Something we are taught in this country, from a very early age in most cases, is that every single person should be considered innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. Now, we know that this right of men has been subverted in the United Kingdom, with the introduction of control orders and our media being all too happy to condemn suspects, but in the past 3 months, these subversions of liberty have taken an entirely new and more sinister look.
I'm going to talk about two recent cases where British courts have taken it upon themselves to punish people who have never been convicted of the crime they are being punished for: the case of Christopher Tappin and the case of Arran Coghlan.
These are two very different cases as Tappin has no prior run-ins with law enforcement, whilst Coghlan is known to the establishment, having received convictions for dishonesty and having been tried (and cleared) for three murders and drug smuggling offences. However, the common theme in both cases is that the burden of evidence has been hoisted upon to the accused rather than the accuser.
Up until yesterday, I was willing to brave out the hard times because I had a belief that the core tenets of the Liberal Democrat party were still in place. Transparency and honesty are cornerstones of any liberal device, but it seems like that party, much like Labour and the Tories, only support honesty and transparency when it's in their interests to do so.
At the General Election in 2010, the Liberal Democrats ran on the mandate of an in/out referendum on the European Union. I knew they would support the 'in' campaign, but they did offer this referendum. To back up this position, they had an official campaign for the in/out referendum on their campaigns site.
The more tech-savvy of you will notice that this link directs to the Archive.org record of the page. This is because after I spread the URL on Twitter, the party decided to simply delete the campaign page with no formal explanation. This happened on the 21st or 22nd October 2011. In my mind, this is certainly a betrayal of transparency.