Do You Remember Free Speech & Civil Liberties?

In the good old days we had civil liberties & could converse or meet friends without the government telling us it is necessary to snoop on us to prevent sending he bogeyman (sorry terrorist) getting us.

In recent years we have had the illusion of having rights in the form of the Freedom of Information Act and the Data Protection Act. These allegedly give you rights to obtain information the state holds on you. In reality all it does is ensure the state holds / destroys info to prevent it having to release it.

In the meantime, our rights are gradually being removed. For example the RIPA legislation gives the state and others vast powers to snoop on you, whether by CCTV, snooping on phones or emails.

Thanks to wikileaks we learn some of the vast extent of  snooping done by GCHQ. You can be sure it is far more than has been revealed.

We keep getting told if we have nothing to hide the then we have nothing to fear. This effectively is saying you are guilty if you object to the snooping. Whatever happened to the Golden Thread that runs through English justice? The presumption of innocence?

In the eyes of modern politicians, innocence is an inconvenience to be ignored. We have the removal of suspects rights in criminal trials to increase convictions. Not because people are proved guilty but because their ability to defend themselves is removed with the effective decimation of legal aid.

The civil remedy of challenging the governments decisions by way of Judicial Review would be effectively removed for many if Chris Grayling the Injustice Secretary had his way. He has lost more JR cases than any other Minister. He is so keen to end JR that he lied to Parliament when the issue was being debated.
http:// http://www.lawgazette.co.uk/law/grayling-admits-misleading-parliament/5045575.fullarticle

http:// http://www.politics.co.uk/blogs/2014/12/10/grayling-s-nadir-judicial-review-bill-falls-apart-as-ministe

Lying to Parliament used to end a Minister’s career, but not these days. Sadly !

Another worrying development is the attack on free speech and the criminalisation of humour. In the wake of the tragic bin wagon  crash in Glasgow this week, the following was posted on twitter.

image

Not what I would say was funny. However it surely is not a criminal offence to tell a bad taste joke is it?

Sadly, it seems it is.
http:// http://www.thenorthernecho.co.uk/news/local/northdurham/11683438.Glasgow_lorry_crash__Police_arrest_North_East_man_over_offensive_tweet_sent_following_tragedy/?ref=arc

So now it seems you are not even allowed to tell a bad taste joke.

Freedoms? Sadly these seem to be a distant memory like new programmes on TV at Christmas.

Have a good Christmas & be more aware in the New Year of the threats to your freedoms.

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About spen666

I'm a 40 something football fan and cyclist. I've been a football fanatic most of my life and have completed the 92 football league & premier league grounds Added to this numerous non league grounds, a number abroad and you start to get the picture. I took up cycling in around 2000. Although my father was a former World Vets Champion, I got into cycling accompanying my son to ride in London. This was followed by my commuting to work each day into Central London. Then doing some Sunday rides, then some audax events (www.audax.uk.net) and then a week's cycling holiday in France with a friend. From there, I got more and more into cycling and in 2009 completed LEJoG and in 2010 rode in the USA with the Police Unity Tour. I completed blogs for those events at www.aminearlythere.blogspot.com and www.bothesidesofthepond.blogspot.com Feel free to read them and learn more about me. I live alone which suits me as it gives me time at weekends to pursue my interests of cycling and football. (Well what did you expect me to say? That I'm sad at being single?) I'm currently looking for my next challenge. Any suggestions gratefully received.
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