Davis campaign must examine Tory record on freedom

Guy Aitchison
18 June 2008

Guy Aitchison (London, OK): If we're going to support David Davis, then one thing we shouldn't let him do is frame the freedom debate in partisan terms.

Labour's current attempts to secure legislation allowing for 42 days detention without charge should be seen in the context of a two decades long erosion of civil liberties began under Thatcher (a point made by Michael Peel in the FT today).

It was the Tories who got the ball rolling by exending pre-charge detention to a week (justified or not) and it was they who in 1994 banned the right to silence and gave police more powers to stop protests and raves.

The debate to be had is not about the policies of any one government, or indeed any one party. It is a debate about how and why our political system has allowed the state to secure ever-more powers for itself without proper debate - and what can be done about it.

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