Coinciding perfectly with the society's fourth event of term, the Daily Telegraph today leads with an article detailing the fears of ex-MI5 boss Dame Stella Rimington that the government is "frightening people in order to be able to pass laws which restrict civil liberties," thereby helping to achieve "precisely one of the objects of terrorism: that we live in fear and under a police state." This perceptive observation - that in the name of protecting us from terrorism, we are increasingly subject to many of the same restrictions on speech, free association and privacy that terrorists and their apologists favour - should be deeply concerning; even more so, as the comments come following the recent announcement of a proposed database to store comprehensive details of every telephone call, instant message transcript and email in Britain.
These proposals, which strike at the heart of the rule of law and the presumption of innocence, should be strenuously fought by any citizen concerned with their right to privacy. To that end, the society will be hosting Dominic Raab, author of 'The Assault on Liberty: What Went Wrong With Rights,' to discuss these and other breaches of our traditional freedoms this evening (Tuesday 17th Feb) at Christ Church, 8pm. Further details here and here. As ever, entry is free and all are welcome.