What kind of Liberal votes for secret courts?

I often find myself in a minority being a supporter of the coalition. I strongly believed that the Liberal Democrats could be a moderating influence on the more knee jerk authoritarian instincts of the Conservatives whilst setting the economy straight in a fair but firm manner.

I’m not going to talk about economic policy here, that is for another day, but rather my dismay at the decision of Liberal Democrat MPs and Peers to support the use of ‘closed material procedures’ introduced in the Justice and Security Bill.

That most cherished of liberal principles that justice must not only be done but be seen to be done has been thrown out of the window as the House of Lords last night failed to reverse the Commons’ decisions to reject Lords’ amendments which would have introduced judicial safeguards into the system.

Under previous administrations, I would have expected Liberal Democrat peers to be in the vanguard of calling for such safeguards and some did indeed stick to their principles in the division lobbies last night. But others did not. Shame on them.

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