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Source link: http://archive.mises.org/12753/britain-slows-its-march-toward-dystopia/

Britain slows its march toward dystopia

May 19, 2010 by

For a while it was looking like the British political class was taking such stories as George Orwell’s 1984 and Alan Moore’s V for Vendetta as prescriptive guidebooks, rather than as dire warnings.

However, this development, on balance, seems to be a welcome tapping-of-the-brake, at least, for the British super-state.

A “power revolution” in Britain will be promised by Nick Clegg today as he tries to put his personal stamp on the Government in his first major statement as Deputy Prime Minister.

The Liberal Democrat leader will hail his programme of political reform as the most ambitious and radical since the Great Reform Act of 1832. He has told aides that the coalition government has given him the opportunity to implement the changes that he came into politics to pursue.

In a speech in London Mr Clegg will promise a “wholesale, big bang” rather than piecemeal approach, including:

* scrapping the identity card scheme and second generation biometric passports;

* removing limits on the rights to peaceful protest;

* a bonfire of unnecessary laws;

* a block on pointless new criminal offences;

* internet and email records not to be held without reason;

* closed-circuit television to be properly regulated;

* new controls over the DNA database, such as on the storage of innocent people’s DNA;

* axeing the ContactPoint children’s database;

* schools will not take children’s fingerprints without asking for parental consent;

* reviewing the libel laws to protect freedom of speech.

{ 17 comments }

Richard May 19, 2010 at 2:28 pm

It’s a pity the Lib Dems are riddled with social democrats. What we need ideally is an alliance between the Orange Bookers and the Hannan-Carswell wing of the Tories.

Shed Plant May 19, 2010 at 2:31 pm

I think it’s great!

Richard, Mr. Carswell is taking the credit for the Deputy PM’s speech: http://www.talkcarswell.com/show.aspx?id=1422

Dennis May 19, 2010 at 2:37 pm

Mr. Clegg’s proposals appear to be positive from a civil liberties’ perspective. Unfortunately, apparently absent are any proposals directed at increasing economic liberties.

J. Grayson Lilburne May 19, 2010 at 2:49 pm

Dennis,
My hope is that the Tories and LibDems will end up compromising in such a way that the best parts of their respective platforms are maintained, and the worst parts are muted. May it be that the Tories’ relative fiscal conservatism (weak as it is) negates the LibDems’ welfare-statism, and that the LibDems’ relative civil libertarianism negates the Tories’ police-state proclivities. Now, this is a hope, not an expectation.

Dennis May 19, 2010 at 3:03 pm

Mr. Lilburne,

I share your hope. I also hope that more individuals realize that the separation of civil and economic liberties is artificial and fallacious, since both are ultimately derived from each individual’s self-ownership and ownership of his justly acquired property.

Sag May 19, 2010 at 2:40 pm

The (19th C) Liberal in Liberal Democrat is apprently not dead yet…

Ken May 19, 2010 at 3:51 pm

It reads like a couple of raisins of actual content in a big bowl of sweet semantic nothing. It could play out well, of course, if Clegg means anything by what he says. I await action.

Seattle May 19, 2010 at 4:41 pm

What politician doesn’t enter the fray with promises like these? And how many of these promises are actually kept? I’m not holding my breath.

Slim934 May 19, 2010 at 4:56 pm

….right.

Much like the Unicorn and the Leprechaun, I will believe it when I see it.

Bogart May 19, 2010 at 5:17 pm

What about stopping the hopelessly lost two, oops make that three (Afghanistan, Iraq and Pakistan) active wars of aggression? How about stopping these stupid pointless bailouts that impoverish the masses and help EU bankers and Greek pensioners? How about putting the pound on the gold standard or better yet get rid of the currency and let free markets determine what money is and how it is valued?

BioTube May 19, 2010 at 5:30 pm

I wonder how the British would react if he failed on every point.

Russ May 19, 2010 at 5:30 pm

Sounds to me like the British have taken a page from the American playbook, and started calling welfare socialists by the name liberals. What a shame.

Richard May 20, 2010 at 4:45 am

The Liberal Democrats were formed as part of a merger from the Social Demorats and the old Liberal Party (which was also social democratic). In fact the Liberals were basically social democratic from the beginning of the 20th century when they adopted the “New Liberalism”.

Hard Rain May 19, 2010 at 11:26 pm

Hmmm… Not that this makes a difference to the real Masters in Brussels. EU Law is supreme.

Horst Muhlmann May 20, 2010 at 9:29 am

Didn’t you know? Brussels is the capital of the free world, according to Biden.

Jack Roberts May 20, 2010 at 12:25 pm

Yes, the “new” government of Britain. Did you notice that almost in the same breathe as declaring that we can have our liberties back, they went and gave the police the right to charge individuals. It was of course done with the best of intentions, to cut bureaucracy and give the power back to the police. But the terrorist training or brainwashing that has been inflicted on to the police is not going to be changed. This is more evidence that we are actually in a police state. I have little doubt any more that it is otherwise. They have mentioned that terrorist legislation should not be abused. But I am not convinced of the practical application of this.

Minarchael May 21, 2010 at 1:49 am

I can’t help thinking that Britain SHOULD march towards Dystopia. The original Eutopia meant Good-place in Greek, and was a communist system before the term was coined!. The opposite of Eutopia would be dystopia, surely?

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