We Lib Dems have always placed a great importance on civil liberties and it is impossible to deny that they have been eroded under the previous Labour administration. We are happy that our Conservative partners share our concerns. This is what we are in the process of doing: getting rid of speed cameras, removing CCTV cameras, reducing the DNA database, getting prisoners released early from prison and limiting the numbers sent there, reducing the number of Magistrates Courts so slowing the judicial process, reviewing the ant-terrorist measures to make it more difficult to retain suspected terrorists while reducing the size of the police force to limit their presence on English streets, and cutting our defence forces and their capacity to oppose terrorism abroad. I think you will agree that this is a major expansion of civil liberties. Of course I understand that liberty is not an absolute. Naturally we accept that there are other imperatives: in particular the over-riding need to secure and protect citizens and Britain’s overseas interest. I admit that crime will rise, accidents on our roads will increase and thousands of our people will die and suffer serious accidents. I accept also that there is evidence that DNA evidence enables the police to solve many serious crimes and that CCTV cameras are useful in bringing people to justice and act as a deterrent to crime We may have to suffer more terrorist attacks and this will be a pity for innocent people will suffer as a consequence. I know these things for I am not a fool. But is this not a small price to pay for restoring the balance away from the surveillance society to the ‘ no business of the Government’ model?’ Or in other words building the BIG Society ( I thought I should squeeze it in somewhere). When it is asked how our participation in the Coalition has benefitted the British people we shall be able to to reply that we suceeded in enlarging the civil liberties. of all Englismen. The price we pay for it may be derided as blood on the street and ruined lives. We can admit it. Why not? But we can hold our heads high. We, almost on our own, with a little help from our friend Dave, in building a freer society. Go out and proclaim it to the world. Lets have a dangerous society if it is the price of holding our heads high. After all even criminals have votes when they are free and if we gave them votes when imprisoned they might vote for our free society. We can but hope. We need all the votes we can garner out there. Is there any one still listening?.