Category Archives: Civil liberties

Please consider writing to your MP about child refugees

On Wednesday, Parliament will vote on whether to close the Dubs scheme, which allows unaccompanied child refugees to enter Britain. When established, this scheme was supposed to take in 3,000 kids; it’s done less than a tenth of that, and closing it now would be shameful.


I just wrote a brief letter to my MP to that effect:
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** Reminder ** Biometrics Registration

Just got this email from our boys’ school

Dear Parent

Just a gentle reminder to return the reply slips for the Biometrics registration as soon as possible please.

I understand that 6th form believe they do not need to register. This is not the case, all pupils need to return their slips and register.

The registration days will be held in the Sports Hall on Friday 2 December and Friday 9 December and further information on times etc. will come from form tutors in due course.

Thank you for your co-operation.

[Name redacted]
Finance Manager


A response from Joining Up Your Information; and my reply

Four days ago, I got a letter about Gloucestershire NHS’s Joining Up Your Information scheme, which I was not really happy about.


I sent them a query about some questionable wording. And yesterday, I got this response:
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My reservation about Joining Up Your Information

This morning I found this mailing in our hallway:


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My comments on the Government’s call for evidence on Freedom Of Information

The UK government is presently running a call for evidence on Freedom of Information. (It closes at midnight tonight, so if you want to contribute, get your skates on! Here’s a simple way to do it.)


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Liberal Democrat manifesto on policing and security service powers

I’m still not 100% sure who I’m going to vote for in the General Election, but if I end up going for the Lib Dems, this section of their manifesto is going to be a big part of the reason why. From page 111:

Liberal Democrats believe security and liberty are two sides of the  same coin: you cannot have one without the other. The police and  intelligence agencies do vital work to protect the public and we  are rightly proud of them. But we always have to be vigilant that  the state does not overreach itself, as it has done at times through  corruption, heavy-handedness or illiberal laws.

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My response to the Privacy and Security inquiry

I found out only today that The Intelligence and Security Committee of Parliament is soliciting evidence for its Privacy and Security Inquiry. As this is one of the most important issues facing the UK at the moment, I made time to write a response, and if you’re British then I encourage you to do so as well. See also this excellent response from Glyn Moody.

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Welcome to Britain, where you’re legally innocent until suspected

I am seriously running out of words to describe the arrogance and xenophobia of this government. From today’s Guardian:

Nick Clegg has signed up to a plan drawn up by Theresa May to strip foreign-born terror suspects of British citizenship – a move that would render them stateless – if they are judged to present a threat to national security.

(For non-British readers: Theresa May is the Home Secretary of our current coalition government. Nick Clegg is the Deputy Prime Minister, and is supposed to bring a Liberal Democrat perspective to the Conservative-dominated government.)

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