It’s time to vote like your rights depend on it

Posted by Martha Spurrier on 01 November 2019

The world has changed dramatically in recent years. In turbulent times, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed, confused and powerless. But we're not. The upcoming General Election is our chance to create a better society.

In six weeks’ time when we put a cross on the ballot paper we have to remember that whoever is voted in will affect our fundamental rights.  We must vote like our rights depend on it.

In the UK today fundamental rights are under threat. People are being fined, arrested and prosecuted for being homeless – instead of receiving the help they need.

Police are using facial recognition technology on the streets, as well as dangerously flawed computer algorithms to predict where crime will occur and who will commit it.

The UK has the most intrusive mass surveillance regime of any democratic country, legal aid has been decimated, and Parliament voted to scrap the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights after Brexit.

People are being torn away from their families and friends and locked up in immigration removal centres without release dates. Essential public services pass information to immigration enforcement - leaving people too scared to send their children to school, report crimes and seek medical attention when seriously ill.

It shouldn’t be like this. And it doesn’t have to be.

In this time of extraordinary politics it’s more important than ever for ordinary people to stand up to power.

The results of this General Election will impact all areas of our lives. Every vote cast makes a statement about the kind of society we want to live in.

This is our chance to demand dignity, equality and respect.

That means recognising that homelessness is caused by complex social issues which cannot be solved by criminal sanctions. It means ending the hostile environment and redesigning our immigration system so it respects people’s rights and treats everyone with dignity.

It means putting equality at the heart of our response to serious violence and tackling crime by rethinking how forces operate - banning facial recognition cameras from our streets and outlawing discriminatory tools and powers.

Justice is best served when everyone has proper access to legal advice and representation. That’s why everyone should have access to information, advice and tools to defend their rights and those of their family, friends and communities.

We have the power to change things for the better

Liberty will never tell you who to vote for. Whoever wins the General Election, we will be here to hold them to account. We will challenge injustice, defend freedom and fight to make the UK a fairer place for everyone.

These are the things we are demanding of everyone standing for election - we hope you will take your candidates to task on them, too.

Most importantly, register to vote and get yourself to the polling booth so you can shape the society you want to live in.

We all have the power to change things for the better. Let’s use it.

This December vote like your rights depend on it.

Martha Spurrier

Martha Spurrier