I originally started this in 2012. One of the ideological alliances within the coalition government was the so called rolling back the interfering state. The vehicle for this was “The protection of freedoms act”. It was always going that way, but it was named as a piece of Orwellian newspeak. Originally they hoped to call it the Great Repeal or Great Freedom Bill.
The Register records its publication in Parliament with the presumably to be regretted words from Theresa May, the Home Secretary
The first duty of the state is the protection of its citizens, but this should never be an excuse for the government to intrude into people’s private lives.
I am bringing common sense back to public protection and freeing people to go about their daily lives without a fear that the state is monitoring them.
This law was presented in the second year of the parliament and in the light of a number of anti-protest, anti-independent judiciary in restricting their sentencing powers, and appalling police behavior around protests against tuition fees and the backdrop of police failure during the the London Riots.
The Register also captures some classic boasting by Nick Clegg, but at the time I was most annoyed by this,
“It also drew on views put forward by the public through the radical Your Freedom website set up after the coalition government came to power.”
since the issue that won the most support on that site was the Repeal of the Digital Economy Act, a piece of legislation that Clegg had unequivocally promised to repeal. I referred to his promise in “Royal Equality and Digital Freedom” and the fact that the LibDems had removed their material. This didn’t make it into the Great Freedom bill. In the words of Tim Fenton at Zelo Street, no change there then.
Started in 2012, finished in 2014. May’s quote is interesting in the light of her two attempts to legalise what we now discover GCHQ have been doing. Bugging the internet. I think it should be repeated.