Sunday, 18 April 2010

And The Difference Is?

Henry Porter, On Liberty, poses the question: "So, how do the parties match up on protecting our freedom?" whilst promptly demolishing their credentials so to do. A well-worth read and consequently highly recommended. One point  in Henry Porter's condemnation about our loss of freedom did strike me and it is to do with young Clegg and his manifesto, a point about which I had missed the importance, at first reading. "Their manifesto guarantees a freedom bill, trial by jury, the reform of the regulation of investigatory powers laws and protections for free speech and protest."

Fine words Cleggie, however two questions. First, how do you 'guarantee' trial by jury while maintaining membership of the European Union, the latter so dear to your heart? Have you not heard the latest idea from Viviane Reding? It is already a fact that under the Treaty on Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) the post of European Public Prosecutor (EPP) will be created (Article 86.1). Whilst initially for financial crime, Article 86.4 permits amendment to allow any 'serious crime' to fall within the remit of the EPP - noticably no definition of 'serious crime' is given! To enable a common judicial system to operate within the EU it will be necessary for Corpus Juris to then operate within the UK. It is also worth reading what Lord Stoddart has to say on the introduction of Corpus Juris. So it would appear Cleggie is promising something that he will be unable to deliver. Second, with our membership of the European Union and therefore being subject to the rulings of the European Court of Human Rights, one cannot see how Cleggie can guarantee 'free speech' either. If and when Corpus Juris does arrive, within which system it is possible to be imprisoned without charge - what price Cleggie's 'freedom bill'?

Leaving to one side Henry Porter's worry about freedom in respect of civil liberties, it is worth also reminding people about the loss of our greatest freedom - one to be a self-governing nation with the greatest freedom of all - the ability to elect and deselect those that we choose to govern our country!

Just thought it worth mentioning..............

H/T: IPJ on Politics for Henry Porter article.

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