“Oppressive” laws that erode civil liberties are passing through parliament unnoticed by MPs, supporters of a new campaign, the Convention on Modern Liberty, said yesterday.
Describing Britain’s parliamentary system as amounting to “terrible democracy”, the Conservative former shadow home secretary David Davis said MPs were partly to blame for the “wholesale removal of rights”.
“There are systemic problems with the way legislation is dealt with in parliament,” Davis said. “Every bill is now programmed. Large chunks of legislation are effectively going unchallenged.”
Launching a report documenting more than 50 measures since 1998 that he claimed eroded civil liberties, he described the situation as “executive stretch”, where counter-terrorism laws were used beyond their intended purpose.
The Convention on Modern Liberty covers their press conference here. They promise release of the briefing — “What we have lost” — on that site shortly. Apparently:
One particularly lively moment occurred when an incredulous and horrified journalist from Le Monde confronted Davis, asking him just why MP’s had passed such incomprehensibly bad and oppressive laws. Davis did not attempt to justify or excuse their actions, naming only the happy distraction of the ‘illusory boom’ as a reason for our complacency.