09 January 2006

Labour has been good for our civil liberties.

Without this Labour government we wouldn't have had;

The Freedom of Information Act
The Human Rights Act
Transparency in party funding
Civil Partnerships
Equalisation of the age of consent for gay men.
The end of legal discrimination against homosexuals in the armed forces.
British citizen's freed from Guantanamo and a condemnation of the US practises there.
Devolved power to Scotland, Wales and London.
PR for European and devolved parliaments
PR introduced for Scottish local elections from this May.
Outlawing of race discrimination in all public functions.
Ending of the stupid restriction on drinking hours.

These are just a few of the things that Labour has implemented. Labour needs to get across how much it has done for civil liberties. Perversely this is the most unpopular Labour government ever, even the extreme Tories got more votes than us in England at the last general election. We are now seen as a party of the establishment and people don't realise our liberal credentials and this is a serious handicap.

Labour needs drastically to reinvent itself under its new leader if it is going to beat the populist appeal of Cameron. Cameron has managed to move the image of the Tories to the left, but has done little in terms of policy. Even so, image is very very important and we have to improve our image if we are to combat the Tories and their press friends.


  1. Most unpopular ever? What about 1977, or 1967-8? They were shattering for us, electorally. At the metropolitan elections of May 5, 1977, the Conservatives beat Labour by 22 points in Greater Manchester, winning 82 councillors to 23. In the West Midlands the margin was 24.8 points, and 82 councillors to 18. We were 20 points back in Greater London.

    In the three years mentioned we lost 11 by-elections to the Tories and one to the SNP.

    We're not doing quite that badly yet...

  2. In terms of the number of votes at general elections, 9.6 million (just 21% of the electorate) is the lowest we have EVER received. Of course the other parties got even less than this, but you only have to talk to people to realise how few people support the Labour party. We really need to understand that and do something about improving our image.

    People tend to forget the good things and the bad stuff is visible in the press every day. If we are to counter the fraud that is Cameron, we need to change the negative perception about Labour on civil liberties.

  3. Neil, as ever, you talk a deal of sense here. However the perception isn't helped by ID cards and ANPR. Neither of these things is in any way liberal.

  4. urko; we have probably been through this before. Do you think the the vast majority of countries in the EU that have ID cards are less liberal than us?

    What about Sweden? Is Sweden not a liberal country?

    ANPR is a good thing. Do you object to CCTV?

    There are countless examples of CCTV helping identify and capture criminals. This obviously has a deterrent effect on crime. ANPR will be the same.