A Great Repeal Bill

This is what the Conservative/LibDem coalition has agreed under the heading of “Civil Liberties”:

The parties agree to implement a full programme of measures to reverse the substantial erosion of civil liberties under the Labour Government and roll back state intrusion.

This will include:

-          A Freedom or Great Repeal Bill.

-          The scrapping of ID card scheme, the National Identity register, the next generation of biometric passports and the Contact Point Database.

-          Outlawing the finger-printing of children at school without parental permission.

-          The extension of the scope of the Freedom of Information Act to provide greater transparency.

-          Adopting the protections of the Scottish model for the DNA database.

-          The protection of historic freedoms through the defence of trial by jury.

-          The restoration of rights to non-violent protest.

-          The review of libel laws to protect freedom of speech.

-          Safeguards against the misuse of anti-terrorism legislation.

-          Further regulation of CCTV.

-          Ending of storage of internet and email records without good reason.

-          A new mechanism to prevent the proliferation of unnecessary new criminal offences.

An autumn note

“For many, the end of this uneasy year cannot come quickly enough”

An ordinary killing

Ian Cobain’s book uses the killing of Millar McAllister to paint a meticulous portrait of the Troubles

Greater—not wiser

John Mullan elucidates the genius of Charles Dickens