Friday, March 17, 2006

Jefferson Turning in his Grave

Liberty Central has been added to the blogroll. From the "What we are about"page:

"First and foremost, a meeting place for projects, campaigns and individuals who believe that our essential liberties and freedoms are, today, under threat as never before...

"We believe that the slow and steady transfer of power to government over the last 30-40 years and, in particular, the transfer of power directly to Ministers and from Ministers to various QUANGOS, functionaries and other unelected and unaccountable bodies, has already gone too far; in fact under this present government it is accelerating at a rate which threatens not only the liberty of citizens but the very fabric of the constitution of the United Kingdom and the social contract between its citizens and the State.

"If the slide towards totalitarian government has not yet begun in earnest then, at least, the machinery of state authority necessary to affect such a form of government is slowly and surely being assembled in the name of security, public safety and efficiency.

"If government is permitted to continue with this unchecked that we will have, within the next few years, compulsory Identity cards and a National Identity Register, which will place our very identities into the ownership of the State, a national CCTV system with Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) monitoring our roads twenty four hours a day, seven days a week and potentially a ‘Road Pricing System’ that uses satellite tracking, both of later enabling the state to monitor and records our every movement.

"We already have, in the Civil Contingencies Act 2004, emergency powers accorded to Ministers which, if used, would permit them to make emergency regulations equivalent to an Act of Parliament or direct use of the Royal Prerogative, powers from which not even the provisions of Magna Carta are exempt and which would permit the confiscation and destruction of property (without compensation), the restriction of movement, censorship of the free press and even the curtailment of habeas corpus; all by Ministerial decree. To that we may shortly be adding the provisions of the Legislative and Regulatory Reform Bill, already dubbed the ‘Abolition of Parliament Act’, which again will permit legislation to the passed by Ministerial order with the minimum of Parliamentary scrutiny and with few exemptions – such orders may not introduce new taxes, create new criminal offences with a maximum penalty of imprisonment in excess of two years or increase the maximum penalty for minor offences beyond two years or tinker with arrangements for the Scottish Parliament and Welsh Assembly but otherwise provides Ministers with a blank legislative cheque on which to write, amend or repeal laws. And again, there is no exemption from its provisions for core constitutional and civil liberties legislation; Magna Carta could be ‘reformed’, habeas corpus suspended, Christmas cancelled – and all by Ministerial edict."

There's a Freedom of Expression March, from Trafalgar Square, 25.3.06. OK kids, get your boots on while we still can, though mind, we may just have to keep going and get right on out of here.

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