While I appreciate the Police need to be informed regarding protests I suggest it is now the Police who have to consult with the protestors regarding the validity of a certain march on a certain day. A new "charter of responsibilities" shoul;d be enacted between the police and the public.
No longer should it be assumed that protesting is somehow "illegal" and those protesting could get into trouble.
-The police MUST show a good, valid reason why a protest is a danger to the public. This may be done through violent criminal records of those involved.
-The police MUST not search through protestors homes and withdraw 'material' deemed 'of concern' (ie political pamphlets). A recent event saw a protestors home searched by police, computers taken, and even vegetarian recipe books seized on the basis of them "looking lefty".
-"Kettling" is to stop. Such actions by the police do not limit the sometimes destructive behaviour of protestors but in fact increases the chances of it happening. It provides a skewed negative view for the media regarding the protest and leads to injury. At the very least it is police provocation.
-keeping records on protestors for being involved in protests is wrong, especially if they have not been charged with a crime. The implication of being charged with a public order offence when the reason is not clear why is leading the public to believe that protesting si somehow 'illegal' and that you can be blacklisted. (incidentally if you'd like to get more peoiple back into work, stop companies being able to search your credit record. Mine is poor as Im currently unemployed but positions i keep getting refused from routinely ask me about my credit history. Financial risk for a company should be solely based on any criminal record an applicant has, not a credit one).
-Repeal 80% of the public order offences. Theyre nonsense, hard to implement and are paving the way for a very dangerous situation in this country. There is an old tale of an Oxford don who was dismayed at the level of vandalism in the university grounds, all manner of punitive measures had been tried and failed. On the grass outisde his window he placed a 'do not walk on the grass' sign. Consequently all the rebellious teens would then walk on the grass and the vandalism tailed off. People will protest and complain (ask Cicero) and if they have an outlet all is well and contained. If the public are denied such an outlet the peaceful protestors will resign their rights in fear and the most proactive ones will take to the bomb and the bullet. Our civilisation has faced these threats before and there is not one nation in the past that hasnt. Sometimes the civil population needs to vent and that is a good thing because it lets the timid tell the leaders where the problems are.
-introduce a quicker way to apply for benefits.
-introduce a scheme that better enables you to move to look for work. (readied concil housing that currently stands vacant for example).
-end control orders, child imprisonment, (basically most of the things you promised in the election).
The public protestors must abide by a certain code.
-an agreement between public consultation and the police must assure that anyone committing violent or overly destructive acts during a protest must be given free and unhindered access to be arrested by the police service.
-anyone within the protest noticing such acts must forceably eject the person from the crowd and inform police.
-the public are advised, yet are not so required, to give as much notice as possible to the date, time, location, and reason for the protest to the local council and police.
-NO protest (no matter how heinous) is to be outlawed due to its political nature (i am a liberal and ferverntly believe in Volataires attributed saying about 'defending to the death' someones right to speak. However, protests which may cause violence or destruction of property can be heavily guarded by police and a small portion of the costs met by the group involved, taxpayers, and the local council. The police can only adivse that a march would be unwise and that liability insurance must be sought rather than banning it.
-I also suggest, although its nothing to do with civil liberties, a series of new monuments. A range of statues and public works of art to entice tourists back to the UK. A huge statue of King Arthur near Chester perhaps, a statue of Boudicca near Norwich, or one of Churchill in London. If you make it the size of Liberty… they will come. 😉
-A new international award for those who have contributed much to Humanity. "This years Humanitarian goes to…" if you will. Those who have done much for others should be internationally rewarded. Awarded in the UK and sponsored by the UN.
Why is this idea important?
For the very liberty of this country. The one thing that has got this great nation through wars and troubles over centuries is the indomitable spirit to say "NO!" to tyrants. Recent legislation has eroded that spirit to the point that only curatins twitch these days or protests are hijacked by youths who thing a protest against globalisation means smashing a window making their very point of being at the march turn into a media view of 'thugs' and therefore negating their reason for being there.
If Britain was to ever face a tyrant like Hitler again (and history tells us we will) then we need to foster the Britons ability to 'not put up with that sort of thing'. That manners are to be applauded and a good nature to your neighbour to be fostered.
I wish you, and the cabinet, all the luck for the next 5 years.