Friday, July 06, 2007

Taking Liberties

I got home from the by-election in time to meet some friends from our local party at Warwick Arts Centre to see Taking Liberties. This film takes a humourous look at the serious subject of the erosion of our civil liberties and freedoms under Blair's Government.

Two things struck me about this film.

Firstly how many of our rights and freedoms have been taken from us, its all to easy to forget in the constant stream of media. These freedoms have been fought for since Magna Carta (did she die in vain) almost 800 years ago and are vital to the health of our democracy, yet in just 10 years of New Labour many of these foundation stones have been removed.

The second thing that struck me about this film was that the hero's of today's Britain are the ordinary people who have stood up and been counted, people who have found imaginative and intrinsically British ways of peaceful protest. I have massive respect for these men, women, young people & fearless old ladies who have risked much to stand up for our rights. In some ways I feel encouraged, it is people like this that has made Britain Great!

The Freedoms that are essential to a civilised democracy covered in the film include:

  • Right to protest
  • Right to Free speech
  • Right to Privacy
  • No Detention without Trial
  • No Extradition without evidence
  • No Torture

I hope Gordon Brown will repair the damage done to our freedom & democracy by doing the following.

  1. Restore our right to protest outside Parliament, he might not like what they are saying but should rejoice that we live in a country where they can say it.
  2. Clear the names of those who have been falsely accused of crimes, found innocent and yet are still being treated like terrorists.
  3. Scrap the one sided extradition treaty with the US that allows us, any of us to be sent to America to face trial without a scrap of evidence being seen.
  4. Stop turning a blind eye to extraordinary rendition flights being refueled in British airports and thereby being complicit in torture.

That's just for starters.

I shall climb off my soap box now, but do go and see this film!

No comments: