On Wednesday, the PCC dismissed Baldry’s complaint.
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?
Mr Howarth was first elected as the Conservative MP for Stratford in 1983 but crossed the floor to Labour in 1995 due to Tory “indifference to the plight of the poor and neglect of public services.” He was elected Labour MP for Newport East in 1997 and served as Minister for Employment & Disabled People as well as Minister for the Arts.[…] Read the rest