On Saturday the Convention on Modern Liberty takes place throughout the country, including London, Manchester and Glasgow. There will be a panel of well know speakers discussing “The crisis of fundamental rights and freedoms” as well as a very contemporary discussion of “Freedom and democracy after the market meltdown”.
David Davis MP is one of those guest speakers and has produced a video blog for the event, saying why civil liberties are important, particularly in the current climate.
Now this is a campaign I could get involved with!!!
I write in response to Mr Ankersmit’s letter of February 16th 2009.
I also agree that it is wrong to refuse the Dutch MP Geert Wilder entry into the UK. The only way to combat people who hold extremist views is not to ban them, but actually allow open debate. If you stifle debate and hide issues away then we see a rise in votes for extremist parties such as the BNP – where you do not allow for discussion, people will use their vote as a protest.
But this incident with the Dutch MP is not the only attack on our civil liberties by this government. Labour are trying to introduce ID cards which I feel always has the potential to be abused. Attempts to push through 42 days detention with out trial, and also the growth in the database state have been phenomenal.
As Barak Obama said: “We reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals”.
Today I spent the morning in Southchurch Road helping Conservative Councillor for Kursaal, Blaine Robin. Blaine and I spoke to various businesses and I was surprised at how up beat the majority of the businesses were. It was interesting that in the current climate in which we are living, the people we spoke to were keeping positive. A lot of the businesses are family run, and have been in Southchurch Road for years. Many saw out the previous recession and so draw strength from that.
One concern that was raised time and again though was that the banks, even those where the businesses have been banking with them for decades, are not being particularly helpful. That’s why I and many small businesses welcomed the adoption of the Conservative Small Business Loan Guarantee Scheme, although slightly watered down, by the Government. Hopefully, this will begin to filter down to our local employers who can then use this facility to see them through this recession.
I feel that it is important that we help our local businesses and work together as a community by maintaining the link between local businesses and the community. It is also important that businesses know where to go to for help and that our councillors represent them and are a voice for them in these times. Judging by the responses Blaine received, the local entrepreneurs we spoke to were of a similar opinion.
Today, I joined a group of Conservative activists in hitting the campaign trail to canvass in the Pitsea County seat. The seat is a key target for the June 4th election and there is a very good chance that we could unseat the current incumbent, who happens to be the Labour Group leader on Essex County Council!
We were also joined by South Basildon & East Thurrock PPC, Stephen Metcalfe. A great morning of canvassing was had by all, despite the freezing temperatures, with the responses on the door being very positive indeed. Digesting the reactions in the pub afterwards, there was certainly a good feeling about the forthcoming elections. All felt that the current wave of enthusiasm towards the Conservative party will help us win another round of Labour council seats.
Stephen Metcalfe, who by the way drives a London Taxi painted Conservative blue, was on good form and is certainly up for the fight against the current Labour MP, Angela Smith. Stephen feels that Angela Smith’s close links with the Prime Minister, and therefore association with all that has gone wrong in this country, will only help his campaign. Anyone interested in helping Stephen should join his Facebook group to keep up to date with the latest news and dates for campaign days.