Gordon also takes away. In a move to distance himself with the dying king, PM in waiting Gordon Brown's PR machine has leaked to The Sunday Times that he will repeal section 132 of SCOPA which will remove the protest ban around parliament. Much as we would like to take the sole credit for this symbolic move, Taking Liberties was the last in a long line of angry howls about this ridiculous law. It is presumably to curry some favour with the electorate and show that he is not the same as Tony Blair. However the very manner this was made known to the public (an off the record briefing to a Murdoch Newspaper) shows that things are going to continue at the top just as before. While the Iago of British politics has made it look like he is a fluffy & cuddly libertarian, he will also be pushing policies that include:
-90 days pre charge detention. Blair only managed as far as 28.
-Introduction of new Stop and Question Powers. What Brown is proposing goes way beyond section 44 stop and search.
-"Sharing" all state data with European governments. However as no other European country would dream of collating the level of private data on their citizens as Gordon intends to in the UK, this deal will be about as one sided as our extradition arrangements with the US.
-Support the US desire to send British Residents currently being detained without charge in Guantanamo Bay, back to their home countries where they face torture and death.
Even though the protest ban around Parliament was a smear on our democracy, the above attacks on our civil liberties make the size of Brian Haw's placards pale into insignificance. Gordon Brown's policies will continue to undermine our civil liberties in every area, and a token repealing of one law can only be interpreted as a PR friendly distraction. In fact a stunt like will no doubt make Alistair Campbell and Tony Blair would be extremely proud, and they can rest in the knowledge that even though Blair is a whisker away from leaving Downing Street, his venomous and duplicitous style of governance will remain for many years to come.