Many commentators concerned about civil liberties severely criticised policies under the last Labour government that encroached on key constitutional protections, such as introducing ID cards and vast surveillance databases. The new coalition government is rolling back these adverse measures, and has embarked on far reaching constitutional reforms, chief of which is the referendum on the Alternative Vote next May. While these reforms are important, Anthony Barnett argues that they will represent little real change. The UK will remain an ambivalent polity, with no clear constitutional settlement, and with any advances made capable of being easily reversed
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