Saturday 19 March 2011

Freedom in Britain, 2011

Prompted by the estimable Anna Raccoon, can I suggest that anyone who cares a whit about personal freedom read this - a lengthy but mind-blowing set of Hansard minutes. You'll know whether you are interested or not just by reading the first few pages.

No-one, I think, underestimates how difficult and ugly some social-services cases can be. But even disfunctional people must have the right to appeal their cases openly, and contact their MPs. And if the courts, the lawyers and the council officers get the taste for beating up on little people, it isn't long before they get into the habit generally.

Much as all 'establishments' like to extend their powers, I can't imagine the Government has any real interest in letting this state of affairs persist. They are pretty busy just now, what with the economy, Japan & Arabia. But less dramatic things are important, too.

Thank heavens for diligent back-benchers.



alan said...

The debate ND has linked to can also be viewed on parliament tv. Note: Needs microsoft silverlight. I could only view this video using IE8.

The Anna Raccoon blog is a must read. The issues she blogs about are deeply disturbing.

Timbo614 said...

Already a fan of Anna.

John Ward will probably have something to say on this too - it's one of his soapboxes. But from his blog he is currently "on safari".

I have read the complete transcript, there are some very worrying situations discussed. What I take from it is that MPs must be somehow informed about the "unknown unknowns" in our justice system. Courts just simply cannot injunct(sic?) away your right to talk to your MP that really would be the death of an essential aspect of free speech.

Where would you then turn, if your money, goods and chattels and / or a relative/offspring had been seized, or taken from you in an unfair manner? Legal profession? This is so fundamental. I am encouraged at the end that this will be addressed, shame we have to wait a year for it to get under way.

Budgie said...

I have contacted my MP about this. Thank you ND and AnnaRacoon.

James Higham said...

This is what we're all banging on about. There has been a shift in the way such cases are handled in the last few years. It was never good but there are changes and they're not good.

formertory said...

Extraordinary read, and disturbing.

My MP's in with a mention as one who has a constituent being leaned on. I don't agree with his political views more often than not but he's absolutely straight as a die on matters of principle and I respect him greatly. The more so knowing he's prepared to get stuck in.