10 April 2012

Clegg 'backed internet snooping'

After a brief Easter hiatus I'm back and no less grumpy about Nick Clegg's position on internet snooping proposals.

Last week the party leadership claimed they were never really in favour of them and appear to accept the party's unanimous outrage that Clegg had allowed himself to be associated with them in the first place. Liberal England in another excellent post put it simply down to bad advice.

However, if tonight's London Evening Standard is to believed Clegg, his advisers and indeed the entire Parliamentary party did not express any opposition to the plans when discussed.

What convinces me that the report is true is the quote by the anonymous party spokesperson, claiming Clegg was '...deciding if the right balance between security and liberties had been struck.'

Liberals ought to know liberties are innate and not handed out or traded off by a benign state. I'd hoped that the coalition's early positions against ID cards, child detention and the big brother state had put an end to this sort of illiberal Blairite nonsense. But it seems that Clegg and his advisers either have been sucked into to the system - gone native - or don't actually know or understand in the first place what liberalism is about.

It is time - at the very least - for a clear out of those advisers at the top of the party who have so far failed dismally to make the party's case in government and annunciate it clearly to the public.


  1. As you say "if" the reports are true... The Telegraph reports today:

    "The Deputy Prime Minister agreed at the NSC that the Government would look at proposals to address the police’s technological gap to deal with serious criminals and terrorists. But he also made clear that they could only proceed if they took into account and protected civil liberties."

  2. I'm not sure I share your confidence that Clegg is getting this right. The evidence so far shows the leadership in retreat from their previously stated position - their special advisers not understanding the party, its policies or members and still happy to trot out civil service devised lines on this issue if Clegg's office's response to my email on this is anything to go by.