Damian Green Warns of “The Coercive Power Of The State”

Damain Green has blasted the Government’s overreach into our private lives:

I’ve had personal experience of the coercive power of the state.  If freedom was going to die out in this country it was never going to be because of some dramatic seizure of power by a dictator, it would always come about through the gradual erosiuon of the individual freedoms and privacy that we have all taken for granted all our lives.  And whether the excuse is the war on terror or the desire to provide better public services, that erosion is precisely what we are seeing today.

The video is below:

Sadly, this is a video from 2009, made for the Convention on Modern Liberty that I had an hand in organising.  Its a shame that the principles he esposed while in opposition appear to have been abandoned now he is in government, quelle surprise.  Contrast this with the conduct of Dominic Raab, whose speech during the #DRIP debates last month is not a million miles away from the video he made for the convention.

Here’s the full transcript of Damian Green’s Convention on Modern Liberty video:

Hello, I’m Damian Green, the MP for Ashford, and Shadow Immigration Minister.

I’ve had personal experience of the coercive power of the state.  If freedom was going to die out in this country it was never going to be because of some dramatic seizure of power by a dictator, it would always come about through the gradual erosiuon of the individual freedoms and privacy that we have all taken for granted all our lives.  And whether the excuse is the war on terror or the desire to provide better public services, that erosion is precisely what we are seeing today.

As well as the arrest of an opposition MP for poliitcal activity, we are now seeing the criminalisation of everyone who takes a picture of a policeman or even a sensitive public building: have these people never heard of Google Earth?  We are finding hundreds of thousands of completely innocent people with their DNA records kept on a police database for as long as the Chief Constable wants.  If the ID card scheme comes into operation, fifty pieces of private personal information will be kept compulsoraly on the National Identity Register, and if you don’t provide those fifty pieces of information, you’ll be a criminal.

None of this is required to keep our streets safer or to provide better public services. The British state is reaching for big databases and big IT solutions as a kind of magic wand to solve the problems of the twenty-first century. They won’t do that, but what they will do is erode those vital, traditional freedoms.  As a Conservative, I object to that because I value those traditional freedoms hugely.  But I am please that there are people with political views well to the left of mine who also value those individual freedoms and want to campaign to keep them.  We all need to do this so that British people are alerted to this danger, and become as alarmed as they should be and need to be about the threats to their freedom today.  That’s why the convention of modern liberty is so important.

Damian Green voted for the Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Bill on 15th July 2014.

 

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