A book for us all to read:
I have just finished reading “The State of Civil Liberties in Modern Britain” which is a review of the current state of Civil Liberties in the UK and edited by the Alex Deane of the campaigning group Big Brother watch.
This book is essential reading for everybody, not just those interested in Civil Liberties, as it shows just how freedoms we have often taken for granted for centuries have been eroded away and how even under the New Coalition Government things are not all rosy in the garden.
The book contains a comprehensive series of essays from various contributors and covering everything from airport body scanners, stop and search under counter-terrorism powers, to the Digital Economy act and the European arrest warrant. There is even a chapter written by our very own Guy Herbert the NO2ID General Secretary.
What is especially good about this book is that unlike many books covering politics, which can often be rather dry and heavy reading, the writing in this book is punchy, with short concise chapters making it an easy, informative and enjoyable read.
There are two chapters in the book that I think merit particular attention. The first is David Davis’s “Freedom is Strength” essay, in which he reviews the Political drivers of the database state and why Politicians are so fond of databases. Understanding this political dimension is important, as often opposition to the database state can be too focussed on principle, while the key political drivers of the database state are overlooked. An omission which compromises the ability of campaigners to effectively combat its development.
The second chapter is Mark Littlewood’s “Eternal vigilance can only be part of the strategy”. In his essay, Mark offers excellent ideas as to how we can counter the arguments often put forward to justify restrictions on our freedoms. In particular he highlights how we need to be aware of and ready to combat the “something must be done” tendency, that is likely to grip the minds of Politicians and indeed the public, following any future terrorist outrage or national tragedy.
All in all, this book is an excellent read and is highly recommended.
Title: Big Brother Watch: The State of Civil Liberties in Modern Britain
Editor: Alex Deane
Publisher: Biteback Publishing Limited