The Great Repeal Act – or The Return of Civil Liberties
Before the election my son asked me for whom I would vote. My reply was that I would like to vote Lib Dem if it were not for their European tendencies. What I really wanted was the best of Blue and the best of Gold. By God, I think we’ve got it!
The proof of the pudding, as they say, is in the passage of time. Promises are one thing; deliveries are rarely the same. But we’ve got a good start if only because the Coalition has published the terms of their agreement. The BBC, bless ’em, has published the full text. The bit that is relevant here is Section 10, which reads:
10. Civil liberties
The parties agree to implement a full programme of measures to reverse the substantial erosion of civil liberties under the Labour Government and roll back state intrusion.
This will include:
- A Freedom or Great Repeal Bill.
- The scrapping of ID card scheme, the National Identity register, the next generation of biometric passports and the Contact Point Database.
- Outlawing the finger-printing of children at school without parental permission.
- The extension of the scope of the Freedom of Information Act to provide greater transparency.
- Adopting the protections of the Scottish model for the DNA database.
- The protection of historic freedoms through the defence of trial by jury.
- The restoration of rights to non-violent protest.
- The review of libel laws to protect freedom of speech.
- Safeguards against the misuse of anti-terrorism legislation.
- Further regulation of CCTV.
- Ending of storage of internet and email records without good reason.
- A new mechanism to prevent the proliferation of unnecessary new criminal offences.
Don’t pinch me. I don’t want to wake up…