And if you were listing the main threats to our fundamental rights and freedoms right now, wouldn't you want to include a couple of other things, before you mentioned the credit crunch?How about the attacks on freedom of speech by religious militants who threaten authors, publishers and programme-makers who offend them? And what about the threat to our freedom from terrorism itself? It looks like the organisers of the convention have been selective in their cataloguing of threats to liberty, and can only see danger from one direction - the British state.
Among the many issues to be debated at the main London event on 28th February, I couldn't find anything about freedom of expression. There's a session on press freedom, but that's not quite the same thing. A vast array of the liberal-left great and good are slated to appear, and it was reassuring to see Nick Cohen's name there (in the press freedom slot). But why invite the Muslim Safety Forum to lead the session on 'xenophobia'? I'm all in favour of a big tent approach, but what is a convention on liberty doing providing a platform to a group that acts as an umbrella for organisations hostile to many of the 'fundamental rights and freedoms' that the event is seeking to defend?