Labour has always been an authoritarian party. Just look at their choice of Home Secretaries down the years.
After the last general election, Ed Miliband started making some promising noises about changing Labour’s approach (aka frequent disregard for) civil liberties:
Activists cheered as he said Labour had appeared “casual” about civil liberties and said he would not let the Tories or Lib Dems “take ownership of the British tradition of liberty”.
Where’s that taken Labour? Nowhere much, as can be seen from Meg Hillier’s support for secret courts:
Meg Hillier (Hackney South and Shoreditch) (Lab/Co-op): We have heard, from the Government side, suggestions that the Opposition are not in favour of CMPs. For the avoidance of doubt, I am sure that my hon. Friend will be glad to clarify that we think that there is a role for CMPs and, while we seek assurances about judicial oversight, we have no objection in principle.
That’s a particular shame, as it really requires a willingness by Labour to vote against Closed Material Procedures in order to flush out a serious possibility of the votes of Liberal Democrats and others being able to block them completely in Parliament. A Labour willingness to vote against would make the opportunities for Liberal Democrat campaigners against secret courts that much better.