Thursday, July 08, 2010

A Good Day For Civil Liberty

The Government has suspended the blanket use of stop-and-search powers. The routine abuse of Section 44 powers inconvenienced thousands of people without laying hands on a single terrorist. It was bad for the police too, allowing sloppy policing and needlessly alienating the people the police exist to serve and protect.
To one who grew up in the reforming days of the Sixties it is extraordinary that a left-of centre government was so repressive, and that it has taken a right-of-centre one to have a fresh look. The great Bernard Levin once wrote that too many Labour politicians never used the word 'Liberty' without prefacing it with the word 'diabolical'.
To the great libertarian reformers of the 19th Century it would be incredible that Europe, that then laboured under widespread tyranny, has had to pronounce on British justice.

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