Friday, 15 August 2008

UN - Labour limiting freedoms.

. According to The Guardian, the United Nations has recognised something we have all known for a long time; that this government is severely curtailing everybodies freedom. The report of it's human rights committee calls for the reform of libel laws and controls on the application of anti-terror legislation.

The UN says that the:

· Terrorism Act 2006 provisions covering encouragement of terrorism are too broad and vague, and should be amended so that their application does not lead to "a disproportionate interference with freedom of expression".

· Libel laws should be reformed to end so-called "libel tourism", whereby wealthy foreigners have gone to the high court to sue over articles that would not warrant action in their own country.

· Powers under the Official Secrets Act have been "exercised to frustrate former employees of the crown from bringing into the public domain issues of genuine public interest, and can be exercised to prevent the media from publishing such matters".

Obviously these are issues that we are all concerned about. However, we have to recognise that a culture of fear politics creates the climate for the government to either win active support or at least passive acceptance of these measures. This is especially true with regard to anti-terror legislation. So, we need to win the argument in public first before we can win the political one.

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