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Protection of Freedoms Bill

Part of Resource Extraction (Transparency and Reporting) – in the House of Commons at 7:35 pm on 1st March 2011.

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Photo of Gareth Johnson Gareth Johnson Conservative, Dartford 7:35 pm, 1st March 2011

I am please to be able to contribute to the debate, and to be able to follow Mr Straw, who made his points very forcefully. This is an important Bill as it builds on a fundamental principle of this Government—namely, the empowering of the individual. It will ensure that more power is vested in people and not in the state, and it trusts people to take control of their lives. In short, it will create a smaller state and bigger people.

Much of the Bill involves trying to strike a balance between two undesirable extremes. With DNA, for example, we need to strike a balance between everyone having their DNA taken and no one having it taken. With CCTV, the balance needs to be struck between having no limits at all on its usage and a total ban. With parking restrictions, we need to find a balance between allowing clampers to do just as they like and allowing anyone to park anywhere on private land. Similarly, with CRB checks, we must strike a balance between having no checks on people who work with children and treating everyone as though they were a paedophile.