This entry was posted on
Friday, October 26th, 2007 at
10:14 am and is filed
under The War on Stupid.
The Times – Jack Straw rabbits on, and gets the protest vote: Jack Straw delivered a statement yesterday that included some grand constitutional ideas to do with war and peace, rights and wrongs. He also announced a review into the right to protest in Parliament Square. The moment I heard the words “protest” and “Parliament Square” I knew what MPs would latch on to. Not war or peace (for Tolstoy has already had a go at that). Not rights or wrongs, which have been done to death by those philosopher types. No, it would be protest in Parliament Square. Mr Straw knew this too. Indeed, I suspect he was counting on it. For Mr Straw was flustered. He may be the Lord Chancellor but yesterday he appeared to be impersonating the White Rabbit. Mr Straw may say that a rabbit, even a famous one, cannot be the Lord Chancellor but others (a girl named Alice, for one) would disagree. Someone, whose name might just be Gordon Brown, had made him hurry this up and hurried it looked. Mr Straw even admitted that he “busked” a bit of his statement (as you do when dealing with war and peace). But he got away with it for his Tory Shadow is a man called Nick Herbert who is, indeed, a herbert. He proved this again yesterday when he claimed that the rules governing Parliament Square were “frankly more appropriate to Tiananmen Square”. “Rubbish!” cried one of the Tory backbenchers to a low rumble of assent. Herbert did not even notice, of course. Jack Straw did, though, and he repeated the “rubbish” assessment, adding: “Provided that is parliamentary language, Mr Speaker, I agree with it. People DIED in Tianamen Square!”
Oh, yes…. Jack Straw knows where the line is.
I doubt this promised review will have any real oopmh behind it. When a Stop The War protest threatened to embarrass the government and Gordon Brown had only recently promised to review SOCPA, the march was instead challenged with the Vagrancy Act 1824.
Further, Gordon Brown announced in June that he would repeal the protest-related parts of SOCPA within his first 100 days as prime minister. We are now in the 121st day and all he’s done so far is have Jack Straw invite people to engage in a little chat about it.
Time to light a little fire under his arse, I think.
BTW, it would be rude of me not to obsess over Iain Dale just a teeny bit, so here I’d like to point out that Dale often uses SOCPA as a political weapon, when he has never ever done anything to actually challenge it. In fact, he once invited readers to one of my more mainstream SOCPA events… and then didn’t bother showing up himself (as he clearly promised he would). Instead, he stayed at home in the warm and did a little blogging. A master opportunist at work. I find myself looking from pig to man, and from man to pig, and seeing very little difference.