More civil liberty?

 

The present government got rid of the most offensive parts of Labour’s attack on civil liberties when it reduced the time people can be held without charge or trial, and ditched the Identity card scheme. More can be done to restore lost civil liberties, which used to define an Englishman’s rights – and came to include an Englishwoman’s rights too as the twentieth century rightly enfranchised women.

Civil liberty would be strengthened by fewer but better laws. Our freedom rests in part on supporting an independent police force and prosecution service, where politicians cannot interfere in individual cases, and on a supreme Parliament which can police the independence of the law and change the Statutes as required.  This system is under threat from the European Convention on Human Rights, which has been extended from a sensible set of general proposals to encourage freedom loving states, into an alternative system of law which judges our own Parliamentary process and our own freely chosen laws. Reform of this system is needed to restore UK Parliamentary authority over what the law is, and to restore the independence of our courts over how the law is applied and interpreted.

A democratic state should not take powers to remove money from people’s bank accounts if the taxman thinks they owe some. It should avoid further drift towards  the pocket money society of some Labour imaginings, where government regards all income in the state as its to distribute, leaving what it thinks appropriate for the individuals who earned it.

The government is rightly looking at how it can reduce the use of stop and search powers. These are necessary but should be used where there is reasonable suspicion that someone may be about commit an offence or is committing one.

The fundamentals of our system are good, and need restoring. Everyone is innocent until proved guilty. No-one should be detained for a long period without charge and the prospect of an early trial.The presence of a few nasty potential terrorists in our midst should never be used as an excuse to remove the ancient liberties of the English.

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70 Comments

  1. Lifelogic
    Posted May 28, 2014 at 6:00 am | Permalink

    Well surely no one can disagree with this. We also need to remove IHT ratter Osborne’s appalling GAAR (general anti avoidance rule). It effectively says you owe whatever tax HMRC say you owe but after the event. It creates huge uncertainly and thus damages and deters investment.

    Mr morally repugnant should address thing that are truly morally repugnant such as himself. Governments taxing (under threat of imprisonment) then just tipping money down the drains of HS2, windfarm and PV subsidies, homeopathy, vanity treatments, most overseas aid schemes, loan to Ireland and the PIGS and the IMF, the victim or crime nonsense letters, a disfunctional NHS, a second rate education system, university course that are often pointless, the criminal compensation scheme, HS2, the EU, parking muggers, 900? Quangos, the BBC propaganda organisation, the climate change act, gender neutral insurance and pensions, £36,000+ tax free pay offs for all the MEPS booted out, the special tax laws for such people, the MEPs in general …….

    • Lifelogic
      Posted May 28, 2014 at 6:12 am | Permalink

      I see Christine Lagarde has been saying the 85 wealthiest people in the world, (who could fit in one bus she rather pointlessly adds) have more wealth than half the world’s population.

      So what? Many people have negative wealth as did I at some points in my life. So someone with $1 has more than billions do.

      I assume she is suggesting that governments should steal the money of Warren Buffet, Bill Gates types and then people like her would doubtless piss it all down the drain on climate change and enforced equality nonsense. I would rather leave it with Gates and Buffet any day. The gates foundation and free trade will do far more good than people like her.

      • Hope
        Posted May 28, 2014 at 8:20 am | Permalink

        Not correct JR. The coalition introduced the EU arrest warrant. People can be arrested for offences that do not exist here and face a totally different system of justice than they would in the UK. Carswell highlighted a case yesterday. State press regulation and raiding personal bank accounts are very draconian measures introduced by your party. We look to the US where Obama used these intrusions for his political benefit by getting the IRS to focus on his political opponents and journalists who were not in favour of him. You need to oppose and repeal these laws from the country. Cameron’s claim tax rises would be needed without it is specious. He could get more tax by getting rid of Maastricht treaty that allowed freedom of capital movement.

        The Equality and Race relations Acts are designed to suppress free speech so that Blaire could introduce mass immigration and prevent people from speaking out scared they would be labelled, lose their job or be arrested. Your party has not changed a jot of it. We had all the hot air as normal. Nor has Cameron introduced his Bill of Rights, reduced the ECHR which prevents the country getting rid of undesirable terrorists. But quite freely allows the US to take anyone they like. Clegg seemed to miss this point out about the EU arrest warrant. May has singly failed to deport hardly anyone. Look at the Abu Qatada mess etc. There are many more terrorists here and we are providing them housing, paying them benefits and legal fees to wage war against us.

        Cameron has kept all the quangos to suppress any chance of freedom from the EU. Indirect regulation through delegated powers so that he can use weasel words about how much influence the EU has on us from primary legislation when secondary legislation has the same impact.

        From the press, to raiding bank accounts to being arrested and bincarerated in foreign lands,moreover being prevented from speaking freely. Your leader has done sweet FA. He says one thing and acts in stark contrast. He is strangling business through EU regulation and gradually allowing the EU to take over our main sources of income. Clarke still advocating EU regulation is a good for the country. A most inaccurate blog if ever there was.

        • Hope
          Posted May 28, 2014 at 6:54 pm | Permalink

          Do not forget Cameron is happy to let the security services snoop into your computer and considered extending to local authorities etc.

      • Richard1
        Posted May 28, 2014 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

        yes this is a very silly remark – Madame Lagarde is over-rated. The poorest person in the world was the French trader Jerome Kervial, who’s wealth was minus €4bn until his fine was revoked (as a result of which we suddenly became more equal – do we now feel better?) This nonsense statistic is quoted by the left as justification for confiscatory tax polices and for Big Government. as ever, the leftist error is to assume people are poor because other people are rich.

        • Hope
          Posted May 28, 2014 at 6:58 pm | Permalink

          What did any of the leaders say or do when the Eau stole money from citizens bank accounts in Cyprus? What did Cameron or any other leader do when the EU caused regime change in Italy or Greece? Today it is reported the EU demands another £3.8 billion, £200 million to help the Ukraine. Will Cameron stand up and say no to the UK contributing £500 million demand? Say no to helping Ukraine because of EU expansionism? Do not hold your breath.

          • Excalibur
            Posted May 29, 2014 at 8:01 am | Permalink

            Pithy, pertinent comments, Hope.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted May 28, 2014 at 6:22 am | Permalink

      Labour is on, yet again, about woman earning less that 1/5 of men. As women without families already earn more than men, the pay gap is very clearly because woman make different work/life employment balance choices in life. You can only change this by a huge, blatant, active discrimination against men. But then we have that in Cameron’s pension annuity laws. Cameron reportedly also wants a woman at the BBC trust regardless of merit, so active unfair discrimination is rife and comes from the very top.

      Is Cameron just going to ignore UKIP’s support – he still has not got it at all has he? His response has been pathetic but not quite as stupid as Miliband ruling out a referendum.

      • Hope
        Posted May 28, 2014 at 11:52 am | Permalink

        LL, you must know by now that the conspiracy to uphold key policy issues has been in place for some years. FCO 30/1048 leaves little doubt. The LibLabCon cartel are arguing over scraps and who presents the EU law, policy and regulation. Ere can be no doubt that”essential sovereignty and independence” has been lost through stealth. The stealth implemented by deceit to the public to prevent outrage and civil unrest. Mass immigration is about eroding national identity, customs, values and beliefs. All done in the hope that one day that the EU superstate would be in place without people noticing or speaking out about it.

        Today more race laws are being considered. Do not think it is to protect minorities it is to suppress the free speech of the majority. JR’s blog might well be well intended, but let us not kid ourselves that Tories are helping civil liberties quite the opposite as we saw the the imposition of Gay marriage against the majority of views and Cameron arrogantly dismissing 600,000 views in a petition. Anyone who disagrees will be silenced with a liberal/socialist label. They always call people name s if they have a different view.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted May 28, 2014 at 7:47 am | Permalink

      Talking about tipping tax payers money down the drain, how is Cameron’s absurd happiness index coming on. Did it show a surge in happiness on Monday when the EU voting showed Cameron coming a very poor third I wonder? I was certainly happier even if it mean I and many tenants will have to pay for Miliband’s absurd proposed rent act. A UKIP deal is the only hope time to smell the coffee Cameron.

    • Timaction
      Posted May 28, 2014 at 9:36 am | Permalink

      How does your argument sit with your Parties support for the European Arrest Warrant that directly undermines the principles of Habeas Corpus? To be extradited to backward legal jurisdictions without the need for any prima facie evidence? To potentially languish in cells for months, not hours!

      The Europhile legacy parties are beyond democracy and the people have spoken. We want our sovereignty and democracy returned so we can elect and deselect those who impose laws upon us! Remind me when I or anyone else had a say on the election of the EU President and its Commissioners?

      The peoples party is on the march!

      • Hope
        Posted May 28, 2014 at 6:39 pm | Permalink

        To ask the Eau for powers back or to renegotiate terms says it all about loss of sovereignty and independence as a country. We should not have to ask for anything or try to convince other countries who should lead the EU. It should be up to the people of this country. Cameron ordered a three line whip to prevent an EU referendum which is central to our civil liberties. He should now be ritzy kicked out for his unpatriotic acts towards his country and countrymen. I am sure he would be a vey good BBC news reporter he has good presentation skills and all the lefty leanings to do a good job.

  2. Narrow shoulders
    Posted May 28, 2014 at 7:02 am | Permalink

    Quite, government really should just get out of the way with input only into defence, health, education, infrastructure and law and order with responsibility to look after those who really can not look after themselves. Monopolies and market strangulation often arise as a result of government restrictons on entry or innovation.

    We would need to be cautious of EU style mission creep over these competences as politicians can always make the case that to function they need to extend their control.

    Public services should be chargeable at source and charged according to means to pay (including health and education). This will improve useage and quality of service as anything provided ‘free’ has the perception of being worthless. Imagine the inceased support teachers might get in certain households if the parent were paying for schooling but the child was not applying itself.

  3. John E
    Posted May 28, 2014 at 7:03 am | Permalink

    I agree whole heartedly. But the debate also has to cover the surveillance state. With CCTV omnipresent, with most of us carrying sophisticated tracking devices around in our pockets and with all our online activity and emails being copied and stored by spy agencies “to protect us”, what privacy do we have left?

  4. formula57
    Posted May 28, 2014 at 7:10 am | Permalink

    And what of the European Arrest Warrant system? Appropriate though it may be to facilitate seeing accused persons face justice, the safeguards enjoyed under English law do not seem always to be provided by some of our EU partners. Why was it ever thought right to allow British citizens to be seized in their own country by such a means?

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted May 28, 2014 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

      “Why was it ever thought right to allow British citizens to be seized in their own country by such a means?”

      Well, according to Hague it was just “common sense”.

      That is what he said back in 1999, at a time when he was promoting his now mostly forgotten “Common Sense Revolution”:

      http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/468183.stm

      And after the Tampere summit he said that the automatic mutual recognition of judicial decisions across the whole of the EU was also “common sense”.

      The conclusions of that EU summit are here:

      http://www.europarl.europa.eu/summits/tam_en.htm#b

      “The European Council held a special meeting on 15 and 16 October 1999 in Tampere on the creation of an area of freedom, security and justice in the European Union … ”

      “VI. Mutual recognition of judicial decisions …

      … Consideration should also be given to fast track extradition procedures … “.

      That was a major step towards the EU Arrest Warrant, and while of course Hague was not to blame for what Blair agreed at Tampere it struck me at the time that it was not “common sense”, but plain stupid, to put such trust in the fair working of courts across the whole of the EU.

    • Hope
      Posted May 28, 2014 at 6:51 pm | Permalink

      You only have to witness how quick the Us can extradite people to realise the scam of the EU arrest warrant. Interpol existed for years and many other treaties exist to be able to combat international crime. This is, once more, about creating a superstate with one set of rules. Cameron did not have to impose the EU arrest warrant he chose to.

  5. David Hope
    Posted May 28, 2014 at 7:10 am | Permalink

    Nothing to say about the European Arrest Warrant?

    Surely that is one of the biggest attacks on our civil liberties. The chance to be dragged to courts in a country we never had a vote in without any evidence being presented to UK courts!!

    Reply I am against our being part of it!

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted May 28, 2014 at 4:31 pm | Permalink

      JR, is the last day of this month the deadline for opting back into the EAW?

  6. formula57
    Posted May 28, 2014 at 7:12 am | Permalink

    In other, highly topical but different news, we might rejoice at AfD’s accession to the European Parliament with some 7.5 % of the German vote.

  7. A.Sedgwick
    Posted May 28, 2014 at 7:16 am | Permalink
    • Anonymous
      Posted May 28, 2014 at 7:25 pm | Permalink

      A.Sedgwick

      Allistair Heath doesn’t ‘get it’ any more than our out-of-touch politicians do and if they follow his prescription then UKIP will gain.

      He is way off the mark, in fact.

      For a start he mentions ‘cosmopolitanism’ when the problem is about numbers. But let’s go with that anyway. No group has embraced cosmopolitanism more than the *poor* white working class. Disagree ? Let’s compare the rates of (inter marriage ed) for each class then, shall we ? I think you’ll find that there is no contest.

      There is no contest with the embrace of cosmopolitanism by the (I infer) ‘less enlightened’ poor, white working class who live semi-detached, terraced proximity or even in the same families as our ethnic minorities. If they hadn’t integrated so well then our society would have been in big trouble long ago.

      Nowhere are they thanked for not voting for the racist BNP (like the oh so ‘sophisticated’ French) when the option has been open to them for decades.

      Heath says that the wealthy have become wealthy because they’ve embraced cosmopolitanism. Again I disagree. They like middle-class cosmopolitanism perhaps – to their high standards and in moderation. What they really like is mass immigration (a different thing altogether) because they can exploit it to increase their wealth. Not an enlightened quality at all – more like (a class system ed) at home.

      What an offensive thing to say in respect of poor English people (of all colours btw.) That they are poor because they didn’t embrace other cultures. A total distortion of the truth in fact.

      Then he goes on to say the solution is that we must build more houses, create more jobs, more infrastructure… anything but call a halt to mass immigration.

      WRONG WRONG WRONG. This is precisely what we are sick of seeing. Britain is full. This solution is in the realms of the never-ending socialist money tree. This thinking is at least as ignorant (or dishonest) as those who tell us we can spend our way out of recession.

      And yes. Britain IS “full of anger.”

      But it isn’t against the migrants, I can assure you of that. (words left out ed)
      It is against the main three parties and the arrogant intelligentsia and most of them happen to be white, middle-class men with disproportionately high opinions of themselves and who have high ideals so long as it’s someone else who pays for them.

      • Anonymous
        Posted May 28, 2014 at 7:32 pm | Permalink

        John

        Today The Sun called on your PM to deal with immigration. The population’s #1 issue. We now know that “Limit immigration from OUTSIDE of the EU” was a deliberate deception by your PM.

        WHEN is your party going to address the problem effectively ?

  8. me3
    Posted May 28, 2014 at 7:29 am | Permalink

    Don’t forget European Arrest Warrants.

  9. Edward2
    Posted May 28, 2014 at 7:32 am | Permalink

    I would call for the return of a very basic human right.
    That a citizen of this country cannot be taken away by another nation and held in detention for many months, awaiting a court case on a charge that has not even been investigated and checked by our own courts.
    Worse even than the European arrest warrant is the arrangement with the USA where their plea bargaining system and no legal aid, means the chance of sucessfully challenging an arrest is virtually nil.
    The USA is using legislation originally designed for terrorists to exradite people involved in complex commercial disputes which might well not even be an offence in the UK.

    • lifelogic
      Posted May 28, 2014 at 9:20 pm | Permalink

      Exactly, both a huge injustice, both are a total disgrace.

  10. margaret brandreth-j
    Posted May 28, 2014 at 7:33 am | Permalink

    The thought of an independent police force worries me . Whilst some complain that the state is too heavy ,I personally feel safer with a state presence. The potential corruption with private concerns immediately brings to mind an American system.It could go downhill from there.

    I would like to see the police force as a graduate discipline and hopefully think about what they do and who they accuse. I would like to be able to trust them again and know that when I reported a crime that it would be investigated.I would like to see the police treat people with respect and in this way the respect would be reciprocated. I realise the thugs out there cannot act in a civilised manner, however we are not all thugs.

    The tax system is full of loopholes and queries with evidence brought before the tax office fall on the side of the tax office. They will deny the things they write down themselves despite photocopies of their own instructions being sent back to them.

    However I cannot see how this can change.

    • Anonymous
      Posted May 28, 2014 at 8:04 pm | Permalink

      You’ll find there are already many graduates in the police – especially senior ranks.

      Of course, in the 50s/60s the unarmed, un stab-proof-vested, un-pepper-spray, non-graduate police force was utterly dreadful. The worst in the world. They used to conduct and prosecute their own court cases before the advent of the CPS. Doing the work that a solicitor would these days. They must have been useless.

      Ask anyone. They’ll tell you how disrespected the British police used to be and how out of control crime was.

      (Perhaps graduates are part of the problem and not the solution.)

      • Anonymous
        Posted May 28, 2014 at 8:06 pm | Permalink

        Mind you.

        Look how much better nursing has become since it became a graduate job.

        • margaret brandreth-j
          Posted May 29, 2014 at 6:17 pm | Permalink

          Personally I have a few degrees and my Nursing is no better, but that was because we were highly examined by State and had responsibility for peoples lives at 18 years old.

          Police though come from a different background . I know there are many graduates and yes those are in senior positions, ,however having been interviewed by the IPCC ,I was amazed how obtuse they were.

  11. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted May 28, 2014 at 7:44 am | Permalink

    JR: ” It should avoid further drift towards the pocket money society of some Labour imaginings, where government regards all income in the state as its to distribute, leaving what it thinks appropriate for the individuals who earned it.”
    Don’t just blame Labour, by your own admission this Conservative-led coalition has only reduced the deficit, by the disappointing amount it has achieved, through increased taxation. The Tax Payers’ Alliance showed back in 2013 that the coalition had implemented or planned 299 tax increases. Your party is no different to Labour and the LibDems – the ideas of low taxation and the small state have been jettisoned. Similarly, the determination to keep us in the EU will do nothing but further reduce our civil liberties in an increasingly less accountable way.

    • Hope
      Posted May 28, 2014 at 6:52 pm | Permalink

      And lose people details.

    • Brian Tomkinson
      Posted May 28, 2014 at 7:48 pm | Permalink

      Further evidence, courtesy of Guido Fawkes’ blog today:
      “Over the course of a year, the average British household pays more in tax than it spends on food, clothing, housing, fuel and power. Forget the cost of living crisis, Britain is facing a cost of taxation crisis…”

  12. matthu
    Posted May 28, 2014 at 9:03 am | Permalink

    Douglas Carswell tells of a constituent of his confronted with a European Arrest Warrant, alleging tax evasion in France. His constituent claims it is a case of mistaken identity never having set foot in France before except for a single day trip to Calais.

    Dispite this, he has been tried by the French court in his absence and is now faced with extradition without ever having had the opportunity to test the evidence in a British court.

    “When the European Arrest Warrant was first debated in Parliament, we were told it was needed to fight terrorism. It was vital to tackle serious organised crime, they said. It would not, we were told, be used to cart off innocent Brits to face trial in a foreign court.”/i>

    That may be the LibDem view.
    It may be the Labour view.
    It may even be the Conservative view.
    But it is not the Libertarian view and not the view of many who voted last week.

  13. Bill
    Posted May 28, 2014 at 9:20 am | Permalink

    Very happy with all this…but note that there are complexities. What happens when there are competing rights? My neighbour has a right to hold a loud party at 11.30pm and I have a right to sleep? And there are lots of examples like this.

  14. Posted May 28, 2014 at 9:27 am | Permalink

    A development that I find of concern is the recent tendency for the police to arrest a suspect and then release him on police bail which can be extended for quite lengthy periods, over a year in recent cases. Surely there should be a time limit on the period a person can be held on bail, as it effectively brings their life to a halt; there is a limit to the time people can be held in custody without a charge and surely the same should apply to those on bail.
    In a lot of cases, the arrests seem to be “fishing expeditions” with the police hoping that, given time, some evidence might emerge, having, presumably, failed to find any in the suspect’s home.
    I’m sure this never used to happen in my younger days and I believe the issue should be addressed; I would suggest that no-one should be held on police bail for more than a couple of weeks without a court hearing.

    • Cliff. Wokingham.
      Posted May 28, 2014 at 6:17 pm | Permalink

      I agree; the police do appear to go straight for arrest rather than any other action…….I have wondered for a while now, whether the trend of arrest straight away, has anything to do with gathering DNA and finger prints. As I understand it, once someone is arrested, DNA and finger prints can be taken and force can be used if someone resists giving DNA or finger prints. This data is never removed from the database, even if the person is later released without charge or found innocent. I suspect this is the driving force; The state loves collecting data and information on it’s citizens.

      By the way John, how is the great repeal bill getting on; the one you said you were working on a couple of years ago now? Has the government dropped it? Are there more government agencies and quangos now, compared to 2010?

    • John
      Posted May 28, 2014 at 11:32 pm | Permalink

      > In a lot of cases, the arrests seem to be “fishing expeditions” with the police hoping that,
      > given time, some evidence might emerge, having, presumably, failed to find any in the suspect’s home.

      The problem is, the act of arresting you – for any offence – automatically conveys the right to search you and your property.

      The Police use this on “fishing expeditions” when they are throwing their net wide to try to find something to justify an ongoing investigation elsewhere.

      Since the change to the law to make any offence “arrestable” the Police can abuse their search powers with impunity.

      Even if they have nothing on you other than, you are in the same social circle as someone they are unsuccessfully investigating.

      They only have to decide to arrest you on “suspicion of conspiracy to…” and they have their Open Sesame.

      The institutionalised Police mind construes alleged crimes and conspiracies everywhere.

  15. Neil Craig
    Posted May 28, 2014 at 9:38 am | Permalink

    Part of it is the dichotomy between a democratic state and a liberal (in the correct use of the term, ie respecting liberty) state. There are many cases where a majority will vote to plunder a minority (indeed probably many conflicting cases eg there is a majority for taxing the rich more but there is a majority for taxing guest workers more too.

  16. Bob
    Posted May 28, 2014 at 9:55 am | Permalink

    Mr Redwood,
    In view of the appalling electoral abuses last week, do you not think it’s time that the pencil on a piece of string was replaced with a biro?
    Betting shops can do it, Argos does it, so what’s the problem.

    I collected my ballot papers without need for ID. Surely I should be required to present the polling card at the very least?

    The counting process itself is so antiquated as to be laughable. Surely it’s time the ballots were loaded into a scanning machine which could sort and count them?

    As for the scandal of the Electoral Commission allowing misleading titles for parties and allowing handing craftily folded ballots to electors, well frankly there should be a judicial inquiry no less.

    • Anonymous
      Posted May 28, 2014 at 8:08 pm | Permalink

      I might stand as:

      A Real Conservative Party

      What do you think the reaction would be ?

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted May 29, 2014 at 6:19 am | Permalink

        In any election until the next EU Parliament elections in 2019 you might be at the top of the ballot paper anyway, being Anonymous.

      • Excalibur
        Posted May 29, 2014 at 8:29 am | Permalink

        You would be cast into anonymity !!

  17. Bert Young
    Posted May 28, 2014 at 10:08 am | Permalink

    Being able to make laws and to maintain laws has passed , largely , from our hands ; the sooner we return to our own state of control and management , the happier I will be . I wish we simply had the guts and determination to simply kick out the people we don’t want and are a disgrace to our society – like the French have done from time to time ; I wish Theresa May could implement the wrongs she has highlighted ; I wish Cameron would take advice from Norman Tebbit . The cries of despair all over the country are loud and clear for change and our leadership ought to listen and respond .

  18. stred
    Posted May 28, 2014 at 10:12 am | Permalink

    All very good. But isn’t it under a Conservative PM and Chancellor that we have arrived at a position where they can steal money out of our savings on the say so of the notoriously efficient and helpful HMRC. In France, where the state has taken similar powers, there is a new term -defiscalisation- with adverts offering properties to buy just to reduce the amount in your account that they can steal.

  19. MickC
    Posted May 28, 2014 at 10:14 am | Permalink

    The Crown Prosecution Service is supposed to be independent-but it isn’t is it?

    It has been used by Keir Starmer to build a potential political career, despite his stewardship being entirely detrimental to the CPS.

    We have far too many quangoes which are “independent”-which actually means entirely out of control. Ultimately Parliament can control them-but it doesn’t have the time.

    These people get taxpayers money-they should be elected by the taxpayer, not appointed by their mates.

    The current system is Gramsci-ism on a grand scale.

  20. The PrangWizard
    Posted May 28, 2014 at 10:27 am | Permalink

    The ‘double jeopardy’ rule must be restored in England. With its removal it is now possible for the State to pursue and harass any individual it chooses until it gets the result it desires. It is possible of course for individual police officers to continue a vendetta with the backing of authority, which I presume the rule was intended to prevent, apart from its being against natural justice.

    There must be a restoration of freedom of speech and expression. It seems it is perfectly reasonable, and it is, for Lenny Henry to express the view that there are not enough black people in the arts, and he wants the introduction of a quota system. It should be perfectly reasonable for others to say, for example, that there are too many (of certain race or origin ed)people in the Broadcast media, but it isn’t. Both are free expressions of opinion. One is accepted and given publicity and credence from the outset. The other is considered unacceptable and is attacked. This is unacceptable.

    We need all senior leaders to speak up against and denounce political correctness in all its forms.

    • The PrangWizard
      Posted May 28, 2014 at 7:54 pm | Permalink

      I’m hope if anyone reads my piece and sees your censorship they will realise just how perfectly you have proved my point. It’s almost as if you are indicating you are on my side.

  21. ian wragg
    Posted May 28, 2014 at 10:44 am | Permalink

    Well done John for ignoring the Euro Elections. I’m sure CMD has been lecturing on unity. Millipede says he won’t change Labours stance on immigration and CMD says free movement of pickpockets and shysters is soooooo good.
    Are these people real. CMD wants to loose the next election so the referendum pledge is dead but the natives are getting restless.
    We are listening and I get it won’t wash any more. You have had a shot across the bows. Taker heed.
    I’m off on holiday on a Med Cruise tomorrow and I look forward to hearing that Roger Helmer has given the Tories a bloody nose.
    Civil liberties. Is that stealing from bank accounts by HMRC or fitting tracker devices in all cars what you have in mind?

    Reply I wrote a piece about the EU elections immediately the polls closed. I plan to discuss where the Eurosceptics movement goes next quite soon, but need to see the outcome of the by election to complete the story of 3 elections – local, Euro and Parly by election, which taken together tell us a lot about current voting habits. I also wish to see what our new UKIP MEPs are going to do now they are in office.

    • Iain Gill
      Posted May 28, 2014 at 3:35 pm | Permalink

      If you are waiting for the by-election results UKIP win. This should be obvious to anyone.

    • Brian Tomkinson
      Posted May 28, 2014 at 7:44 pm | Permalink

      I rather think that you were waiting for your instructions from your leaders before commenting. I read today on Guido Fawkes’ blog:
      “George Osborne has revealed that the Tories held a crisis summit at Chequers this morning on how to deal with the UKIP threat. Both government and party sources refuse to discuss attendees or indeed what was on the agenda. Leaving a breakfast event hosted at No.11 for alumni of Magdalen College, Oxford, the Chancellor explained his premature exit by telling attendees he was taking the unusual step of going to the PM’s official countryside residence in the middle of the week for the meeting.”
      We know you would have been at the first meeting, were you also at the second?

      Reply I was at neither

  22. janet burrows
    Posted May 28, 2014 at 10:52 am | Permalink

    As a member of the party since my days in Finchley in the 60,s until the last two years I would like to see a proper conservative party. I would like a merit based work force, less useless university courses, and a identity card. Can you investigate the economics of CAP. how much does add to food prices?

  23. Atlas
    Posted May 28, 2014 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

    John, a laudable objective… however it is this government who is introducing more spy cameras on the roads, just to name one intusive move . So, I support your aims in rolling back the police state, but perhaps you might explain why it feels more like the sort of police state that the last Labour government was putting place? Is it because it the same civil servants behind these moves?

    Oh and I read that we are all to have our car movements monitored under an EU directive on fitting GPS to new cars – no doubt the catch-all ‘safety’ excuse will be cited by the EU appatchniks.

  24. David Price
    Posted May 28, 2014 at 1:36 pm | Permalink

    If you are going to build a list of freedoms, why not start with this;

    The ten principles of a free society:
    1. Rights belong to individuals, not groups; they derive from our nature and can neither be granted nor taken away by government.
    2. All peaceful, voluntary economic and social associations are permitted; consent is the basis of the social and economic order.
    3. Justly acquired property is privately owned by individuals and voluntary groups, and this ownership cannot be arbitrarily voided by governments.
    4. Government may not redistribute private wealth or grant special privileges to any individual or group.
    5. Individuals are responsible for their own actions; government cannot and should not protect us from ourselves.
    6. Government may not claim the monopoly over a people’s money and government must never engage in official counterfeiting, even in the name of macroeconomic stability.
    7. Aggressive wars, even when called preventative, and even when they pertain only to trade relations, are forbidden.
    8. Jury nullification, that is, the right of jurors to judge the law as well as the facts, is a right of the people and the courtroom norm.
    9. All forms of involuntary servitude are prohibited, not only slavery but also conscription, forced association, and forced welfare distribution.
    10. Government must obey the law that it expects other people to obey and thereby must never use force to mold behavior, manipulate social outcomes, manage the economy, or tell other countries how to behave.

    Ron Paul, Libert Defined

  25. Richard1
    Posted May 28, 2014 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

    It is clear the extradition treaties – especially with the US – need re-examining. People should only be extradited if there is reasonable evidence in the opinion of a UK court that they have committed a crime. The govt should not permit foreign powers such as the US to extradite people using anti-terrorism measures for other, non-violent, offences.

  26. Iain Gill
    Posted May 28, 2014 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

    Civil liberties? Like forcing the state to let us see the evidence before we have to decide whether to plead not guilty or not? like they don’t in the case of speed/traffic light camera money raking…

  27. Denis Cooper
    Posted May 28, 2014 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

    My MP doesn’t care whether I or any other of her constituents gets arrested and carted off to languish in a foreign prison for months through an EU Arrest Warrant.

    http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/douglascarswellmp/100272749/brits-are-being-carted-off-to-face-trial-in-foreign-courts-time-to-scrap-the-european-arrest-warrant/

    Apparently making it a bit easier to get known criminals back from Spain to face justice – that is, when the Spanish government is in a co-operative mood – is far more important than protecting her innocent constituents from gross injustice.

    And yet she still expects said constituents to vote for her.

  28. Posted May 28, 2014 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

    This is not working out well.

    I am still presumed guilty if I want to open a bank account, change my doctor or dozens of other activities.

    My son is presumed guilty if he wants to buy alcohol.

    Perhaps the innocent should swap places with those in jail.

    Let us watch daytime tv while the guilty can truly find out what it is like to be made to feel guilty.

  29. Vanessa
    Posted May 28, 2014 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

    I quite agree with you that “innocent until proven guilty” should prevail but with the EU’s Arrest Warrant people are thrown into prison on a piece of paper which the English courts are powerless to challenge neither can they look at the evidence but HAVE to deport that person to Hungary, Lithuania or others with a justice system which is utterly alien to our own and certainly NOT as just, while their police gather/fabricate evidence of the supposed crime. Is this really protection of our liberties ? A birth-right that all Englishmen (in the wider sense of the word) hold dear and very valuable. The EU most CERTAINLY does need curtailing if not destroying completely. It is a socialist if not communist based organisation with their legislation that we cannot “move” unless there is a Directive to say we can!

  30. Anonymous
    Posted May 28, 2014 at 4:17 pm | Permalink

    When our country was at its most polite, gentle and orderly the police had virtually unlimited powers of stop and search.

    What changed then ?

    Why is stop and search still a problematic issue ? The Met police, for example, has been through radical changes in procedure, policy and recruitment. It is light years from its Sweeney days.

  31. Terry
    Posted May 28, 2014 at 5:35 pm | Permalink

    I shall never be able to accept that the Law of our land is oft over ruled by the “judges” from the ECHR in Strasburg. More is the pity that our own political leaders have not had the bottle to tell them to ‘do one’, or other words to that effect.

    Why are they so frightened of everything emanating from the EU? It makes no sense to me and if the recent election is the marker, by another several millions across the whole of Europe.

    Isn’t it time the UK shunned the numerous nonsensical rules? As do the French, Germans and Spanish on a regular basis and to my knowledge they have not been attacked by the commissars in Brussels for their patriotic stances.
    Since when did anyone in Belgium know what’s best for us British citizens? They are not qualified to speak for us nor do we wish them to do so, ever.

  32. Denis Cooper
    Posted May 28, 2014 at 5:52 pm | Permalink

    I find it stated here:

    http://www.openeurope.org.uk/Content/Documents/Pdfs/JHA2014choice.pdf

    that the deadline for Theresa May to notify the Council of her decision on opting out of (or opting back into?) a raft of measures including the EU Arrest Warrant is June 1st; as that is a Sunday I suppose that means that the deadline is effectively Friday?

    JR, has she actually taken and announced her final decision?

    I don’t mean whether she has said that she is minded to however she might or might not, but her final decision that she has or will notify to the EU; and if she has did that final decision go through the formality of a vote in the Commons?

    Reply Some of us Conservative MPs have already made it clear we are against opt ins and would vote against if she tries to do that.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted May 29, 2014 at 6:07 am | Permalink

      As usual with the EU it is complicated, but under Article 10 of Protocol (No 36) on Transitional Provisions isn’t Sunday June 1st the deadline for Theresa May to notify the EU what we are opting out of?

      “4. At the latest six months before the expiry of the transitional period referred to in paragraph 3, the United Kingdom may notify to the Council that it does not accept, with respect to the acts referred to in paragraph 1, the powers of the institutions referred to in paragraph 1 as set out in the Treaties.”

      The transitional period runs until five years after the date of entry into force of the Treaty of Lisbon, which was December 1st 2009, therefore the latest date on which Theresa May can put in her notification must be June 1st 2014.

      Has she already done that or said when she will do it, and what will happen about the EU Arrest Warrant?

  33. acorn
    Posted May 28, 2014 at 6:04 pm | Permalink

    JR, don’t you just get so depressed, having to get up in a morning and moderate this site? I am assuming that “Lifelogic” is not your alter ego that is. ;-) .

  34. They Work for Us?
    Posted May 28, 2014 at 7:15 pm | Permalink

    We have a data protection act that is often used to justify not giving information in response to certain FOI questions or commercial confidence is quoted by govt.
    Yet the DVLA “sells” our name and address data to private car parking firms so they can pursue us for parking tickets – why is this?

    Various politiicans have been discussing the recent elections, deriding the results as populism and saying that they must provide more leadership and explain the message in a better way. The populism they deride is what their employers (us, the electorate) want) , their message has been rejected and their use of the term “leadership” merely shows that they wish to continue in directions their employers (us) do not want. If they “know bettter” and won’t do as they are told then they should stand down or be sacked by us. Where is aproper right of recall going.

  35. matthu
    Posted May 28, 2014 at 7:34 pm | Permalink

    The DM has a photo of a painter who had “dangerously improvised when he found he could not reach the top of a shop front from the pavement in Southampton, Hampshire, and positioned his ladder on top of the van, climbing up while a colleague held it steady. However, a passerby photographed the precarious set-up and reported Nicholls, who was prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive. He has been fined £4,000 after he admitted breaching health and safety laws, while the company who sub-contracted the work to him was fined £10,000 by magistrates in Southampton.

    This so flagrantly breaks principle 5 laid out by David price above: “Individuals are responsible for their own actions; government cannot and should not protect us from ourselves.” And the fines (£14k in total) are grossly in excess of anything that might be considered reasonable anywhere else.

    What fine might you exopect for driving at 140m.p.h. on the motorway, and which action is likely to jeopardise more lives?

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted May 29, 2014 at 6:11 am | Permalink

      “… a passerby photographed the precarious set-up and reported Nicholls … ”

      Have we been turned into a nation of sneaks?

  36. matthu
    Posted May 28, 2014 at 7:38 pm | Permalink

    The Argus (link: http://www.theargus.co.uk/news/11229250.UKIP_euro_candidate_told_to_attend__equalities_training_/)

    has a very interesting example of the state infringing an individual’s liberties:

    A UKIP candidate who said traders should be allowed to refuse to serve whoever they like has been told she should attend “equalities training”.

    Donna Edmunds, an MEP candidate and a Lewes District councillor, made the comments on an internet forum.

    She said that “being a libertarian, I believe that all business owners, Christian, Muslim, gay, straight,should be allowed to withhold their services from whomever they chose whenever they chose. It’s their business. Why should they be forced to serve or sell to anyone?”

    She later told The Argus she thought it would be OK for a business owner to refuse to serve someone for no other reason than being a woman or that owners should be allowed to refuse service to gay people.

    The remarks drew fierce criticism with some labelling the comments as “horrendous”.

    The EU parliamentary hopeful has now been advised to attend equality training by the council after a complaint.

    But she said she will refuse to go, criticising the council for making the decision behind her back and not allowing her to put forward any defence.

    She said the first time she heard about it was when she was told a panel meeting had taken place.

    The council panel stated: “The panel recommends you attend equalities training for councillors to gain a better understanding of the council’s equality obligations.”

    Coun Edmunds stood by her original comments.

    She said: “I believe a Jewish person should be able to refuse to serve a neo-Nazi but the rules have to apply equally to everyone. I’m not condoning any discrimination of anyone.”

    In an email sent to Catherine Knight, assistant director of corporate services at Lewes District Council, she added: “I am perfectly happy and content that I have not broken any equality legislation. I see no need for any ‘training’.

    The point I am making is that, whether you agree with her views or not, the state has no right getting involved in a libertarian society.

    Reply I do not see how free enterprise can work if every time we want to buy a good or service we have to answer for our views, parentage, religion etc. This viewpoint is not a freedom loving one.

    • matthu
      Posted May 28, 2014 at 7:42 pm | Permalink

      Clarification: the final 2 lines above (The point I am trying to make …) are my own – not part of the original article.

  37. Mike Wilson
    Posted May 29, 2014 at 10:42 am | Permalink

    I wonder if Mr. Redwood and his colleagues in government have ever heard of Magna Carta.

    Apparently they are to make us subject to the European Arrest Warrant again – something completely against the freedoms guaranteed under Magna Carta.

    Reply I am against the EAW

  • About John Redwood

    John Redwood has been the Member of Parliament for Wokingham since 1987. First attending Kent College, Canterbury, he graduated from Magdalen College, and has a DPhil from All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has been a director of NM Rothschild merchant bank and chairman of a quoted industrial PLC.
    Published and promoted by Thomas Puddy for John Redwood, both of 30 Rose Street Wokingham RG40 1XU
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