True Stories: Taking Liberties

True Stories - Taking LibertiesRiding in on a wave of optimism and real belief in their mantra that things can only get better, they proceeded to enact some of the most authoritarian legislation in recent history. With fast-paced satirical style, this Bafta-nominated film shows how, in just over a decade, some rights and freedoms that took centuries to build up have been rolled back or cut away. The entitlement to habeas corpus – no detention without trial – established when the barons took on King John in the 13th century has, in some circumstances, been abolished.

Millions of CCTV cameras up and down the country undermine our right to privacy. A series of measures has made it more and more difficult to exercise freedom of speech and already led to the arrest of a large number of peaceful protesters. Director Chris Atkins has assembled footage to demonstrate how oppressive these new powers can be. The 82-year-old holocaust survivor was lifted bodily from a debate at the Labour Party conference for, as talking-head Tony Benn points out, "rightfully" saying that Jack Straw is talking "nonsense" about Iraq. We see a man who tries to protest against the treatment of this old man also set upon by security, and learn that he was later handled roughly – and that poor old Wolfgang was next detained by the police under the 2000 Terrorism Act.

We meet Moulad Sihali an Algerian refugee. He was cleared of all charges relating to a non-existent plot to manufacture the poison Ricin (a non-conspiracy that was "discovered", conveniently enough, in the propaganda run up to the invasion of Iraq), but has now been made a prisoner in his own home. He's been fitted with a tracking device, is only allowed outside at certain hours – and then only within a one mile radius of his house – and is forbidden to meet anyone who hasn't been vetted by the Home Office. The specific charge against him? There isn't one.

We hear how Maya Evans, a vegan chef, and her friend the writer Milan Rai were arrested under the Serious Organised Crime and Police act for reading out the names of people who have died in Iraq and occasionally ringing a (very quiet) Buddhist bell.

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Ratings: 8.92/10from 24 users.

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13 Comments / User Reviews

  1. bobby

    And it will continue on and on as citizens are forced into conformity with slave -like submission to their own government. And now one final insult as Trump looks to form the first American dictatorship. whose purpose is to hand government authority to corporate oligarcy rule. And still we slumber.

  2. clix

    @Mark the spark

    How exactly do you plan to bring your 'Constitution back'?

    Do you know something the rest of the world doesn't. If you're going to say Palin, please save your breath.

    1. Pointless Question

      Ron Paul will get the Fed audited. That's a hell of a start (says a non-American). I'm not sure he'll get elected though...

  3. Arielle

    So much for Britain being better than America. I'd rather live in a s@#$$% economy with no social benefits and be able to scream at my senator, president, or local authorities aka the police, and protest than not.

  4. Brett

    Very good doco...

  5. beaver

    Great doc
    See also Taxi to the dark side,Bushes war,The secret history of 911.Before seeing this I thought Blair was dazzled by the pomp and ceremony of the Whitehouse and in a way tricked by the US but i see him now as being every bit as complicate as Bush and Cheney in the whole fear mongering to get what we want idea.

  6. Steve

    Very well made. Probably a little eyeopening for people not aware their liberties are being eroded.

  7. tjo

    The spark doesn't get it, AT ALL...go read some history, it's far more important than your generic, dollar store, lack luster opinion.

  8. Jo

    Excellent video, hadn't seen that one before.

  9. Axel

    "Right" Bush and "left" Blair are responsible for this "new freedom", politically speaking. There is no such thing as politic color or position. Who believe in such thing as right or left is truly deceived ad blind.

  10. Mark the spark

    This is starting in the United States thanks to Obama and all the loony left who voted for him! He is going to be a one term president and then we will bring our Constitution back to the people!

  11. Seb

    id throw more than a shoe at tony blair, maybe a wellie or even a hiking boot.

  12. Tyler

    Excellent. Very well made. Thanks, Vlatko.