Nick Clegg wants our suggestions of liberty infringing laws we'd like to see reviewed. Here are my top 3, with bonus accompanying Facebook groups to show your support:
1. Misuse of Drugs Act, 1971. The Daddy of the UK's drug laws, which criminalises millions of people for engaging in activity that is only harmful to themselves. This criminalisation leads to a whole host of knock-on problems: profits for criminal gangs, dangerously inconsistent purity, addicts treated as criminals rather than patients, addicts turning to crime to fund their habit, billions spent on futile attempts to stop the trade, confused messages about the dangers of drugs. Our part in the global War on Drugs makes us complicit in civil war in central America, the funding of the Taliban in Afghanistan, and capital punishment for drug offenders across much of Asia. Facebook: Nick Clegg: Order an Impact Assessment of the Misuse of Drugs Act!
2. Digital Economy Act, 2010. With the Internet playing an increasingly central role in everyday life, the government has introduced powers that will allow entire households to be cut off based on allegations of copyright infringement. The Act has not yet come into force, so we don't yet have any idea what the practical consequences will be, but it will may well lead to increased Wi-Fi theft, the end of public Wi-Fi in cafés and libraries, and increased use of encryption that ends up encouraging illegal filesharing. Remember, from June 12th, if anyone in your home is accused of sharing music online, you could end up without Internet. Facebook: Against the Digital Economy Bill
3. Health Act 2006. The smoking ban in public places was introduced in this Act. I have to admit I was initially in favour of this ban. I find smoking disgusting. I used to hate having to sit around in smoky pubs in order to be sociable, and I hated the way my clothes smelled when leaving the pub. But on reflection the smoking ban has gone too far. Since the ban came in the number of pub closures has exploded, with all the resultant bankruptcies, job losses and damage to communities. A more sensible approach would allow smoking in separate, well ventilated rooms away from the main bar would allow smokers and non-smokers alike to have a social life without government interference. Facebook: Nick Clegg: Include an Amendment to the Smoking Ban in the Repeal Bill