I do not believe that I was entirely convinced by the argument of the noble Lord, Lord Wilson of Dinton, that the bureaucracy can be trusted to safeguard our liberty… I believe that, beyond anything else, the preservation of liberty is the business of Parliament and of others who are not concerned with government or, in other ways, with the powers in the land. They must ensure that this critical part of our being a free and worthwhile nation is preserved.
When we consider legislation which, in particular, poses a danger to liberty, we must not give the Government blanket permissions; we must justify each and every trespass. We must ensure that the Government do not only do things because they can but that, when they do things, they are effective. We must also ensure that the Government consider all possible ways of achieving the same end without the diminution of our liberty.
It is common that authorities do things because they can or that they choose to do the things that they can do rather than the things that are important.
- Lord Lucas in Security and Liberty debate in House of Lords, 26th March 2003
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