The British state has developed over centuries into a powerful entity charged with delivering important goals.
To protect its citizens from internal and external threat.
To redistribute wealth from the richest to the poorest.
To ensure public services – education, healthcare, welfare – are there for all who need them.
These things have helped make our country a place which is safer, fairer, and where opportunity is more equal. But the more the state does, the greater the risk that it gradually becomes master over the citizens it’s meant to serve. That’s why we have traditionally created checks to keep the right balance of power.
Checks to stop the state exerting too much power over us, in other words, protecting personal freedom. And checks to help us exert power over the state, in other words, ensuring political accountability. But the last twelve years of Labour Government have diminished personal freedom and diluted political accountability. Today, I want to talk about both.