Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Fostering illiberalism

Stephen Tall has beaten me to exposing Don Foster's ill-considered and illiberal response to the announcement of Manchester's successful bid to host the first regional super casino.

I have often complained about the tendency of some Lib Dem spokespersons to be more nannyish and anti-fun even than New Labour. Foster is among the very worst offenders, previous transgressions being attacking the rail industry for not installing CCTV in all stations and the hysterical scaremongering in 2005 about the effects of the Licensing Bill.

One further absurdity of his reaction is the attempt to invoke local choice to defend a centralist policy. One reason he gives for opposing any further super casions is that they are 'against the... concerns of many local communities.'

Yes, Don, but not necessarily against the wishes of the communities that submitted bids to host super casinos. Otherwise they wouldn't have bid, would they now? And those local communities that are against super casinos can just decide not to bid. It's called local decision-making. It's something the Liberal Democrats are supposed to be in favour of, along with individual freedom. Don Foster evidently either doesn't understand or doesn't much like either concept.


Tom Papworth said...

I presume this is a response inter alia to Foster's comments in last week's Lib Dem news. Another article that had me wanting to chew my own arm off so that I was no longer holding the offending rag.

This paternalistic attitude that sees ostensibly liberal MPs arguing for a restriction on individual freedom because people cannot be trusted to make intelligent decisions for themselves is disgraceful.

herbertbauer said...

There is a new documentary about video surveillance (CCTV) in Britain coming out, and this time, the topic seems to be covered in a more critical way. There's a trailer online: