I did get called in the Meeting the Challenge debate on Wednesday. I had put a card in – but in a democratic party you never know if your name will be chosen by the Chair of the debate who has absolute discretion. Anyway – I was called – and the speech went down well. It is one of my causes – that of the poverty of the built environment and what that does to the life chances of young people and the aspirations of all living in those areas of deprivation where the worst that developers can do is done.
Later I was a speaker at the Liberty (the group that fights against removal of civil liberties as opposed to the shop) and the room was packed. The Liberal Democrats and Liberty have a lot in common in their stance against the appalling onslaught of authoritarian legislation and removals of freedoms as experienced under this Labour government. Huge audience and packed room – this was Lib Dem territory at its finest: the only political party to really stand up for British values in the best sense of the word – freedoms and the basics of law and human rights.
This morning (Thursday) the theme continued in an early debate on human rights. Labour have desecrated the Human Rights Act – the most significant piece of legislation to be brought in in recent years to protect our freedoms. But Labour try to damage it by implying that it is there for use by criminals and terrorists. Misuses and abuses have occurred – but through misinterpretation by the courts. We need to campaign to educate those who must apply the law so that it is used only for the purposes for which it was intended – to give us, the ordinary citizens inalienable rights to our freedoms, freedom from slavery, torture, discrimination and civil liberties.
The motion passed with no votes against. Well, at a Lib Dem conference – I should bloody well hope so!