As many reading this will be aware, Big Brother Watch has been up and running since mid-September 2009. Our creation was trailed in the Sunday Times and our first blogpost appeared on our newly-created website soon after. With three major pieces of research released and regular appearances in the media and on various civil liberties platforms, we thought it was about time we presented ourselves in front of the great and the good in Westminster.
On Monday night, the official launch of Big Brother Watch took place in the salubrious surroundings of Vanilla in Central London. Around 150 people from politics, the media, civil liberties and beyond attended, and judging by the comments on the night and in various blogs written afterwards (see here and here), it was a great success.
We were keen to use the event, not only to raise awareness and thank those who had already played a part in making Big Brother Watch a success, but also as a statement of intent about how we want to continue. As part of that aim, we were delighted to welcome our two special guest speakers from opposite ends of the political spectrum.
When it comes to defending civil liberties and our right to privacy and freedom in Britain, Tony Benn and David Davis MP can be considered among the most important and respected names in the country today. In the current political atmosphere in which principle is often ignored for ambition, both men have shown outstanding statesmanship in standing-up for what they believe and crossing the political divide to show solidarity with the right cause.
The speeches given by both at the event are below (we apologise in advance for the poor lighting) and a longer video of the event is now available on our YouTube channel. We hope you enjoy listening to their pearls of wisdom and continue to support Big Brother Watch!
By Dylan Sharpe