The Liberal Democrats have scrapped Labour’s intrusive and expensive ID card scheme, stopped government permanently storing the DNA of innocent people and ended the fingerprinting of children in schools without parental consent.
We have reduced the maximum period someone can be detained before being charged from 28 days to 14 days. Labour wanted 90 days. Ninety.
We are protecting freedom of speech through our Defamation Bill and by ending the restrictive situation where it is an offense to ‘insult’ someone.
So in the field of civil liberties, there is a lot to be proud of, but my goodness this week proves that there is a lot still to do.
You can't be said to live in a truly free society when the security services can detain the partner of a journalist under terrorism laws when there is no hint of him being a terrorist. For me, it's as simple and plain as that and the rest is just bluster.
I am pleased that the Coalition Government was already planning some reforms of this law, but ultimately we need to be in the situation where Government or law enforcement agencies must at least have a suspicion of terrorist activity in order to detain someone for hours under the terrorism legislation brought in by the last Labour Government.