Welcome to the 8th edition of the Carnival on Modern Liberty.
We’ll start of with David Mery, who wrote an article in The Register noting how hard it is for an innocent person to get their details removed from the DNA database. Oh, and by the way, the UK is in contravention of a ruling by the European Court of Human Rights.
Jeonard Cook points us to an Internet service that purports to tell you who an unlisted phone number belongs to. It only works for US numbers, however.
James Hammerton posts a personal view on The Convention on Modern Liberty:
People will have come away better informed about the issues, with contacts who can help in campaigning on the issues, and with ideas for what to do next. The Convention has also set up a social networking site to enable people to keep in touch with each other, discuss, debate and plan how to take things forward.
So the Convention has succeeded in raising awareness, generating debate and putting like minded people in touch with each other. It has even contributed to raising opposition to a specific erosion of privacy, namely the data sharing clauses mentioned above. This is all to the credit of those involved and is an achievement to be proud of.
However if the Convention is truly to be the turning point I hope for, much more will need to happen. The erosion of liberties has to stop and be reversed. In other words, we need to persuade both present and future politicians that eroding liberties is a Bad Idea, one that is liable to lose elections for them. And we need to do so whilst we still have a sufficient freedoms left to be able to campaign and to be able to vote. As David Davis said, by the time Britain becomes a police state, it will be too late.
Con Underground writes about amateur (and amateurish) political protestors.
2 – Only white middle class people are worried about this, real people (ie. decent hard working families) aren’t interested in all this liberty nonsense as they live miserable lives constantly threatened by drug addicts, immigrants and anti-social youths armed with knives or worse
Here we have to go back to Jack Straw again with a contradiction of his earlier point. This argument comes from his blog to his Blackburn constituents who he perceives to be made up of ‘real people’ (decent hard working families) probably because its up north and he can’t get green tea in his constituency office. This argument tries to paint the civil liberties lobby as lofty middle class intellectuals who have never stepped foot in a pub and are making their arguments based on some obscure Victorian political philosophy, because we haven’t had a break in at our country retreat since that time we got sozzled and lost our keys.
Not since the sixties has there been the opportunity for such a far-reaching and essential look at our social arrangements, our economic system, and our political process. Since Reagan, who brilliantly took the country so far right that centrist democrats like Clinton looked like progressive visionaries, a truly progressive agenda has been totally on the margin.
Sunder Katwala asks How liberal are the Conservatives?
And that’s it for this week. If you want to nominate a post for next week’s Carnival on Modern Liberty, use the online form.