In the run up to the Convention, we’re going to be running a series of short blogs from each member of the Convention team. The first is by Rosemary Bechler who is responsible for partner outreach.
Rosemary Bechler: I was so shocked when the Government tried to push through 42 days against all informed and common sense opinion. I realised, with David Davis and a few others’ help, just how damaging the so-called ‘war on terror’ has been for our democratic governance, and crucially that no-one much would be defending that democracy unless we the people became much more vigilant and energetic on our own behalf. At exactly this moment, Anthony Barnett told me about the Convention on Modern Liberty, and the wide variety of organisations that were coming on board. If Helena Kennedy is right, and this offensive against our liberties is not organised by some deep state, then all I can say is that the sheer range of these emergent issues makes it look as if it is coming from nearly every corner of it – and I am so glad that the fightback has begun. It turns out that there are people all over the place who really care about this for all sorts of different reasons – so that the process becomes fascinating, rich and great fun. I’m really glad to be a part of it. We are learning to talk to each other despite all the potential for grandstanding and sectarianism that has been such a feature of past thaws in the ice of citizen mobilisation. Perhaps we won’t have to look back at the 1640s with envy (not the violence of course). Yes, it’s a relief. Onward and upwards.