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Not quite a GIP

Basically a GIP to show off this icon from the ever-wonderful active_apathy, but so that there's some content, here's Jack Straw claiming on Comment Is Free that Labour's decade is liberty's best since the vote was won. 476 people have laughed at him so far. Henry Porter has responded with What Jack Straw forgot to mention, a list of the ways Labour have reduced civil liberties.

Also, Mark Thomas wants help to put Gordon Brown in jail for carrying out what would be classed as protests within a mile of Westminster if anyone else did them. Heh.

Oh, and my shelf fell down. There are holes in my wall now, and the wall needs cleaned.



( 8 comments — Comment )
Dec. 14th, 2007 01:01 am (UTC)
Those laws are, uhmm, scary to say the least.

Good on Gordon Brown for pointing it out with even more absurb action.
Dec. 14th, 2007 10:49 am (UTC)
They are, but they'll have to get a lot scarier before the general public worries about it, it seems :S
Dec. 14th, 2007 01:59 am (UTC)
Partisan though his position is, Straw is very possibly right.

There have been a string of restrictive laws passed since I started paying attention in the early to mid eighties, and I know of many more before then. When it comes to Acts actively favourable to civil liberties, I don't know of very many. There's the Human Rights Act, the Freedom of Information act, and . . . care to mention some more? In particular, if you can mention anything at all from the seventies or eighties I'll be impressed. Abortion rights and the partial decriminalisation of homosexual acts date from the sixties, and the latter was a job not finished until under the current regime.

Mark Thomas has lost a lot of my respect for his position on Parliament Square. Under the (bad) law as it applies, Haw could be turfed out immediately, but instead he has standing permission from the Met to remain - Thomas claiming that the law is all about getting rid of Haw is clearly untrue and Thomas is clever enough to know this but he keeps saying it anyway. Ceaselessly. He is, of course, fundamentally a bloody Londoner and therefore thinks that anything happening within the M25 is of world significance. Points, obviously, for having lived briefly as far afield as Yorkshire, but he needs to let it affect his worldview more obviously.
Dec. 14th, 2007 10:54 am (UTC)
Hmm...Labour have certainly done a lot for some kinds of social rights, but I do think the laws they've passed, while they're not necessarily being used to limit people's liberties just now, definitely have the potential to do so in the future. I suspect you're right and that pretty much every law passed is restrictive rather than liberating, though, so the question becomes whether Labour's recent laws are more numerous, more serious or both than in the past. I'd be more impressed with the FoI act if the government wasn't constantly trying to limit the information it covers!

I think I've talked to you about the Parliament Square law before; I'd heard that it was a mistake that let Haw stay in the square (the law wasn't written to be retroactive, so as long as it's one long protest, he can't be turfed out) but I think I heard that from Thomas, so could be wrong!
Dec. 14th, 2007 11:01 am (UTC)
the question becomes whether Labour's recent laws are more numerous, more serious or both than in the past

Depends on your point of view. The last ten years have seen good as well as bad Acts, which is unusual. For most of my life there have only been bad ones, and any improvements at all have been reluctantly conceded. The Human Rights Act, on the other hand, is the most important pro-civil liberties move in my lifetime, and even Jack Straw stands firmly behind it.

I'd heard that it was a mistake that let Haw stay in the square

Haw went to court to argue that the Act didn't apply to existing protests. The Appeal Court ruled that it did, and that's where things stand. Any decent account of Haw's protests will confirm this.
Dec. 14th, 2007 01:00 pm (UTC)
Fair enough! I really need to read up more on the history of this stuff - I have no idea about what laws were brought in in the 80s, for example.
Dec. 14th, 2007 11:48 am (UTC)
Can I pinch that icon for a while? :-) Please?

Dec. 14th, 2007 01:29 pm (UTC)
Yeah, totally stealable!
( 8 comments — Comment )


bad wolf
Notes from extinction

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