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Opinion

Under cover of coronavirus, the Tory government is bulldozing basic liberties – The Guardian

And then there is the biggest issue of all: the fact that breaking the rule is a criminal offence. As the Hampstead incident suggests, some police officers are evidently seizing their chance to indulge in the kind of neurotic, unnecessary behaviour that first reared its head at the start of lockdown.As part of a quest for “stronger enforcement of the rules”, Boris Johnson has proposed local “Covid marshals” who will ensure any miscreants do as they are told. Now, there are to be fines of up to £10,000 for people judged to have breached self-isolation rules, and the police will be checking compliance in the “highest incidence areas” and “high-risk groups”, based on “local intelligence”.

…The legislation allows ministers to authorise no end of drastic moves, from much weaker oversight of government surveillance and sectioning powers under the Mental Health Act to the closure of the UK’s borders. Perhaps the most startling section – which Martha Spurrier, the director of the pressure group Liberty, calls “completely wild” – lays out how the police can be rapidly allowed to detain anyone deemed “potentially infectious”, without an upper time limit.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/sep/21/coronavirus-government-liberties-tories-police-powers-laws

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News

Parliament surrendered role over Covid emergency laws, says Lady Hale – The Guardian

The former president of the supreme court says parliament “surrendered” its role over emergency laws restricting freedoms amid the coronavirus pandemic, in an intervention expected to embolden MPs threatening a Commons revolt.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/sep/20/parliament-surrendered-role-over-covid-emergency-laws-says-lady-hale

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News

Police have no powers to enforce two-metre social distancing, says new official guidance – The Telegraph

Police have no powers to enforce two-metre social distancing in England, says new guidance for officers in England and Wales.

Officers should only enforce what is written in law which does not include the two metre rule, says the guidance issued on Wednesday by the College of Policing and the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC).

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2020/05/13/police-have-no-powers-enforce-two-metre-social-distancing-says/

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News Opinion

Lord Sumption discusses Coronavirus lockdown on BBCR4 PM with Evan Davis

The is the worst interference with personal liberty in our history. For what is by historical standards not a very serious pandemic except for particular categories of vulnerable people who can isolate themselves voluntarily.

The problem about law is that it excludes common sense.

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Videos

14 arrested by police at London anti-lockdown protest – 9 May 2020

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News

I’m in ghost town Madrid, witnessing a brutal lockdown enforcement. Is it even constitutional? – RT

https://www.rt.com/op-ed/486350-spain-tough-rules-covid-19-lockdown/

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News

Government should be ‘calling off the dogs’ and relaxing lockdown rules, scientific adviser says – The Telegraph

Advisers to scientific group reviewing lockdown are alarmed at police closing parks and threatening to arrest sunbathers

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2020/04/13/government-should-calling-dogs-relaxing-lockdown-rules-scientific/

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News Videos

Lord Sumption explains national overreaction to coronavirus – BBC Radio 4

“Yes this is serious but the real question is: is this serious enough to warrant putting most of our population into house imprisonment; wrecking our economy for the indefinite period; destroying businesses that honest and hardworking people have taken years to build up; saddling future generation with debt, depression, stress, suicides and unbelievable distress inflicted on millions of people who are not especially vulnerable and will suffer only mild symptoms or none at all.”