“Our society is based on liberty and democracy. I do not want to see excessive surveillance hardwired into British society." So said Mr Richard Thomas the Information Commissioner for the UK in an article in The Times. His remit is to safeguard privacy and freedom of information, so he spoke out this past week by heavily criticising the fact that data the government has collected can be shared between departments and the private sector and that the communications database ‘risked turning everyone into a suspect’.
In an article on First Post, the author draws a line under the illusion that we have perhaps fallen back on over these past 12 years: that the UK is a bastion of liberty. Indeed, if we look at the past and the comments of Mr Thomas then it is clear we have done little to alter the progression New Labour has made towards a surveillance state. Thankfully though, some have remained stoic in the face of this anti-liberty agenda; Henry Porter is a fine example, and he along with many others has established the Convention on Modern Liberty that meets for the first time this weekend in London. Hopefully this will raise the profile of what we have lost and how we can regain it.
The excuse of terrorism has oft been used by those in power to extinguish our privacy, we should hold this up as short-sighted, short-termist idiocy of our elected
tyrants MPs. Their own political survival is what we trade our freedoms for. If we value our freedoms highly then we should rid ourselves of the legislation and of the politicians. Until such a time the state will continue to see us all as being guilty and we can only prove our innocence by succumbing to their unquestioning will.