The Curmudgeon


Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Freedom Restored

Now that the right to protest peacefully has, by the grace of Daveybloke, been reintroduced to the glorious effulgence that is British democracy, the slightly less glorious effulgence that is the London Haystack has taken out a court order to remove peaceful protesters from Parliament Square, on the grounds that they are causing a degree of inconvenience to the nice people who are responsible for doing the sort of things that protesters tend to protest against. The protesters are so anti-social that they even include evidence of homeless persons, which belong outside the Borough of Westminster and not inside it, and of heavy drinking, which belongs inside the House of Commons and not outside it. The London Haystack, and some rather quieter champions of liberty such as David Davis, are perfectly happy for legitimate peaceful protest to take place, along with appropriately circumscribed free speech, provided that it does not interfere with the Government's legitimate business of warmongering, profiteering and poor-bashing. Parliament Square is a particularly illegitimate venue for legitimate protest because it "sits alongside a world heritage site and is a top tourist attraction that is visited by thousands of people and broadcast around the world each day"; and no protest can be called peaceful if it blatantly tries to cause trouble by making its cause known to others.


  • At 10:37 pm , Blogger Póló said...

    You said it. In Ireland we used to have a prohibition on protesting within a half mile of parliament and people (including very powerful lobbies) were arrested for contravening this in the 1960s. But through some process of osmosis this rule is no longer enforced and we even had a recent "storming of parliament" which was more or less treated as a matter of course.

    Of course, our parliament does not rank quite as highly as the mother of same on the international tourist trail.


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