UK Liberty

Another terrographer story

The Evening Standard:

A BBC photographer was stopped by police on suspicion of being a terrorist as he took pictures outside Tate Modern.

Jeff Overs, 48, was photographing sunset over St Paul’s Cathedral when a policewoman, with a community support officer, told him she was “stopping people who were taking photographs, as a counter-terrorism measure” and demanded his name, address and date of birth. …

Seriously, this is stupid and wrong.

Nothing to hide, nothing to fear – right?

The Register:

The UK government has turned down an opposition request to explain why it has refused to publish a full security report into ContactPoint, the controversial child protection database. …

Was going to comment on…

Man watches Ocean’s 13… twice

Call for resignation.

Alix Mortimer makes a more sober comment:

… And why, you might ask, am I, um, handwringing over this in quite so prurient a fashion?

Simple. This is just the kind of happy little vignette that it’s apparently just fine for three hundred thousand civil servants and ministers to know about the rest of us. Every internet transaction, every site visit, every email.  So what if outrage, mortification and a publicly damaged relationship results? At least the government have been able to verify to their own satisfaction that you’re not doing anything wrong. …

Guido says they don’t like it up ’em:

Note that the anger MPs are feeling about the expenses revelations is directed not at those MPs who are abusing the system and bringing them all into disrepute, but at those who are exposing them. Labour MPs are convinced there is a “Tory mole”* in the fees office, others think that digitised versions of their soon to be released receipts are being shopped around the papers. …

And what about that ‘court of public opinion’, asks Mark Reckons:

When Harriet Harman was being questioned about Shred’s pension she said that although his contract may be enforceable by law, it is not enforceable in the “court of public opinion” and hence the government would “step in”. I wonder whether she takes a similar view about Jacqui Smith trousering over £100K by claiming that a room in her sister’s house is her main residence whilst she has a huge house in Redditch where her husband and children live. It is clear that is also not enforceable in the “court of public opinion. Is she now going to “step in”?

Green Paper on Rights and Responsibilities launched

Posted in Bill of Rights (and Responsibilities), politicians on liberty by ukliberty on March 24, 2009

Finally.  How exciting.

Ministry of inJustice:

Published on: 23 March 2009

A Green Paper on constitutional reform, launched to start a national debate about the future of rights and responsibilities.

The paper explores if our rights and responsibilities should be drawn together in one place, perhaps in a Bill of Rights and Reponsibilities, so they are easily accessible and understood. It suggests a range of subjects that might be covered by such a Bill, including equality, good administration, children’s well-being, healthcare, criminal justice, victims’ rights and the environment.

And – hold on to your hats – they’ve actually got some examples of responsibilities:

Finally, although not necessarily suitable for expression as a series of new legally enforceable duties, it may be desirable to express succinctly, in one place, the key responsibilities we all owe as members of society, with a view to reinforcing the imperative to observe them. Such responsibilities could include treating National Health Service and other public-sector staff with respect; safeguarding and promoting the wellbeing of children in our care; living within our environmental limits for the sake of future generations; participating in civic society through voting and jury service; reporting crimes and co-operating with the prosecution agencies; as well as more general duties such as paying taxes and obeying the law.

My word… I have the responsibility to obey the law.  I didn’t realise.

More soon.  Betcha can’t wait.