Our Rights and Freedoms
Over the last few decades there has been a creeping erosion of our human rights and freedoms. Successive UK governments have introduced legislation that has diluted protections for civil liberties and fundamental rights. Between 1997 and 2010, the Labour party created over 3,600 new criminal offences. They also passed 25 Acts of Parliament which gave them almost 60 new powers which have whittled away at freedoms and broken pledges set out in the Human Rights Act and Magna Carta.
When the Conservative party were elected in 2010 they continued this intrusion into our rights and privacy and there are now over 6 million surveillance cameras in the UK – more per citizen than any other country in the world, except China. Most of this legislation is brought in under the banner of “protection of public health” or “keeping us safe from terrorism & crime.” However, the legislation from both Labour and Conservative parties has resulted in the wholesale loss of our fundamental rights, freedoms and privacy.
Data from everything we do “on-line” is harvested by multi-national commercial corporations for profit. Security services are legally empowered to bug computers and phones and can legally analyse our emails and texts. Everywhere we go can be tracked on our smart phones. Everything we do, we say, we think and everywhere we go is monitored. The Human Rights Act itself has come under attack from the present government who want to scrap it.
These erosion of rights, intrusions of privacy and drip, drip, drip of 24 hour news keeping us worried about our health or in fear of terrorists and crime, leads to a constant sense of unease, an exaggerated fear of being a victim of ill health and crime, a feeling that we are not in control of our own lives and which could result in mental health problems.
However, we do have rights and we must remain positive. In 1215 the Magna Carta was the first legislation passed which gave people rights. Over the next 800 years we have, inch by inch, gradually increased these rights. However, these rights are now being eroded and taken off us at an alarming rate. We must take action ourselves, if we want to stop this wholesale and fundamental loss of our privacy, rights and freedoms.
The realisation that in law, we still have liberties, rights & freedoms, and that we can campaign for these liberties, rights & freedoms is a reassuring, positive message that can only encourage well-being and hope for the future.
I have designed six wall posters which portray famous inspirational quotes about justice, rights and freedoms from iconic world-renowned freedom campaigners such as Nelson Mandela and Mahatma Gandhi. These inspirational posters are designed to show the civil liberties, rights and freedoms we enjoy today have been hard fought for by previous generations. The quotes on the posters portray the mindset, the strategies, the sacrifices, the struggles and the loss of liberty that these historic, famous, successful freedom campaigners endured to gain rights and freedoms for others. Their timeless message about the campaign for justice, civil liberties, rights and freedoms is as relevant today as it’s always been. The posters, would look good on any wall or desk and can be found here: along with his books, too.
By David Evans