Friday, 23 June 2017

Why acknowledging our liberties is so important
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National Liberals throughout the UK celebrated Magna Carta Day (15th June) by decorating designated ‘Liberty Trees’ (trees symbolically representing life and freedom).
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The Magna Carta (Great Charter) also symbolically represents liberty, being the first acknowledgement in our country’s history that someone other than a Monarch had rights. Since then we have seen the growth in Parliamentary democracy which sees the monarchy relegated to a ceremonial rather than legislative function. We have a universal suffrage where everyone from 18 years old can vote and there are moves afoot to finally reform the House of Lords. And yet….

In recent times Governments have been looking to extend their ability to monitor if not control their subjects. Suspending the right to trial in certain circumstances and the collecting of data on innocent citizens has become de rigour. The latest, amongst similar schemes over the last decade, is to allow the Police to monitor ALL our communications. The MP David Davis said of his own Government’s plans that it would create a “nation of suspects”. Those of us who love our liberties must be eternally vigilant and campaign and resist any moves to take them away.

National Secretary Glen Maney said “Whilst the signing of the document was in another age matters of privacy and liberty are as relevant today as then. The Home Secretary’s latest proposal that ALL our communications be stored for possible monitoring shows just how important such issues are in our lives and we drop our guard at our peril. Campaigners have decorated ‘Liberty Trees’ as symbols of freedom (in society or in the wild) over the centuries and we wish to restore that tradition.”

The National Liberal Party believe certain measures should be introduced to ensure the protection of individual rights:
  • Introduce a Bill of Rights (an updated Magna Carta) to be enshrined in a constitution,
  • Create a Civil Liberties Watchdog to monitor infringements of liberties and privacy,
  • Run a ‘Celebrating the Magna Carta’ series of activities both in public and in schools explaining the meaning and significance of the Magna Carta i.e. that all citizens have rights and freedoms.
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