Put broadly the generally agreed criteria for a functioning democracy are: 1. Freedom of expression, including freedom of the media. 2. Freedom of association. 3. Equality before the law and due process under the rule of law. What we face now is one of the greatest challenges to the defence of our liberal democratic traditions - and it is not the terrorists in London, or elsewhere providing this threat. (All rational people have and will always despise those who murder ordinary people going about their business, and we have always seen those who wish to carry out such indiscriminate acts as having no place in democratic society and they should have no leniency afforded to them.) Unfortunately, British citizens now find themselves faced with a government that is stripping their democratic rights away. Tony Blair and his government, along with the collusion of many of the other political parties have built a country where we are now unable to get within one kilometre of Parliament to voice our opposition (Serious Organised Crime and Police Act - Designated Area Order 2005); where our every activity and movement will be tracked (ID Cards Bill - National Identification Register); where trial by jury is being eroded as it doesn't conform to the government's ideas of justice; and if the government gets its way and passes the new Prevention of Terrorism Law, we may be faced with the prospect of not even being allowed to talk about the very issue it seeks to prevent. How far away do these type of measures take us from the criteria for a democratic society? A democratic society is not one that rushes to repression, state surveillance and draconian police powers as soon as any part of it is threatened; real democracy is able to engage the people in debate on how society should be governed, without fear and recrimination; a real democracy is one where whatever threats we face, we are strong enough to resist them. The irony, of course, is that while stripping away the democratic rights of UK citizens on the altar of the EU, this government now wages war in Iraq & Afghanistan in the name of freedom and purports to be spreading democracy. The annihilation of British historical traditions did not succeed by way of two World Wars, yet may well succeed by bribery, corruption and subversion by the unelected and unaccountable bureaucrats in Brussels, aided and abetted by some British MP's whose desire for self-agrandisement far outstrips their patriotism. The British people deserve better.