UK Liberty


[last updated 14 October 2008]

What’s it all about?

This is a blog on issues relating to liberty in the UK – mainly an attempt to put into some sort of context the articles that appear in the mainstream national media and announcements by politicians on liberty-related proposals and so on, and to persuade people to support liberty.

Why UK Liberty and not UK Democracy?

Liberty seems more important as an aspiration than democracy.  Democracy may help preserve liberty – on the other hand, sometimes it does not.  I think that, of the two, liberty should be our ultimate aspiration – if this results from democracy, so much the better.


I started this blog with the intention of trying to be balanced, like the BBC, and offering both sides of the argument.  Later I realised that on some things it is impossible to be balanced – some proposals are so fundamentally wrong that any notion of balance is inconceivable.

The writer Steven Poole questions the BBC’s difficulty with balance in his book, Unspeak, giving the example of global warming – there seems to be a large consensus that global warming is occurring, yet the BBC will bring in only one person in for each of for and against, thereby (apparently incorrectly) implying that  opinion remains equally divided.

I will look at both sides of the argument though.

Also, it is likely that most articles appear to criticise the Government and its proposals, not because I have any particular dislike of the Government (although, in fact, I despise the Labour Governments led by Blair and Brown), but because under our constitution it is the Government that proposes most new legislation, and most of the Parliamentary time available for debate is spent on Government Bills.  If the Conservatives or Liberal Democrats were in Government most articles here would criticise their proposals.

I am not an expert

This is not a one-stop shop and I am not a legal expert. In fact, I’m not expert in anything. I will however try to substantiate my claims.  If you think I have not done so, please say so, because  – unlike the Government – I want to show not tell.

So, do not take my word for anything. Click through the links. Make up your own mind, and question me if you think I am wrong.  After all, that is what debate, liberty, and democracy, should involve.

I currently don’t support any political parties.

Comment policy

Comments are very welcome indeed.  I will only moderate spam and abuse.

(This blog is not related in anyway to the excellent Liberty.)


8 Responses

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  1. George Gordon-States said, on July 8, 2007 at 1:30 pm

    Under the IT topic, I am surprised that the thrust (since 2000) for all councils to have an LLPG (Local Land and Property Gazetter) linked to computer maps, to show the exact location of a residence address and person(s) living there is not one of the Topics in IT.
    I have worked with some of the councils and boroughs on this, and it is a complete cock-up…. a horrible mess created by inept and uneducated municipal IT personnel. Billions of pounds being wasted on fark-all.

  2. ukliberty said, on July 9, 2007 at 6:08 pm

    I was unaware of the LLPG until your comment!

    My excuse: I never intended for the list in Government IT Gone Wrong to be exhaustive. I think it’s a topic for another blog.

  3. […] About […]

  4. SteveB said, on October 3, 2008 at 11:56 am

    Amnesty has just launched a new online petition at, calling on MPs to vote against 42 days when it return to the Commons this autumn. It sees to have really caught people’s attention: over 2,300 people have already signed since it launched it on Tuesday.

    The petition focuses on MPs who voted in favour of 42 days pre-charge detention, but previously had not supported proposals for 90 days. New functionality sorts the signatures by postcode so each MP will receive a petition signed only by their own constituents; a national petition including all the signatures will be presented to parliament ahead of the vote.

    Amnesty’s activists are going to be out on the streets in the coming weeks, asking people to sign the petition. It would be great if you’d give it a mention.

    On Monday 13 October we’re launching ‘Sleepwalk’, the latest in our series of online films, to drive this next phase of the campaign against 42 days. It’s from the same directors that made ‘Stuff of Life’, the film about the US waterboarding torture technique. It should look pretty amazing, with a new soundtrack by The Orb. We’re warning that people are sleepwalking into an assault on their human rights – you can probably guess where it’s going. Hope you’ll want to feature it on the site.

    We’ll be launching the film at a big event in Leeds on 13 October, with hundreds of people on a ‘mass sleepwalk’ through the city streets. If you’re interested I could send you some more info and download info about the film next week?


  5. ukliberty said, on October 3, 2008 at 2:24 pm

    Yes please, very interested.

  6. Alec said, on November 9, 2008 at 5:40 pm

    This is a shameless plug, but it’s in a good cause: Liberty has created a website called, which is a powerful collection of essays, poems, and stories by 42 contemporary writers, including Ian Rankin, Philip Pullman and Ali Smith.

    We are relieved that the House of Lords have struck down the proposal to hold people without charge for 42 days, but the Home Secretary has made it clear that the Government may try to bring back this dangerous and unnecessary measure.
    Including new and published works, 42 Writers is a moving and thought-provoking anthology, and its themes of voicelessness, captivity and persecution will resonate with readers even after the political storm has passed. We’d be very grateful if you would take a look at the website and consider linking to it.

    Alec Patton
    Volunteer, Liberty

  7. Martin said, on September 26, 2009 at 2:23 pm

    Hi UKLiberty,


    Apologies for replying to your LC comment here. I don’t seem welcome there and I couldn’t spot an email address for you.

    Yes, in this context obsessive and crazy are not meant kindly. But I can’t see a qualitative difference between these words and “idiot” which Tim has been calling Julie Moult for some time, and encouraging others to do the same.

    Insults, rudeness and unkindness are things which have to been taken with a pinch of salt sometimes. I think it weakens the argument to load these in with far more serious allegations. In short emotions are being fired up to increase the “juiciness” of the reportage, a charge which Tim in particular is often willing to level at newspaper journalists.

  8. Nick said, on April 26, 2010 at 1:38 pm


    Once again, apologies for leaving a comment but like Martin, I too couldn’t find an e-mail address for direct contact.

    I came across your blog after searching for UK Liberty as I’m currently assisting the director and producer of the soon to be released documentary-film Erasing David with promotion. The film concerns surveillance, privacy and the database state in the UK and is being shown in cinemas nation-wide from April 29 and on More 4 on May 4. We’re trying to contact individuals who may share interests in such civil liberties in order to gauge enthusiasm and encourage discussion. If you would like more information I can provide this or alternatively, please visit our website here:

    Many thanks,

    Erasing David Team

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