Not really sure how to return to normal blogging but when the Lib Dems are seemingly backing proposals to strip civil liberties on the internet and allow everything we do online to be monitored real time then I suppose that is as good a time and issue as any.
A briefing was sent out today and it consisted of 1480 words but here is an synopsis:
Paedophiles are bad.
Terrorists are bad.
Labour are worse than us.
There was once a crime that was solved because of internet snooping.
That pretty much sums it up.
Apparently no-one will be able to read the actual content of our text messages or listen to our mobile calls or Skype calls unless they get special permission to do so but as we all know the courts will give out permission for anything. How many cases are there of council’s up and down the country who snoop on parents to check if they are in the right catchment area for a school or whether they put recycling in the right bin etc…
This is just all part of a nanny state and one thing we are liberals believe vehemently in is that we stand up for civil liberties and we allow people to live their lives as freely as possible without big brother watching you as it were. Now we all know that terrorists and paedophiles are evil and we all know that we need to monitor their activities to both save countless lives and to stop the predatory instinct to save innocent lives from being blighted by the evils of sexual abuse. However just putting the terms ‘paedophiles’ or ‘terror’ into any type of legislation as justification is beyond palatable.
I can only hope that the Lib Dems in cabinet realise just how deeply abhorrent this may be. I hope that it is something the Conservative party has drawn up and the Lib Dems are fidgeting uneasily and they need reassurance from us the membership that this goes beyond what we can stand for.
If we aren’t entitled to a private life then what is the point of it all? I have nothing to hide from my internet surfing or my text messages or what I say on instant message programs but that isn’t the point. The point is I should be free to say what I want without the fear of someone getting hold of the data. There is no full-proof way to store data. None. If anyone says that there is then they are lying. All records on every single one of us can be got at by fraudsters or corrupt officials. Sadly that is just the way it is.
If these proposals make it to law then even I would question the point of the coalition. We went in to help save the economy from the collapse a minority government would have probably seen. However if we decide that eroding civil liberties and privacy is a price worth paying then you know what I’d question their liberal values. The Tories will not. I repeat the Tories will not make this a draw a line in the sand issue so there is no need whatsoever to go along with it.
Remember what you stand for Lib Dem MPs. If you don’t then you’ll find that your grassroot support that is slowly eroding with vanish in a Tsunami of members leaving the party. You could argue the students have it better now. You could argue the NHS needed restructuring but can you really argue that we all need to be spied on 24/7?
Bollocks you can.
I am sure this is something that has come up in Recess that is gathering speed because of the Recess. It might even have been dreamt up by Tories in an attempt to get the Lib Dems to commit suicide and they are sitting back watching our angst but just to be sure we need to very publicly say what we think. This is a no-goer on any level. End.