October 27th, 2004

Big Brother Blunkett to silence Westminster Loony

No not me, Brian Haw the guy on Parliament Green with his collection of bonkers anti-war posters that is an untidy and messy part of our democracy. Guido always takes special care to greet him with a friendly “fuck off you loony” as he passes.

The 55-year-old peace protester is about to become Britain’s most wanted man, the first target of new legislation. Blunkett is to outlaw “permanent encampments” outside Parliament as well as the use of megaphones. The measure will be included in legislation establishing the Serious Organised Crime Agency, the FBI-style body that ministers allege is needed to fight gangsters, the specific law against Mr Haw’s activities is a desperate last resort. Westminster Council was the first to try to evict him, but its injunction was thrown out by a judge who ruled that the peace protester was not an obstruction. The Speaker and the Commons Procedure Committee also admit that Mr Haw’s rights to protest could not be over-ridden by medieval statutes guaranteeing MPs safe passage in the streets of Westminster.

Sir George Young MP has ranted that terrorists could hide behind the peace protester’s banners and “pick us off as we arrive at or leave the House”. (What a sensible thought, the terrorists could camouflage themselves as a poster, the 50 or so security cameras and idle policemen would never spot them.) No other democracy would allow “this shanty town” in the middle of the its capital he said.

Mr Haw rightly says “It’s my right to be here. It is my life to be here … all the lords and ladies opposite bleating away as if I had found a loophole in the law that entitles me to be here. Yes. It is called the Human Rights Act.” I detest Brian Haw, his messy protest and everything he stands for, but I think he has every right to protest. What is the point of fighting a war on terror if it costs us our freedoms?


4 Comments

  1. 1
    pat says:

    in many ways the war on terror seems designed for one purpose alone and that is to cut down on our freedoms.

    does that make me sound too much like david icke ?

  2. 2
    Guido Fawkes Esq. says:

    Dunno – do you wear purple tracksuits and think the Queen is a lizard from another planet?

  3. 3
    pat says:

    i’ll pass on the purple tracksuits….

    but the queen…. mmmm that is a hard one.

  4. 4
    Anonymous says:

    Yes, the reaction by our betters in the Westminster talking-shop is completely over the top.
    Perhaps you’ll recall the Peter Wright affair: he was an ex MI5 man who wrote the book ‘Spycatcher’. The Powers That Be were unhappy that he might give too much information away, so they tried to muzzle him through the courts: a blunt and expensive weapon (but it was only taxpayers’ money!). Of course, the result was that the said book got a huge amount of free (to Wright) publicity, and was published anyway. What they *should* have done was to quietly have given him a call saying that if he went ahead he’d meet with a fatal accident. A much more cheap and effective method.
    As for Mr Haw, I believe his pitch is very close to a busy road. Enough said!


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