Lib Dems: Don’t count on Tories over surveillance

According to the ZDnet web site:

The Conservatives do not go far enough in opposing government surveillance and databases, Liberal Democrat shadow ministers have argued at their annual conference.

The party’s home affairs spokesperson Chris Huhne said the Tories were inconsistent. “If the Conservatives are really against the surveillance state, why do they promise to remove the current checks on police surveillance?” he asked the conference in Brighton on Tuesday.

The same day saw the party conference vote in favour of A Fresh Start for Britain, a mini-manifesto including a commitment to “remove the bureaucracy of Labour’s centralised command-and-control state, and proliferating quangos and databases”.

In a more detailed speech on Sunday, the Liberal Democrat justice spokesperson David Howarth said the Conservatives “only support civil liberties for respectable people”.

“It is not enough to campaign about the popular issues: ID cards, the DNA database, the ContactPoint database of all children or even the unfair extradition treaty under which Gary Mackinnon is being extradited to the USA,” he said of the Tories. “Real Liberals also campaign for the rights of unpopular people such as the subjects of control orders and those arrested for terrorism offences.”