‘Freedom is not delivered, but won’
Josie Appleton answers your questions on the challenges facing the liberty movement in modern Britain.
Do you support the aims of the Lib-Con coalition government’s ‘Freedom Bill’ and do indications that it is being quietly dropped worry you? What would you like added to it that has yet to be openly discussed by the coalition?
Richard Reynolds, Hazelmere
The ‘Freedom Bill’ was a very positive sign – the Manifesto Club was delighted that the government abolished the vetting database, which was one of our key campaigns. It is fair to say that the libertarian moment has subsided; the coalition has subsequently unveiled a series of measures which are as intrusive and controlling as the previous regime. Which shouldn’t be surprising: it is easier to ‘liberate’ people from the excesses of the previous government than to organise your own government according to principles of liberty.
This is a useful reality check. There is no libertarian party or faction today. There are many wonderful libertarian MPs and lords, and those are the individuals we work with on our campaigns. But these are from all different parties. The limited role of the Freedom Bill tells us that pro-liberty measures will not be delivered at a stroke in a bill, or by an act of generosity. Nor will they be delivered by a committee – there are periodic attempts to form a committee to write a document to ‘return liberty’ to people. Freedom is not delivered, but won on the ground, issue by issue.
When the Freedom Bill was announced, there were some people saying: that’s it, we’ve solved the problem of civil liberties. But now, it’s back to work…
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