Thursday, February 25, 2010
Grieve on Tory civil liberties policy
Of the two chief Home Office shadows, Chris Grayling scares the living daylights out of me. The man's a menace to all free men and women everywhere. On the rare occasions that he actually remembers that we do still have some civil liberties in the United Kingdom, it's because Tory party policy requires that as a logical first step. The rest of the time, he gives the impression he'd happily lock the lot of us up just to keep the country quiet.On the other hand, I'd vote for Dominic Grieve any day of the week. He's a lawyer, which isn't always a point in a politician's favour, but he's actually got a bit of humanity and is clearly a liberal, as this video shows. It would appear that he hasn't yet conclusively won the argument for his repeals bill, but I'm hoping he does: a Tory manifesto list of bad Labour laws they would repeal would be a sight to behold. I believe the Lib Dems may be doing something similar (src), so an arms race towards civil liberties (for once!) would be an extremely positive step.
I would add another desideratum. A promise to roll back the frontiers of state surveillance and not to allow the state to advance against us would also be very welcome. Policies like ID cards are a long-term Home Office plot against the public, and not merely the property of one party. Nevertheless, what Grieve offers is attractive. Whether Grayling is a price worth paying, now there's another matter…