This is a critical time for this country, as the basic freedoms that we take for granted are being eroded steadily by an ever-more intrusive state.
This book is an important contribution to the debate over individual liberty which has taken on a renewed significance since the events of September 2001. The author examines the ways in which the UK government has consistently attempted to force through measures aimed at the protection of the nation as a whole from terrorism at the expense of individual freedoms which can be traced back in embryo to the Magna Carta of 1215. Taking as his starting-point the clash of wills between King and Parliament which led to the Civil War of the 1640's, he traces in exemplary detail the ebb and flow of this balancing-act between the need of the individual to enjoy basic freedoms, and the responsibility of government to protect its citizens from outside attack.
The conclusion makes for sad reading, with New Labour betraying its popular roots and accusing those who oppose the encroachments of "Big Brother"-style government of siding with terrorism. How the debate will end no-none can tell, but let us hope that some sort of compromise will emerge, which protects the interests both of the individual, and of society as a whole.