Tag Archives: monarchy

After police abused the new Public Order Act, above-the-law politicians won’t change it

A reminder: here’s Republic chief executive Graham Smith being arrested for not breaking any laws, by at least eight police officers.

There can’t be any doubt now that the big story of the Coronation weekend is the abuse of the new Public Order Act by police, to arrest and detain people who had every right to protest against a monarchy they do not want.

Graham Smith, chief executive of the anti-monarch group Republic, was jailed early on Saturday morning, on suspicion of conspiring to cause a public nuisance by disrupting the celebrations on London’s streets.

He has made it clear that neither he nor anybody else in his group had any intention to break the law.

Indeed, Republic has made it clear that it co-operated fully with the Metropolitan Police before the event even started:

Graham Smith, speaking for Republic on 3 May, said: “We have had two meetings with the Met police, and numerous phone conversations. They have repeatedly said they have no concerns about Republic’s plans.”

Mr Smith was released on Saturday but police retained his phone and luggage straps that they had claimed could have been used for “locking on” – attaching protesters to street furniture to cause disruption.

These items were returned on Monday evening, when officers admitted they were not able to find any reason to charge Mr Smith with a crime. Here are his comments:

Do you believe the claim of regret by the police? Richard Murphy, of Funding the Future, doesn’t:

I do not believe the police. Politely, they are asking us to believe in yet more fairytales if they expect us to think that these arrests were a mistake.

They announced zero tolerance of protest in advance of the coronation.

They got new powers enacted days in advance of the coronation to arrest without reason.

Republic had been completely open and honest about their intentions, I know. I get their emails. And so there was no new “intelligence” for the police to act on to justify their actions, as they and those seeking to excuse them (Ed Balls, I am looking at you) claimed. There was just a police conspiracy to appease Suella Braverman by showing zero tolerance that backfired spectacularly in both the UK and around the world.

And now they have not only had to eat humble pie, because their actions were so obviously unjustified and unjustifiable –  because not only was the protest peaceful but there was never a conspiracy that it should be anything else  – but they have now paved the way for rightful demands that use of this law be restricted until such time as it can be repealed.

The only impediment to that happening is Labour’s support for these laws – which looks most especially crass now.

I fear Mr Murphy’s hope for Labour may be forlorn. More on this below.

This morning (Tuesday, May 9), Mr Smith was interviewed by Kay Burley of Sky News, who did her level best to undermine his assertions – and he made mincemeat of her. Fair play to her for posting the clip, though!

This Writer cannot understand why Burley kept harping on about the cost of the Coronation. I had heard the £250m line too – and whether it cost that much or the more modest £100m figure that has been more widely-quoted, it’s still money that could have been put to better use in a country whose people are struggling financially because the government has sucked all the money out of it.

And she was unable to stop Mr Smith from making his point that “there was no evidence of any intent or capacity to commit any offence” and “no suggestion of wrongdoing… at all”.

While Burley was putting forward a pro-Establishment view, other journalists went very strongly the other way. Here’s Michael Crick – and I know he’s problematic too, but his words are worth hearing – on LBC:

Sadly, it doesn’t matter what the commenterati say about it; the political elite in Westminster have closed ranks to deny that anything untoward happened at all – and they certainly won’t consider revising or repealing the vague law that allowed this scandal to happen.

Here’s prime minister Rishi Sunak. First he said he supported what the police did:

“The police are operationally independent of Government, they’ll make these decisions based on what they think is best,” he told broadcasters in Hertfordshire.

“Actually I’m grateful to the police and everyone who played a part in ensuring that this weekend has gone so well, so successfully and so safely, that was an extraordinary effort by so many people and I’m grateful to them for all their hard work.”

Then he repeated his assertions to TV reporters:

It’s interesting that Sunak claimed the arrests were “operational decisions made by the police at the time”. I wonder if we can have that confirmed? I’ll try to contact the Met and see what response I get.

Meanwhile, here’s Tory MP Peter Bone, who supports his prime ministers point of view, having his derriere turned into burger meat and handed back to him by Marina Purkiss:

So much for the Tory point of view.

And what about Labour?

Lisa Nandy, on the morning media round, made it clear that her party sides with the Tories and repeated the assertion (although not in as many words) that Labour wants to be able to clamp down on protesters just as hard as the Tories appear to have done:

Even Barry Gardiner, usually excellent at presenting his party in a reasonable light, struggled in a discussion of the scandal on the BBC’s Politics Live:

And what does Labour think of Republic, and the right of anti-monarchists to be able to present their point of view?

Admittedly, party MPs have protested:

John McDonnell, the former shadow chancellor, questioned the rules this week, saying: “I can’t see that allowing local parties to participate in groups like these is going to bring down civilisation as we know it.

“A form of institutional paranoia has emerged in the higher echelons of the party’s bureaucracy which has led to a level of control-freakery in relation to the activities of local CLPs which borders on farce.”

Another MP and former shadow frontbencher, Clive Lewis, who will address anti-monarchy protesters staging a demonstration against the coronation in London on Saturday, said he had “serious misgivings” about the rule preventing affiliation with Republic, adding there was a long history of branches having relationships with democratic campaigning organisations.

Lewis said: “It feels wrong, and sits uncomfortably with me. I think a lot of people will find it problematic, even people who are going to be supportive of the coronation and the king. Many of them will also be people who believe in freedom of speech, freedom of expression and having an open, honest political debate about the future of this country.

“If you join the Labour party, you often joined because you want to make a difference to make your country better, and those are the kind of people who will want to ask questions about the kind of democracy we have.”

But Starmer seems to feel he has to act this way because it might win him some votes – despite the fact that it makes him (yet again) a hypocrite:

Labour under Keir Starmer’s leadership has attempted to underline its patriotism in order to reconnect with voters in “red wall” seats. In the past, Starmer had advocated abolishing the monarchy.

Meanwhile…

Yes, littering is indeed a crime, but it seems nobody has been punished for it.

Instead, the police concentrated their resources on persecuting people who had not broken the law at all.

It really is the big story of the weekend: supporters of the monarchy attacked, arrested, and imprisoned dozens of people on the day their icon was crowned – not for any crime, but simply for having a different point of view.


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Was Keir Starmer complicit in removing our right to protest?

Keir Starmer: how does he feel about the UK monarchy? The flags might be a bit of a giveaway…

Once a pillar of the Establishment, always a pillar of the Establishment?

It seems that Keir Starmer could have stopped the Public Order Act that allowed the police to stop peaceful protests against the coronation of Charles III before they even happened – or at least delayed it.

But the evidence suggests that he decided not to:

If that’s right, then I can only agree with Richard Murphy’s comment on it:

The right to say, peacefully, that Charles was not a person’s chosen head of state was denied. And I hold Keir Starmer amongst those responsible for that. It might have been Tory legislation, but in the end Labour enabled it. We saw the consequence yesterday.

Source: The Tories might have removed the right to protest but Labour let it do so


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Will Clive Lewis be arrested for this?

Clive Lewis: his points about the monarchy are well-argued – but why isn’t he being arrested for them?

So: lots of people have been arrested for wanting to protest against the coronation today (May 6, 2023).

If you think there’s no need for them to have bothered, take a look at this, from Clive Lewis:

So the King has exempted himself from 160 laws, in order to amass billions of pounds of wealth – while three million kids are in poverty and struggling to find enough food to eat.

The argument that the monarchy is (at least partly) here to make huge disparities of wealth and power seem normal is, in This Writer’s opinion, persuasive.

That’s especially telling when you realise the UK Establishment is so frightened of opposition to the huge privilege it represents, that it will have people who want to demonstrate against it arrested without them even having committed a crime – as we have seen today.

So here’s the big question: why hasn’t Mr Lewis been arrested for making his video clip? It will have reached – and swayed – far more people than would have witnessed a street protest that news cameras could avoid.

I’m not arguing that he should be arrested – he’s one of the few remaining MPs that gives the Labour Party brand any validity at all.

But the fact that it hasn’t happened shows how ridiculous the arrests that actually took place really were.


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As others see us: ‘racism is as British as a cup of tea’

Before you point out that tea comes from India and China – isn’t it ironic?

Here’s the UK’s first professor of Black Studies, Kehinde Andrews, talking about the differences in perception of the late Queen Elizabeth II within his own originally-Jamaican family, and concluding that the Monarchy is a symbol of white supremacy that should not be mourned, but rather abolished.

He says this is the perfect time to discuss whether and when the Monarchy should end – which is also ironic, considering the number of people who have been arrested for voicing their objection to it – and indeed the larger number who have been physically attacked for doing the same.

Here’s the clip:

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‘It is not the function of the police to patrol our minds’ – Peter Hitchens on free speech

Here’s an interview that is well worth watching as right-wing columnist Peter Hitchens attacks the right-wing behaviour of UK police after the death of Queen Elizabeth II.

That’s correct – he’s a right-winger but he absolutely opposes the arrest of people who were merely exercising their right to free speech by calling for the end of the monarchy.

His comments on attempts to reverse the relationship between the state and the individual are particularly interesting.

And he bemoans the failure to understand how authority is exercised in a free country – by consent. Doesn’t that indicate that the UK under the current crop of Tories isn’t free?

Also interesting is his comment on the way people have started to attack others – not on the basis of what those others have said, but on what they believe those others to have said (or what they can get others to believe).

The common thread? Intolerance of dissent.

Here’s the clip:

We’re living in dangerous times for media like This Site.

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Freedom of speech row after police start arresting anti-monarchy protesters

Arrested for expressing an opinion: how can the UK still be said to be a nation that supports free speech if the police do this?

Heavy-handed policing has triggered a debate on freedom of expression after police forces around the UK started arresting people who were expressing their free-speech right to call for the end of the monarchy after the death of Queen Elizabeth II.

I wrote about this previously, but more developments have taken place. Watch this:

Now watch this:

I think Phil is mistaken; the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Act is what allows the rozzers to cart peaceful protesters away – or at least, that is what I understand they are using.

The Act allows them to remove protesters who cause a disturbance or who are “annoying” others.

But is it really annoying people when someone holds up a sign saying they don’t want a monarchy here any more?

The person who shouted, “Who elected you?” at an event calls the legislation into question because it was possible for proceedings to carry on regardless and no hate speech was involved.

The police reaction does not reflect the general feeling of society – and the surprising aspect of this is that it is a feeling that is held by both left- and right-wingers.

Phil reckons the police may be acting under ancient laws that haven’t fallen off the statute books – but these would be trumped by more recent legislation; the Public Order Act doesn’t cover what’s been done here as there has been no threatening behaviour.

And there are very clear and obvious questions to be answered:

How do people express views like opposition to the monarchy – and get a debate on it – if any such expression is prohibited by our law guardians? And how can the UK government still claim that this is a nation that honours free speech if this is happening?

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Police are arresting people for free-speech protests against the monarchy – due to Tory law

People across the UK are being arrested for exercising what should be their free-speech right to protest against the continuing existence of the monarchy.

Police are able to do this because Priti Patel’s Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Act allows them to arrest people who are deemed to be causing a disturbance, or simply to be annoying.

This is the Tory boot stamping on your face, of course. Royalists may approve of republicans being silenced, but will they be as happy when they’re on the receiving end of this repression?

Here’s the evidence:

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Still think the Queen had no choice but to prorogue Parliament? Think again!

The Queen: It seems she has failed to do her duty in the most unacceptable way.

Craig Murray’s aim is not the same as mine in this – he’s after Scottish Independence and I think the countries of the UK are still better together – but he makes excellent points in his article (link below).

He says the Queen was wrong to appoint Boris Johnson as prime minister because her duty is to appoint whoever can demonstrated that they have the support of the Commons – and he has not done so.

Now, in proroguing Parliament for him, she is offering him the chance to delay the moment when we find out he can’t muster up that support.

This is because his flagship policy is “no deal” Brexit – and Parliament has rejected this policy, time and time again.

The course of the Queen’s actions suggests a specific plan – one which puts her in an extremely questionable position.

The Queen has appointed a Prime Minister who does not have the support of the House of Commons and then has conspired to prevent the House of Commons from obstructing her Prime Minister. That is not the action of a politically neutral monarchy.

Whatever happens in the future, this should end the role of the monarchy as it is currently described.

Source: The Queen’s Active Role in the Right Wing Coup – Craig Murray

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#AbolishTheMonarchy – backlash against Queen for meekly rubber-stamping Johnson’s Parliamentary shutdown

The Queen: By backing Dictator Johnson against the people, she may have signed up for the abolition of the monarchy.

The Queen is back-pedalling hard over her agreement to prorogue Parliament for Boris Johnson.

According to the BBC’s royal correspondent Nicholas Witchell, she has never refused to accept the advice of her ministers and always acted on precedent.

So when Jacob Rees-Mogg, for Dictator Johnson, demanded that she prorogue Parliament during a Privy Council meeting yesterday, he said she would have felt “boxed in”.

He added: “She and her advisors, I have little doubt, will be frankly resentful of the way this has been done and will be concerned at the headlines which say ‘Queen suspends Parliament.”

Rightly so – because, as current slang has it, the optics are terrible.

People are saying democracy has been denied by an unelected monarch acting on the wish of an unelected prime minister.

And they know she could have stopped him:

And it has focused the anger of the people on the monarchy:

That’s the nub of the matter, isn’t it?

And when this crisis is all over, with Dictator Johnson and his cronies banished to the waste-bin of history, it seems likely the people will want to seek assurances that this can never happen again.

We will need checks and balances to ensure that no unelected head of state can ever again deny us our right to representation.

It seems that, with a few penstrokes, the Queen may have put an end to the British Royalty.

Source: Queen and her advisers ‘resentful’ over how Boris Johnson handled prorogation – Mirror Online