Thursday, 26 February 2009

Chris Huhne's 'Freedom Bill' is merely tinkering

It seems that we are to write yet again on this blog about the enigma that is Chris Huhne. Deputy Leader of the Liberal Democrats, we challenged him last week to change the name of his party to the SDP to better reflect his illiberal views after he publicly backed the Home Secretary in banning from the UK an elected member of the Dutch Parliament, Gert Wilders.
Now we see that in a show of publicity, he is back in the news launching what he calls his 'Freedom Bill'.
Where do we begin to look at Mr Huhne's efforts, which on the face of it are a step in the right direction, which LPUK applaud, however, and with the LibDem's there is always an however...
I read the 'Freedom Bill' that was published on the LibDem site, then I re-read it because I thought that their published version was only a précis, but no, there it was in its entirety. Not once, not a single time does it mention the word Liberty.
This is not repeal being presented by Huhne, this is not winding back the injustice, this is just tinkering for political gain.
That indeed then prompted me to post the following comment on the presentation site: (which at the time of writing this post was still in moderation).

A start yes, however, simply removing 1 or 2 clauses in a number of Acts does nothing to remove the underlying evil behind much of this primary legislation, and can easily be put back in by a subsequent government.

I fear that this is merely window dressing in order to catch media and voter attention rather than a genuine Liberal attempt at restoring the Liberties to the UK population.

It is noted that it does not once use the words Liberty or Liberties, but Freedom. A strange choice of wording or perhaps not, as we know full well that the Acts will never be allowed to be repealed by the EU, of which your party is so fully supportive.

One item that I found both annoying and amusing was that it was so clearly obvious that the copy of 1984 that Chris Huhne received from the Libertarian Party had struck home. It had found its target as we had intended, as he used the very phrase that we placed on each book in his press briefing, when he said "George Orwell's 1984 was a warning, not a blueprint".
I suppose we should be flattered at the impact of the 1984 campaign, but the way in which Huhne is exploiting that targeting by delivering such a poorly constructed Bill just reinforces my view of him as a mercenary with statist ambitions.
My posting on the LPUK blog last week indicating that the Libertarian Party are leading the debate was spot on, definitely on the money. It is clear that Huhne is only FOLLOWING, but he is playing to the crowd with this gimmick bill, as he knows full well that he will not be able to implement one jot of it without also undertaking to leave the EU.

The EU will block every single item in Huhne's bill. I will reiterate again for the avoidance of doubt, the LibDems, or any other party, will not be allowed to undertake the repeal of liberty stripping laws whilst they support the EU.
Nearly every clause that Huhne was to remove through this Bill are included in the original Acts because they are fulfilling EU Directives. The only clauses that I am certain did not eminate from the EU is sections 132 to 138 of the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005 (c. 15) (which regulate demonstrations in the vicinity of Parliament) which were only added to the Act in a vain attempt to silence Brian Haw.

At this point I am happy to boast that The Libertarian Party is the ONLY party to promise to undertake both the full repeal of such liberty stripping laws, and to extract the UK from the EU.
Moving on, several things have also crossed my mind at the timing by Chris Huhne of this particular proposal. Firstly we know that the Convention on Modern Liberty is on in London, so Mr Huhne obviously wants to present the LibDem's as a party that is 'doing something'. This only serves to hoodwink the voters who are starved by Government and the media of any general knowledge of the EU and how far it now has its tenticles into the UK and its government.
Secondly, the recent civil war going on within the party over Liberal Vision has reached a stage where they are losing members, so this is a sop to try to win back those disaffected members with strong Libertarian views, and prevent them from abandoning what is essentially a very social democratic party where their views are neither heard nor acted upon, and he desperately needs to repair the damage he caused to himself over the Gert Wilders affair.
Lastly, it is an attempt at one-upmanship. David Davis will be the politician carrying the Keynote speech of note at the Convention on Modern Liberty, therefore Huhne wants to grab the media attention to water down whatever it is that Davis will be delivering.
Overall, whilst I would have hoped that the right intentions were there in the presentation of this Bill, I cannot see it. It delivers far too little, it is much too late to be merely tinkering, and provides no more safeguards on the Liberties of the population of this country than the current Government have deprived us of.
If this is the best attempt by those perporting to be Liberal at 'Modern Liberty', if this is the very best that is likely to come out of that Convention, then this nation still has much to fear for its future.

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