The UK political alliance between the Conservative and Liberal Democrat parties has been under strain recently. At one time most people would have thought them too different to join forces. Politics can make for strange "bedfellows" though and these two parties for the sake of convenience have become bound as one in a ruling coalition government. Some may claim that they joined forces for the good of the country whilst others will insist that it was simply so that both could gain power.
Whatever the reason it has damaged the Liberal Democrats standing more than the Conservatives. The Lib Dems are often seen as having sold out to the highest bidder.
Last week we had a Tory Minster engineering a damaging fuel shortage and this week we have had another attacking our freedoms. Excessive description? No, not at all. The government had planned to announce an expansion of its online snooping so that all emails and Internet browsing could be viewed in real terms. If we are not careful they will soon want to open our mail before we do. Hard copy mail may be few and far between these days but we all expect to be the first person to open and read such a communication. This should also be the case for our emails.
He may have looked uncomfortable but yesterday, April 3, 2012, Nick Clegg came out in support of the online spying expansion. He tried to reassure citizens that ordinary people would not be affected at all. In truth he was unable to make such reassurances. This morning it has been announced that the online spying expansion has been put on hold. The general public's outcry had taken the government by surprise. Whilst they may maintain that changes will follow they have shelved it for a year. This however is proving hard to confirm. Please make sure you continue to pressure your political representative and sign online petitions available.
Perhaps Mr Clegg, Mr Cameron and members of the Coalition should remember their stance when in opposition and beyond. The mailonline reminds us that, "Last year Mr Clegg also unveiled the Protection of Freedoms Bill, which pledged to put 'traditional British freedoms at the heart of the Whitehall agenda'. In Opposition, the Conservatives also pledged to cut down on intrusion into private lives. The party's manifesto said that 'wherever possible, personal data should be controlled by individual citizens'."
UK citizens have hardly had time to draw breath though and there is a further announcement regarding "secret trials". This time however Nick Clegg has spoken out publicly about this proposal. It could be due to the fact that May elections are almost here or simply that he has decided to show some bottle and stand up to the Tories.
Today SkyNews has carried a report on the latest furor, "Moves to create "secret justice" in Britain have suffered a blow after Nick Clegg warned the Prime Minister he could not support the current plans.The intervention by Mr Clegg came as an influential group of MPs and peers savaged proposals to hold more inquests and court cases behind closed doors.The plans are aimed at ensuring that sensitive evidence from the security services is not made public in open courts.Mr Clegg's objection was set out in a letter to the National Security Council - chaired by David Cameron - in which he warned that major changes were needed to the plans before they could get backing from Liberal Democrat colleagues.
In response UK PM David Cameron contradicted, "But David Cameron intervened in the row to say it was the "job of the Prime Minister to make sure we do everything that is necessary to keep the country safe". There are "significant gaps" in the UK's defences in terms of technological progress and in the courts that need to be addressed, he said. He added he believed it is possible to balance security requirements without harming civil liberties and it was up to him to make difficult decisions."
OPINION: OK so here is my opinion, for what is worth. This joke of a UK government came to power preaching openness. It has continued to attack people's freedoms. It has war mongered abroad. It has actively helped rebels in civil wars. It has cut police and army personnel numbers to the core. It has brought in an austerity package that has hit many people hard. It cares not one jot except for keeping hold on to power.
Part of the desire for change follows from the US. It seems they prefer behind closed door dealings and secrecy. They do not want to be involved in our trials if they are more open. In order to satisfy America Cameron wants us to follow the US yet again
Most people in the UK do no want, respect, or like the idea of so called American justice. We prefer to have our own legislated, well thought justice system. Right now the coalition seems to want to turn the UK into a Big Brother state. The point is will you let them?
It is time for Mr Clegg and his party members, and Ed Miliband and his party members, to stand up and be counted. The longer Clegg props up the Tory joke the less electable the Lib Dems will become.
Right now Cameron and his gang are scaremongering, talking up security issues and the like in order to make the Birtish people run scared. Do not let them.
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Eileen Kersey manages TEK Staff Blog