedoms bill is such a pale imitation of the Liberal Democrats original Freedom Bill.

I speak as someone who voted and actively campaigned for for the Lib Dem‘s at the last election primarily because you proposed to restore our civil liberties.

I eagerly await your reply on this matter.

Yours sincerley

Dark Politricks

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