Liberalism in action
Posted by Matt Walker on June 22, 2009
The recent round of violence unleashed by the Iranian ruling council on its own people, has resulted in a number of arrests and deaths. People are being killed for simply protesting. It is a timely reminder, as my year 12s start their course on ideology, that political ideas matter. We are not simply studying theory, but the process by which ideas are put into action. We only have to watch the terrible images from Tehran to appreciate that the balance between state power and the rights of the individual are conceived very differently in Iran compared to western democracies. It is worth keeping an eye on this story, and considering how Iranian freedoms are restricted.
Unfortunately, we can observe the darker side of state power right here, right now, at Kingsnorth power station to be more precise. Kent Police’s treatment of two climate change campaigners last year can be found on the Channel 4 website , their heavy-handed approach seemingly at odds with the UK’s system of liberal democracy. Kent police might claim, in their defence, that they were simply keeping public order and protecting the rights of others.
In view of these two stories we can ask, where should state power end and an individual’s rights begin?