Saturday, 25 January 2020

New Horizon – National Liberalism In Action – Civil Liberties

JUST OVER five weeks ago we reproduced the second article – Head & Heart – from issue 1 of New Horizon, the online ideological magazine of the National Liberal Party. That article examined how, historically, Liberals adopted nationalism as part of their creed and became known as National Liberals.


We now move onto National Liberalism In Action! which takes a look at (the then) NLP ‘recruitment campaign that focused on Five key policy areas; Civil Liberties, Democracy, Environment, and the NHS.’


The first of these – Civil Liberties – is of great importance to National Liberals. We believe that ‘the defence of personal liberty is at the heart of our mission.’ Indeed, it could be argued that defending everyone’s Civil Liberties is the key to ensuring personal self-determination and freedom.


As always, we encourage thorough debate of our ideas. Therefore, we’d encourage readers to share their when this article is reproduced on either of our two Facebook sites – National Liberals https://www.facebook.com/groups/52739504313/ – and National Liberal Party – https://www.facebook.com/NationalLiberalParty/

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National Liberalism In Action!

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The defence of personal liberty is at the heart of National Liberalism. Indeed, it could be argued that defending everyone’s Civil Liberties is the key to ensuring personal self-determination and freedom. Readers interested in Civil Liberties should check our the Facebook group Free Speech: How do we protect it? which supports the idea of Free Thought, Free Speech & Free Assembly For All. It also campaigns for a formal constitution and bill of rights, based on the concept of civil and religious liberties for all. It also feel that a civil rights watchdog should be established to protect the people’s ability to make use of these rights.

WHILST New Horizon is dedicated to promoting, dissecting and discussing the ideology of National Liberalism, we cannot forget those National Liberals who are attempting to put this into practice. We know that there are individuals (groups?) who ascribe to the movement’s ideals throughout the Europe, from Turkey to Scandinavia and beyond, even globally. Here in the UK some are involved in pressure groups such as English Green (a non-socialist green movement), whilst others are in the political party – the National Liberal Party.

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We shall dedicate a section each issue to those operating in the ‘real’ rather than our ‘cyber’ world. In this first issue we host articles supporting and expanding on the NLP’s latest recruitment campaign that focused on Five key policy areas; Civil Liberties, Democracy, Environment, and the NHS.

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CIVIL LIBERTIES – A PRECIOUS COMMODITY ‘HARD TO OBTAIN EASY TO LOSE’

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IN December, nearly 400 years ago, the English Parliament passed an act entitled the ‘Bill of Rights’. It put down limits on the powers of the Sovereign (Monarch) and set out the rights of Parliament and the rules for freedom of speech therein, the requirement to regular elections to Parliament and the right to petition the monarch without fear of retribution. This built upon various other ‘events’ such as the much earlier Magna Carta of 1215 This is the first recorded document where a King, previously ruling under a ‘Divine Right’, accepted that his ‘subjects’ had rights, including the right not to be gaoled without trial. In time, similar various pieces of legislation came to cover the whole of the United Kingdom and make up Britain’s ‘Unwritten Constitution’, in particular the concept of individual rights and liberties. It took many years, much struggle, blood, sweat and tears to achieve.

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TAKING LIBERTIES …

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Today however, we see an increasing encroachment upon our civil liberties and individual freedoms. The phrase an ‘Englishman’s home is his castle’ is more than just a quaint phrase. It reflects an historical view that a Government’s writ largely remained outside our ‘ramparts’ and did not extend to personal affairs. In reality this has broken down ever since the end of the first World War with increasing attempts to interfere in our ‘private lives’ or ‘private views’ (should they not conform to the PC – left or right – of the day). It wasn’t always that way*

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Technology, whilst a ‘liberating’ force for many individuals is also being used to enslave us too. CCTV, continual push for biometric ID cards, communication eavesdropping and monitoring, to name just a few developments that will make it increasingly easier for any future Government to turn 1984 into a reality.

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History shows that once liberties are surrendered they are very difficult to restore.

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For National Liberals however the defence of personal liberty is at the heart of our mission. Governments struggle, at best, to resist the lure of power and often seek to centralise authority into their hands. This will inevitably impact upon individual freedoms. In times of heightened threats to national or personal security, Authority will seek to restrict their citizens movements and expression. What are and are not acceptable restrictions are of supreme importance to many. Outside of Authority, National Liberals must be part of societies ‘civic conscience’. Inside of Authority, they must ensure the ‘correct balance’ is struck between personal freedom and collective security and responsibility.

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To assist in maintaining this balance, we call for the Government appointment of a specific Civil Liberty Watchdog, with some executive blocking powers, to ensure our civil liberties are maintained in the face of private or public threats.

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The National Liberal Party will continue to expose, and campaign against, the steady encroachment of our individual freedoms and civil liberties. Whilst the main political topics of the day; the economy, immigration, Europe and education presently hold the attention of sections of the public, political parties and the media we believe that concern over loss of civil liberties will one day hold everyone’s attention.

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* As the famous historian A.J.P Taylor stated in his book English History: 1914-45 ‘Until August 1914 a sensible law-abiding Englishman could pass through life and hardly notice the existence of the state, beyond the post office and the policeman. He could live where he liked and as he liked. He had no official number or identity card.’

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• ALSO Check out:

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Build New Horizon! http://nationalliberal.org/build-new-horizon

New Horizon – Head & Heart http://nationalliberal.org/new-horizon-head-heart

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