The last Government not only wasted too much money. It passed too many laws. Often these hit at traditional British freedoms.
That’s why the “Protection of Freedoms Bill” introduced by Nick Clegg is so important. With it, Parliament will restore hard-won British liberties.
The sweeping reforms will end unwarranted council snooping and stop the Government infringing the liberties of innocent people.
Labour’s nanny state will be cut back, with an end to the routine monitoring of 9.3 million people under a reformed vetting and barring scheme, a boost to volunteering. While Kingston Council did not use such powers, millions across Britain will be protected from town hall snoopers checking their bins or school catchment area.
Powers to stop and search hundreds of thousands of innocent people will be curtailed, and DNA samples and fingerprints of hundreds of thousands of innocent people will be deleted from databases. There is an end to the fingerprinting of children in schools without parental consent.
Millions of motorists will get protections from rogue wheel clamping firms, whilst a code of practice for CCTV and Automatic Number Plate Recognition systems will help prevent abuse.
The right to a jury trial in serious fraud cases will be restored, whilst the scope of the Freedom of Information Act will be extended, and the public’s rights to data strengthened.
Coupled with the repeal of the legislation on identity cards, the “Protection of Freedoms Bill” marks a major shift away from a bossy, Big Brother style state.
Tabloid headlines push weak Governments to populist measures that threaten essential freedoms. It’s taken a strong Coalition government to show some politicians do not take our democracy and liberty for granted.