Find out if your MP has a brain

This entry was posted on
Thursday, May 25th, 2006
at
12:58 pm and is filed
under The War on Stupid.

For some strange reason, during the noise-making protest on Wednesday, Blair’s usual cavalcade (which usually involves shutting down the whole bloody street so Blair’s car, two motorcyles and a Landrover can transport Mr Special to Parliament) was nowhere to be seen. The only vehicles of visible importance were a row of Jaguars – without traffic control and minus a visible police escort.

Note to terrists: Blair’s weak spot appears to be his ego.

What a twit.

The Parliament Square JamCam still refuses to face Parliament Square (this is because the public need to be protected, not because this electronic device feels it must turn away in shame).

The Guardian reports that: Liberal Democrats showed their support for anti-war protester Brian Haw as it emerged that nearly two dozen MPs have signed an early day motion backing his right to demonstrate outside parliament. The party’s deputy leader, Vince Cable, and international development spokeswoman, Susan Kramer, handed Mr Haw a new poster after police removed most of his banners. Meanwhile, 23 MPs from across the political spectrum signed a motion tabled by Liberal Democrat defence spokesman, Nick Harvey, saying Mr Haw “should be allowed to remain in Parliament Square”.

There are two EDMs that you may wish to bring to the attention of your MP:

EDM 2146 – BRIAN HAW AND THE RIGHT TO PROTEST

EDM 2257 – BRIAN HAW

A very good point is made here:

In 1996, the Independent asked the Labour Party leadership what it planned to do about Murdoch’s taxes, or lack of them. Gordon Brown, then Shadow Chancellor, had fre-quently denounced ‘fat cats’ and promised they would be taxed ‘fairly’. When asked about Murdoch’s taxes, neither he nor other members of the Labour front bench were available for comment. Alistair Darling MP was eventually put forward as spokesman. ‘You can’t be subjective,’ he said. ‘You must never design a tax system to get at one person. It is a matter of fundamental principle.”

But this ‘fundamental principle’ does not appear to be universal.

This legislation was designed to target Brian Haw specifically (it was ‘sold’ to many MPs on this basis… many of those same MPs were surprised when a bold post-election Charles Clarke took the powers they granted him and went totally apeshit with them).

Also, the police are using selective enforcement of the law that Lord Falconer has proclaimed to be fair purely on the basis it applies to ‘everybody’… which it doesn’t.

Bloggerheads: I stood there on the 22nd of August 2005 and watched as a relative of Jean Charles de Menezes sought to thank the attending crowd for their support after they had delivered a petition asking for a public inquiry to Downing St. The poor woman was near to tears and struggling to be heard until someone handed her a megaphone. She got maybe a dozen words out before the police stepped in and reminded her that – while the gathering was authorised – her use of an electronic amplification device was not. (I’ll try to be fair here… she was already crying, so this brave police officer did not make her cry… he only made her cry *more*…)

About 5 minutes after this happened, a far more determined protestor used a megaphone to declare that everyone should march on Scotland Yard. The police took no action, because this chap was not a soft enough target. (This is about marginalising protestors as much as it is about stifling protest.)

There’s more evidence of selective interpretation/enforcement of this law here and here.

So, while you may want to check how your MP voted in the following divisions before directing them to the relevant EDMs, do keep in mind that a 2:35am swoop by upwards of 25 police officers may not be what they had in mind if they voted ‘aye':

Serious Organized Crime and Police Bill — Demonstrating without authorisation in a designated area – 7 Feb 2005 at 22:00 – Commons Division No. 74

Serious Organized Crime and Police Bill — Authorisation for demonstrations in a designated area – 7 Feb 2005 at 22:05 – Commons Division No. 75








About Tim Ireland

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