British Library opens Taking Liberties

Anthony Barnett (London, OK):  A group of the motley great and goodish waited patiently in the sweeping British Library foyer last night for the official opening of the Taking Liberties exhibition by the Prime Minister - who was delayed because he had to see the Queen. The symbolism of this I leave to the reader. Brown had been given a personal tour before the rest of us were allowed in. There is an inter-active aspect to the glorious display of documents. Brown remarked,

And I see that there are questions being asked for a running poll as people go around the exhibition.  I am afraid to say that one of the questions is what do you think of the government’s 42 days policy for liberties and for security.

When he finished Peter Tatchell shouted at Gordon Brown to answer for his government's assult on liberties but answer came there none. Linda Colley, the exhibition's guest curator gave a skillful short speech saying that she hoped the exhibition would help recuperate our exceptional constitutional culture and show that we are not too "pragmatic" to write things down. I feel that a quite deep change of culture is underway and that this exhibition will be seen an important marker and contributer to it.

See here for an interview with Linda Colley. See also Matthew Shaw's blog.