Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/569/7008

From The Socialist newspaper, 4 March 2009

Our democratic rights under attack by Labour

SINCE NEW Labour came to power in 1997, 60 new powers have been introduced in 25 separate parliamentary acts which have attacked and encroached upon our civil liberties. Shami Chakrabarti, chairperson of the Liberty campaign group, claims: "We have lived under one of the most authoritarian ages in living memory." She's not far wrong!

Greg Maughan

From 28-day detention without charge to new stop-and-search powers handed to the police and attacks on our right to protest, our democratic rights are being rolled back. These rights (which were won by previous generations of working people through struggle), are vital in the struggle to improve our conditions within this system and in the fight to transform society altogether.

But while our rights are being attacked, things are moving in the opposite direction for the representatives of the state. The question has to be asked: who watches the watchmen?

The Counter-Terrorism Act 2008 has made it an offence to "elicit or attempt to elicit information about an individual who is or has been- (i) a member of Her Majesty's forces, (ii) a member of any of the intelligence services, or (iii) a constable, which is of a kind likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism."

This could be used against an individual asking for the police identity number of an officer. Or simply taking a photograph of a police officer could be interpreted as an offence.

The police have been granted the power to stop-and-search and record details of ordinary workers and young people on a whim while we could be accused of 'preparing a terrorist act' if we were to ask the name of the officer searching us!

New Labour, with the Tories' backing, is making it easier for government agencies, private companies and international bodies to exchange personal data and surveillance information at the same time as blocking the release of government minutes. Calls for the minutes of the cabinet meeting that cost the lives of thousands of Iraqi civilians and hundreds of UK troops by backing the war in Iraq have been blocked by Jack Straw, amongst others.

Straw even has the audacity to claim: "People have the power to vote out administrations", if they don't like it.

But as the commentator Charlie Brooker put it in the Guardian: "Who the hell are we supposed to vote in? Despite a bit of grumbling, the Tories supported the veto [on cabinet minutes]. Because they wouldn't want cabinet minutes published either."

It is completely unacceptable for governments to act with impunity while ordinary people have their right to organise and fight back undermined.

We need a new mass workers' party so that we do have an alternative to vote for. But more than that, we need a socialist society that's organised and run in the interests of the majority with fully accountable representatives living in the same conditions as the rest of us to ensure genuine and permanent democratic rights.

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.


In The Socialist 4 March 2009:

Bosses get pay-offs, workers get layoffs

RBS pension scandal: Not a penny for these fat cats!

Hands off our post!

Stop Labour's mail sell-off


Socialist Party Marxist analysis

Marx was right all along


Socialist Party feature

Has globalisation gone into reverse?

Our democratic rights under attack by Labour


Socialist Students

Anti-fees demo success - despite NUS leaders' obstructions

Cardiff student occupation: University divests from arms trade


Youth fight for jobs

Youth Fight for Jobs

The route


Construction workers

Construction workers plan more action

Message from strike leader


Socialist Party workplace news

Stop bullying at BT

Fight the cuts in Nottingham!

Sogefi workers demand strike

NUJ action

Cover supervisors: Teaching on the cheap

National Shop Stewards Network: Brighton launch meeting


Socialist Party women

International Women's Day 8 March: Don't make women pay for the bosses' crisis

Make all women's issues trade union issues

Solidarity with Constantina Kuneva


International socialist news and analysis

Ireland: Scrap the 'pension levy': Organise a one-day general strike

Kashmir: Health workers win demands


May Day

Support The Socialist on May Day this year


 

Home   |   The Socialist 4 March 2009   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  




Related links:

Democratic rights:

triangleKurdish referendum declared illegal

triangleEditorial of the Socialist, issue 968

triangleCampaign against political repression in Hong Kong

triangleConference on state spies: who's watching who?

Labour:

triangleThe Socialist's 2017 quiz

triangleTotnes MP uses coffin controversy to distract from brutal NHS cuts

triangleLabour 'purge' furore really just democracy

triangleBrexit deal no solution to Tory rifts

Police:

triangleIrish capitalist state: rotten to the core

triangleOrgreave campaigners' Halloween 'Death of Justice' march

triangleThe "club no-one wants to be part of" - march by families of those killed in police custody

Terrorism:

triangleSalford Socialist Party: Why Marxism opposes terrorism

triangleSwansea Socialist Party: Marxism opposes terrorism

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns

13/12/17

Woolwich

Support the Crossrail Woolwich walkout

13/12/17

Devon

Totnes MP uses coffin controversy to distract from brutal NHS cuts

13/12/17

Miners

Tory plan to hold dinner at coal mining museum defeated

13/12/17

Bradford

Bradford campaign to save children's services launched

13/12/17

Housing

Six months on - still no justice for Grenfell

13/12/17

Fracking

Movement growing against fracking giant Ineos

13/12/17

South London

South London health bosses' cover-up

13/12/17

Blacklisting

Unite day of action against blacklisting

13/12/17

Brighton

Brighton victory

13/12/17

Newham

Newham anti-academies strikes

13/12/17

Tamil Solidarity

Tamil Solidarity and Refugee Rights activists meeting

7/12/17

Blacklisting

Unite protest against blacklisting

7/12/17

RMT

Anti-DOO lobby of Liverpool's transport committee

6/12/17

Donald Trump

Mobilise to stop bigoted billionaire Donald Trump's state visit to Britain

6/12/17

Transport

Arriva bus strikers stand firm

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party

triangle13 Dec Support the Crossrail Woolwich walkout

triangle8 Dec Local government pay: fight for the 5% claim, fully funded

triangle6 Dec Strikers rally in Liverpool

triangle6 Dec Corbyn's Labour can defeat Tories with socialist programme

triangle5 Dec Victory at Glenfield shows people power can save our NHS

triangle5 Dec Labour council Blairites deselected

triangle30 Nov Victory: Glenfield Children's Heart Centre saved!

More ...

triangle14 Dec Wakefield Socialist Party: Universal Credit - the Tories' latest assault on the poor

triangle18 Dec Leeds Socialist Party: Religion and Socialism

triangle19 Dec Bristol North Socialist Party: Christmas social

triangle21 Dec Wakefield Socialist Party: Socialists and the National Question

More ...

Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

Archive

Archives:

December 2017

November 2017

October 2017

September 2017

August 2017

July 2017

June 2017

May 2017

April 2017

March 2017

February 2017

January 2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999

Legal

SP RSS feed RSS

Platform setting: = No platform choice

V2