Thursday, February 26, 2009

How Committed is the Right to Civil Liberties?




On Saturday the Convention on Modern Liberty is taking place, not just in London but all over the country. Anthony Barnett, Henry Porter and their colleagues have done an amazing job. When Anthony first phoned me about it in mid 2008 I must admit I wondered whether it would work, but with more than 1,000 people attending, it promises to be a landmark conference.

I hope that those of you who are attending will come to the session I am chairing at 11.45 to 1pm. The theme of the session is "The Conservatives & Civil Liberties". The speakers are...

Peter Oborne
Philip Blond
Tim Montgomerie
Dominic Raab
Laura Sandys
Edward Garnier QC MP

We've asked the speakers to talk about why the right seems to have adopted the civil liberties agenda with an enthusiasm which would have been unthinkable ten years ago, and to look forward to a Conservative government and ask how civil liberties can be protected and enhanced under a government with a centre/right agenda. We'll also be asking how serious the Tory commitment is, now that David Davis has left the Shadow Cabinet and questioning whether his successor will adopt a different agenda.

I'm told this is one of the most popular of the morning sessions, so do get there in good time to reserve your seat!

29 comments:

Old Holborn said...

I will also be attending

Civil liberties are not safe under Zanu, NuBlu or the the Libdems

Mike Law said...

I was a Labour Party member for nearly 30 years.

It was the Labour Government's erosion of Civil Liberties and the Conservatives defence of them that played a major part in my crossing the floor on Newham Council in 2005.

Inspector Morse said...

It will be interesting to hear afterwards how many Met Police were at the London event, with cameras pointed at the delegates. They will of course have been protecting us from Terrorists by recording everyone present.

FireForce said...

The Conservatives are not much up on liberty at all.
Remember the we pistol shooters under major, (the then pm) & howard (the then home sec) this new lot could change that, sadly wind bag cameron has changed his mind from what he first told me.

Leonardo said...

Well one of the reasons that:

"the right seems to have adopted the civil liberties agenda with an enthusiasm which would have been unthinkable ten years ago"

is that maybe, just maybe, it's because the present shower in government have spent the last ten years removing our rights and implementing what can only be described as a set of laws that would make a fascist dictatorship blush.

Only saying like.

Scott said...

Check out the Lib Dem's new freedom bill on CiF.

Getting lots of positive feedback.

Wyrdtimes said...

After the Tory stance on Geert Wilders I'd say the answer was - not very.

Mog said...

Iain

After you whetted the appetite I clickety clicked to get tickets for this event.

Its sold out!! A bit of notice would have been nice.

Iain Dale said...

Mog, you should read more regularly. I blogged about it some weeks ago, and there has been a button in the sidebar for ages too!

Mog said...

Thanks Iain. I visit your site at least 6 times a day and I still didn't see it!! Ho hum wood for trees and all that!

Cheers

Roger Thornhill said...

Not just how committed is the Right, but the Left too.

Right and Left, both are gravitating to Authoritarianism.

It is not just "civil" Liberties, but across the board. To allow the event to be hijacked into just being about "civil liberties" will mean failure. Without economic liberty we are not free.

Guthrum said...

Its sold out!! A bit of notice would have been nice.

Ordered my tickets over Christmas, logos have been on the blogosphere for months.

Thats the trouble with civil liberties you have to keep your eyes open.

I will be at the London one and popping into the alternative Convention organised by LPUK South East, for those that are disenfranchised through unemployment, being overtaxed or on short time to be able to afford the
£30.

Other Libertarians will be at the Bristol and Caerdiff events.

Vlad the Inhaler said...

I would like to believe that they will repeal the Zanu laws but fear that once in government they will decide they are too useful

Goodnight Vienna said...

Not very.

ukipwebmaster said...

Compare and Contrast:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VtVgtqyvxGY

DaveA said...

I am one of those Tory smokers (a 30 year Tory voter and occasional member) who are apoplectic at the smoking ban in pubs. My emails to the Conservative Party have been treated with disdain, with patronising replies quoting the Dept Of Health's SmokeFree website rubbish.

The Geert Wilders episode has not filled me with enthusiasm either.

When the Conservatives released the "Freedom Charter" in September 2008 the smoking ban was mentioned and the website link below is now a 404 error.

Are Cameron and the Tories Tony Blair/ZanuLabour mark 2?

http://www.conservatives.com/tile.do?def=contact.us.page.

killemallletgodsortemout said...

Iain,

It's Wendy Richard, not Richd. Cock.

Dick the Prick said...

DaveA - may wanna read this:

http://dickpuddlecote.blogspot.com/

Spartan said...

Wonder if David Davis (I want my donation back please)will talk about Geert Wilders, him being such a threat to UK security? Maybe they could get a vid link to him in Holland? No, wait he's in USA ... so no threat to USA then?

And the Cons campaign to 'Save the Great British Pub' that has no mention whatsoever of giving establishments the right to be smoking or non-smoking?

Desperate Dan said...

So many civil liberties have now been abolished at the behest of the civil liberty and human rights industries that its about time a few right wing civil liberty groups were established to redress the balance.

Alex said...

All elected politicians tend to be authoritarian. It is closely connected to the vanity required to stand for office.

neil craig said...

My best wishes on it. I hope to read repotrs on here of it.

Part of it is that movements that think they run the country are inherenetly more inclined to trust the state. And the Tories no longer believe they do & leftists have no doubt they do. Margaret Thatcher had, in some ways, classic liberal instincts but she almost always found increasing state power easier.

We have also seen the official reaction by the party to the Geert Wilders ban being anti-free speech.

On the other hand there is clearly a strong libertarian undercurrent among supporters, as has been obvious here & it may sweep the leadership along.

Bird said...

Why should David Davis' "successor" adopt a different agenda on civil liberties?
You seem to be suggesting that Davis is the only who cares about the subject.
I suggest he is the only one who indulges in attention-seeking posturing.

Dick Puddlecote said...

Tories for civil liberties? I hope you will be proved correct when the gloves are off and GE manifestos are published, but there's precious little sign of it yet.

Actually, scrap that, there's not even precious little.

Backing the ban on Wilders, backing Straw on cabinet minutes, David Davis gone into hibernation.

On personal liberties, James Brokenshire saying Labour aren't doing enough to raise alcohol prices and a save the pubs campaign that, as others have rightly said, ignores the huge frigging pachyderm in the public bar.

I keep trying to kid myself that they are just allowing Labour to slowly asphyxiate themselves before unveiling a tranche of 'freedom' initiatives, but have this horrible feeling that there simply won't be any.

I've spoken extensively with my Tory PPC, and engaged with a prominent Tory policy-maker, but neither gave any concrete hope. A few minor hints, but we all know how useful they usually turn out to be.

The Tories could wipe the floor with Labour at the next election if they lead on this, but I seriously believe they are severely under-estimating the depth of feeling about the issues.

I've tried to be polite. My first reaction on reading that the right had embraced civil liberties "with enthusiasm" would really have merited the term 'true blue'

The Grim Reaper said...

What bets that the masses will be more interested in the Saturday afternoon rugby match than this? :-(

Mirtha Tidville said...

David Davis is to say the least a couple of bricks short of a load...I cant see anyone taking him seriously these days. Cameron was bang on leaving him on the back benches..

Simon Gardner said...

“Ask how civil liberties can be protected and enhanced under a government with a centre/right agenda.”

Ha! They won’t. If the Tories achieve power they will be as bad if not worse for liberty than this lot.

I have zero expectation that the self-styled party of lawnorder will be anything but very bad for individual freedoms. Any pre-election positioning to the contrary is empty rhetoric. Nobody should believe any of it with the possible exception of cancellation of the costly ID card - a no-brainer anyway.

Jimmy said...

"I hope that those of you who are attending will come to the session I am chairing at 11.45 to 1pm. The theme of the session is "The Conservatives & Civil Liberties". "

What will you do with the other hour?

Guy Herbert said...

@ Desperate Dan:

So many civil liberties have now been abolished at the behest of the civil liberty and human rights industries that its about time a few right wing civil liberty groups were established to redress the balance.

Any chance of an explanation of what seems to me like gibberish? In questions of liberty there is no room for 'balance'. One person's liberty is not at the expense of someone else's. If someone is talking about 'balance', you can be pretty sure they are appealing to interest in order to chip away at freedom.