I’m pleased to announce that I’ve written a chapter for Fair and Free: Labour, Liberty and Human Rights, the latest policy pamphlet from the Fabian Society.
Naturally, my section is on freedom of expression and privacy. The hope is always that Fabian pamphlets present ideas that the Labour Party could implement, if elected. I recommend that the next Labour Government should: reform the deeply illiberal Investigatory Powers Act; introduce a public interest defence to Offical Secrets laws; and abandon Home Office attempts to shut down non-violent radical speech. I also recommend that Labour tie any post-Brexit trade deals to respect for human rights. Doing business with rights abusing regimes ultimately makes us all less safe.
The foreword to the collection is by Baroness Shami Chakrabarti. She writes:
… it is one thing to defend human rights in theory and another
to promote them in practice via political discourse, policy formulation, public education and real access to justice. This
makes some of the issue–specific discussions in this collection particularly important. … Robert Sharp challenges
Labour more jealously to guard privacy and free speech
against lazy authoritarianism both on and offline.
You can order a copy of the book from the Fabian Society website. A free PDF download is also available too.