Last Saturday, I attended the London event of the Convention on Modern Liberty. It was “a call to all concerned with attacks on our fundamental rights and freedoms under pressure from counter-terrorism, financial breakdown and the database state”.
Whilst England may be the birthplace of freedom, we live in a country increasingly burdened by excessive government. Our political freedoms are under perpetual attack under the false pretext that freedom and security are a zero sum game and liberty must be traded for security. As the economy crumbles, the battle to halt the further erosion of our economic freedoms will be tough. We have reached the dire situation where we have failed to achieve greater security or better services, but have given up fundamental liberty. The attrition has accelerated under the Labour regime and as David Davis commented, we may not live in a police state, but when does it become one? We only see what we have lost when it has become too late.
While there was considerable concurrence at the convention against many forms of swelling intrusion, especially in political terms, I was shocked and perturbed by the many who claimed to champion the cause of Liberty, but actually wished dishonourably to stab it in the back. To clarify with some examples:
- Billy Bragg passionately attacked the rise of individualism, and consumerism. He clearly missed the inherent link between Liberty, and the freedom to pursue one’s own interests.
- There was little mention of economic freedoms.
- The Left and Liberty … a contradiction in terms? It was noteworthy how quasi socialists attempted to latch on to the positive support for liberty.
Overall, it was an excellent event, and I highly recommend going on the website to look at media from the event and to support the cause. The eternal battle for liberty is never won, but people “have nothing to lose but their chains. They have a world to win.”