openDemocracyUK

A Tory Repeal Act?

Anthony Barnett
Anthony Barnett
25 February 2010

"It is my hope and intention to have a Repeal Act in the first year of a Conservative government. I have been arguing for it for some time. And I am quietly confident that I will be able to get it. Its going to cover a wide range of things". Dominic Grieve speaking to Big Brother Watch yesterday. You can see it in the Conservative Home video, just after the 6 minute mark. Among the "range of things" he wants it to include is the issue he was speaking on, the abolition of multiple rights of entry into people's homes that large numbers of officials have been given over the last few years. His proposal is that no one should have right of entry without a warrent and that no warrent should be issued expect for matters involving serious crimes or public safety. The idea of a Repeal Act goes back to the Liberal Democrat "Freedom Bill" published to coincide with the Convention on Modern Liberty and circulated to all participants (who included Grieve - and I think you can spot my fellow Co-Director of the CML, Henry Porter, watching Grieve closely), and to the 'Great Repeal Act' proposed in The Plan by Douglas Carswell.

I was struck by the shadow Minister of Justice's careful use of words. His party's leadership has still not backed him on this and is still calculating whether or not 'liberty is popular with the punters'. No wonder they are in fact slipping in the polls.

PS: a handsome book of the Convention on Modern Liberty is about to be published, more on this soon.

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