Hope for Britain?
By David Henderson
Here’s are some excerpts from a speech that Britain’s Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg gave this week:
As we tear through the statute book, we’ll do something no government ever has: We will ask you which laws you think should go.
Because thousands of criminal offences were created under the previous government. Taking people’s freedom away didn’t make our streets safe.
Obsessive law-making simply makes criminals out of ordinary people.
So, we’ll get rid of the unnecessary laws – and once they’re gone, they won’t come back. We will introduce a mechanism to block pointless new criminal offences.
The London Telegraph reports the reforms announced:
…will involve the end of the controversial ID cards scheme, the scrapping of universal DNA databases – in which the records of thousands of innocent people have been stored – and restrictions placed on internet records. The use of CCTV cameras will also be reviewed.
Dubbed the “Great Reform Act”, the measures will close down the ContactPoint children’s database. Set up by Labour last year, it includes detailed information on all 11 million youngsters under 18. In addition, schools will not be able to take a child’s fingerprint without parental permission.
In an attempt to protect freedom of speech, ministers will review libel laws, while limits on peaceful protest will be removed.
The measures to repeal so-called surveillance state laws will be included in next week’s Queen’s Speech. Under the coalition agreement, Mr Clegg and David Cameron said they would end “the storage of internet and email regulations and email records without good reason”. This is likely to mean the end of plans for the Government and the security services to intercept and keep emails and text messages.
The £224 million ContactPoint database can be accessed by 300,000 people working in health, education, social care and youth justice – leading to fears it could be exploited or fall into the wrong hands. Mr Clegg will add: “It is outrageous that decent, law-abiding people are regularly treated as if they have something to hide. It has to stop. “This will be a government that is proud when British citizens stand up against illegitimate advances of the state. That values debate, that is unafraid of dissent.”
HT to Angela Keaton