In one of the Sherlock Holmes stories, The Sign of Four, Dr Watson, having watched Holmes inject himself once again, ponders the idea of telling his friend he shouldn’t be doing drugs. However, Watson restrains himself; to do so, he suggests, would be to ‘take a liberty’. Why? Because despite wanting to have a go, Watson recognises that Holmes is not a child; he is an adult who makes his own choices however poor those choices may be.
Holmes is one of Scotland’s most successful inventions – and indeed Scotland has a proud enlightened tradition when it comes to the question of liberty. But today this tradition is in tatters.
As part of a book club, that did indeed read and discuss the The Sign of Four, the question of liberty, individual freedom and the, at times, unbelievably patronising attitude of the Scottish government, is often raised. The issue, for example, of seeking to increase the price of cheap booze being a case in point – and it is this issue that has led to us deciding enough is enough. Not only is it bad enough to have such a condescending government wanting to save us from ourselves and treat the poor, in particular, like children, but the pathetic excuse for an opposition suggests there is little or no sense in society, or at least within the corridors of power, of what being an adult actually means anymore.
With this as a starting point, Take a Liberty has been set up to act as a public forum for people who want to take their liberties back and to prevent the government taking any more of them.