Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Why isn't Ed Miliband defending civil liberty more resolutely?

Labour leader Ed Miliband has been noticeably muted on the two important civil liberty issues, which have recently hit the headlines.
It's been left to the LibDems and the libertarian Right to make the case against Tory aims to both increase surveillance of the internet and extend powers to hold sensitive civil court cases and inquests in secret.
Miliband and his Shadow team have made token protests about the Government's "lack of clarity" when a call to man the barricades was needed.
But then as a former New Labour minister his hands are hardly clean if only by association.
Miliband's desire to distance himself from the Blair/Brown years doesn't extend to examining his former masters' dismal record on personal freedom.
The Independent in February 2009 carried a report of an audit which found since its 1997 election victory, New Labour had eroded rights going back to Magna Carta in 60 new powers in 25 Acts of Parliament.
Perhaps he's embarrassed; he should be.

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