Tag Archives: order

Labour links up with the Tories to betray democracy and make UK a police state

Sad: once again, Labour has proved this to be true.

The Labour Party has again proved how harmful it is – and not just by supporting the Tory bid to kill democracy.

But let’s start with thatanyway. On June 13, 2023, the Conservative government ended democratic government in the UK by reversing a change in its Public Order Act that had been approved by Parliament, using secondary legislation – a ‘ministerial decree’ – that is not ratified by a vote.

It means the changes imposed on new laws during their passage through Parliament may now be pointless, because the government may simply – and unilaterally – reverse them all after they gain Royal Assent.

We might as well not bother having a Parliament any more.

The Green Party’s Baroness Jenny Jones tried to safeguard democracy by tabling a ‘fatal motion’ that would have put a stop to the ‘ministerial decree’. This was the only way to force a vote on it.

But she needed support from Labour peers to win that vote – and Labour said it would not help because that would go against some old Parliamentary convention. It’s the flimsiest excuse ever.

Instead, Labour offered up a lame ‘motion of regret’, paying lip service to the idea of opposition by saying the party does not approve but actually doing nothing at all to stop the Tories from trampling all over democracy.

The disappointment – no, the disgust – is huge, especially from one Labour Lord:

He was an exception. Most Labour peers did as Lord Coaker describes in the following video clip which triggered a particularly strong response from the CWU’s Peter Stefanovic:

Peter had campaigned to make people aware of the ‘fatal motion’, and to get us to urge the Labour peers to support it, since Baroness Jones tabled it. You can feel his bitterness and anger welling up in the following tweet and as one of the signatories, This Writer shares it:

But there’s more.

This isn’t even Labour’s only betrayal of the day.

It seems that, in another attempt to claim “fiscal responsibility” from the Tories, Labour has decided to take away support for childcare from millions of parents, making it impractical for them to go out to work for a living. It’s a blow against millions of families and crippling to the UK’s struggling economy, and Keir Starmer’s party has the nerve to claim it’s a sign of responsibility.

Thank goodness Jeremy Corbyn is settling into his new role of pointing out that Keir Starmer and his people are hateful:

Of course it’s yet another u-turn for Starmer:

How many’s that, now?

Still… Out with an old promise; in with a new one. Right?

Here’s the new promise of the day – and a spot opinion on it.

In fact, I think Labour might actually stick with this one because a Labour government wouldn’t have to pay for it.

In spite of all of the above, there is one way – just one – in which Labour can still claim to be of use to the UK population at large…

… that is by flagging up the failures of the Tory government with facts and figures.

But don’t expect a Labour government under Keir Starmer to ever do anything to improve the situation because all he has to offer are missed opportunities and broken promises.


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Reminder: ‘fatal motion’ to stop undemocratic restriction of right to protest is TOMORROW. Please sign the petition

The Lords will consider a ‘fatal motion’ on a Tory plan to undemocratically restrict your right to protest – TOMORROW (Tuesday, June 13).

There is a petition for Labour Lords to back this motion, rather than a “motion of regret” that will let the Tory change happen – and I urge you to sign it if you haven’t already.

Here’s the background information:

The Tories aren’t happy with all the power they’ve given the police to stamp on your right to protest.

They reckon the interpretation of ‘serious disruption’ of other people’s day-to-day activities, as described in the Public Order Act, should be changed to mean ‘anything more than minor’.

But instead of seeking a democratic vote on this potentially wide-ranging and serious change, Rishi Sunak’s gang of bandits want to impose it by ‘Ministerial decree’ – basically, by the Home Secretary saying she’s changing it unilaterally – like a dictator.

It’s the first time ever that a government has used what’s known as secondary legislation to overturn the democratic will of Parliament.

Green Party Baroness Jenny Jones isn’t having it. She has tabled a ‘fatal motion’ against it.

The House of Lords Secondary Legislation Scrutiny Committee has drawn ‘special attention’ to the change. The committee’s report stated: “As well as not justifying the substance of the provisions, the Home Office has not provided any reasons for bringing the measures back in the form of secondary legislation, which is subject to less scrutiny, so soon after they were rejected in primary legislation... We believe this raises possible constitutional issues that the House may wish to consider.”

there is no point in having Parliament if a Minister can just ignore the outcome of debates and votes by imposing draconian laws on the public.

If this motion fails, we might as well give up and accept that the UK has finally become a right-wing dictatorship.

Jenny Jones ‘fatal motion’ against Tory bid to kill democracy and overrule Parliament

Baroness Jenny Jones: she knows her rights – and she knows you’ll have less of them if her ‘fatal motion’ fails.

The Tories aren’t happy with all the power they’ve given the police to stamp on your right to protest.

They reckon the interpretation of ‘serious disruption’ of other people’s day-to-day activities, as described in the Public Order Act, should be changed to mean ‘anything more than minor’.

But instead of seeking a democratic vote on this potentially wide-ranging and serious change, Rishi Sunak’s gang of bandits want to impose it by ‘Ministerial decree’ – basically, by the Home Secretary saying she’s changing it unilaterally – like a dictator.

It’s the first time ever that a government has used what’s known as secondary legislation to overturn the democratic will of Parliament.

Green Party Baroness Jenny Jones isn’t having it. She has tabled a ‘fatal motion’ against it.

Here’s Peter Stefanovic to explain the gravity of the situation in more detail:

See also Damo’s YouTube clip on the same subject:

Let’s highlight a couple of points:

The House of Lords Secondary Legislation Scrutiny Committee has drawn ‘special attention’ to the change. The committee’s report stated: “As well as not justifying the substance of the provisions, the Home Office has not provided any reasons for bringing the measures back in the form of secondary legislation, which is subject to less scrutiny, so soon after they were rejected in primary legislation... We believe this raises possible constitutional issues that the House may wish to consider.”

Damo also mentioned the response from Keir Starmer’s Labour, which was whipped to abstain on the original legislation. It has tabled a ‘motion of regret’ – that won’t actually have any effect at all on what Suella Braverman wants to do.

Trade union – and indeed any other – backers should reconsider funding that party from this moment forward.

Baroness Jones has this to say:

The last time the Lords passed a ‘fatal motion’ was 2015 – and it provoked a small constitutional crisis.

But – while you’re contacting your MP and the peer of your choice to demand support for this one, remember there is no point in having Parliament if a Minister can just ignore the outcome of debates and votes by imposing draconian laws on the public.

If this motion fails, we might as well give up and accept that the UK has finally become a right-wing dictatorship.

Coronation arrests show protest is now a privilege – not a right

The political clampdown on protest: it seems Graham Smith of Republic (in the yellow) was arrested because of his political views, not because he was protesting in an illegal way – because he wasn’t.

The  big story of the coronation weekend fell to new depths when the Tory government tried desperately to justify its punitive Public Order Act in response to an Urgent Question in the House of Commons.

Policing Minister Chris Philp actually tried to get us to believe the Metropolitan Police had received “intelligence” saying that rape alarms would be used to frighten police horses during the street parade.

He told the House of Commons: “Commissioner Mark Rowley has outlined the intelligence picture in the hours leading up to the coronation. It included more than one plot to cause severe disruption by placing activated rape alarms in the path of horses to induce a stampede and a separate plot to douse participants in the procession with paint.

“All plots to disrupt the coronation were foiled by a combination of intelligence work and proactive vigilant policing on the ground.”

There’s just one problem with this: There were no plots to do any of the things Philp suggested. If there had been, arrests would have been followed by criminal charges and, eventually, imprisonment. They weren’t.

Let’s see what Philp had to see about the people who were arrested: “the arrests included a person wanted for sexual offences, people equipped to commit criminal damage with large quantities of paint, and arrests on suspicion of conspiracy to cause public nuisance, often backed by intelligence.”

A statement from the Met has clarified that eight of the 64 arrests made on Coronation Day had nothing to do with protest but included drugs offences and possession of an offensive weapon. Four charges have been brought, and although the police have deliberately confused the issue, it seems likely that none of these had anything to do with protest.

Allow me to reiterate: as far as we can tell, nobody involved in protest was charged with any offence at all.

Philp refused to discuss the arrest of three members of the Night Stars organisation that hands out rape alarms to vulnerable women walking London’s streets in the dark of night. Without any further information, we must conclude that this is the origin of the claim about rape alarms – and that the claim was unfounded.

I fear what may have happened with the Night Stars unable to carry out their work from a police cell. If one or more vulnerable women were attacked – and remember this is in London, where critics of the police say rape might as well be legal these days – what were they supposed to do? Grin and bear it?

In the face of Philp’s nonsense, others tried to inject some accuracy into the debate, only to suffer the ill-mannered contempt of the minister:

Those were two Labour MPs making the point about the Public Order Act, under which the arrests were made. One would have expected them to have enjoyed the support of their party leader – but sadly this has not been the case:

On the subject of “bedding in”, this Twitter user makes the operative point:

 

Indeed, Starmer’s attitude now is the exact opposite of his thinking a few years ago:

It’s more hypocrisy from the Labour leader.

Philp, on the other hand, told MPs that the Public Order Act is designed in a way “allowing peaceful protest” – and this is the point: It allows protest, in a country were protest is everybody’s right.

He claimed that “the law allows peaceful protest where it is not disruptive and where people do not plan to cause disruption, which is why hundreds and hundreds of people… were able to protest peacefully. Where someone is preparing to commit or is committing a criminal offence, such as disrupting a procession, it is reasonable for the police to act.”

But this is nonsense, most particularly because it was in reply to Caroline Lucas’s accurate point: “Those who were arrested and kept in were not causing an obstruction… does this not show that the powers the Government have handed to the police are dangerously broad and liable to gross misuse, as many of us have pointed out?”

We are left with the inescapable conclusion that the police targeted particular people or groups, including the representatives of anti-monarchy group Republic who have already received a considerable amount of attention, while leaving others alone.

That adds a totalitarian, dictatorial political dimension to the Public Order Act:

Under Rishi Sunak’s Conservatives, dissenting voices are now silenced and protest is neutered. And Keir Starmer – who should be standing up for your rights – supports it.


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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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Starmer’s party has joined the fascists – it WON’T end Tory anti-protest law

David Lammy: he won’t stand up for your freedom and neither will Keir Starmer’s Labour.

Keir Starmer’s Labour Party will not reverse the Tory law that allowed police to arrest 64 people on the day of King Charles’s coronation – on suspicion that they might express anti-monarchist views in a way that other people might see.

That was the extent of their crime – if it can even be described as such. The police thought they might express a viewpoint that the State did not support, and that other people might notice.

Yes, there are claims that people were found equipped to glue themselves to street furniture in order to disrupt street activities – but this is the Metropolitan Police; it has lost all public trust or belief in its statements due to previous activities by its personnel which I do not believe I need to discuss here.

These are the police officers who arrested a group of people who are affiliated to them for handing out rape alarms to vulnerable women in Soho in the dead of night – on the pretence that they were going to set those alarms off and throw them at police horses. That shows how ridiculous their claims were.

There has been a public outcry against these draconian acts of suppression – quite rightly, because they are an expression of a fascist police state’s intent to crush any opposition to it. I put the argument in the strongest terms possible because I defy anybody to prove me wrong.

And the Starmer Party has gone full-fascist by supporting the new law.

David Lammy – who is the Shadow Foreign Secretary, bear in mind – said Starmer’s Labour would not repeal the Public Order Act, apparently because it doesn’t have time for it:

How strange. The Conservatives had time to pick apart any laws enacted by the previous Labour administration that actually helped people, during a five-year term in which they imposed unnecessary austerity on the UK that crippled the economy and invited unwanted private firms into the NHS, all while in an uneasy alliance with the Liberal Democrats.

But StarmerLabour doesn’t have time to halt the jackbooted march of fascism into this country – this nation that fought the totalitarianism that Lammy is welcoming now?

What a damning betrayal of the United Kingdom.

The Shadow Cabinet seems united in this betrayal: Shadow Minister for Public Health Andrew Gwynne told Andrew Castle on LBC that he was “all for freedom of speech” – except during the coronation, which he described as a “celebration”, “promoting British values across the world”.

So Gwynne’s idea of “British values” equates to suppression of free speech – never mind his claim that he’s “all for” freedom of speech later in the interview; he later added “but the coronation is a celebration,” and we all know that everything before the “but” is irrelevant.

Gwynne couldn’t care less about your right to oppose the coronation if you want to; his view is that it is a celebration of British values that include clamping down hard on free speech and arresting anybody who tries to express a dissenting opinion.

“Let’s wait and see what happens in the future as to whether this new law has properly curtailed people’s rights,” he said. So he considers it is “proper” for your rights to be “curtailed”.

These people give themselves away. See – and hear – for yourself:

And it’s not just protest that will get you arrested; journalists like myself could be detained for recording or filming it. Watch this, and take note of Labour Lord (yes, it seems there are still some voices of reason in that party) Prem Sikka’s comments:

In another tweet, Lord Sikka added: “Our rights were secured by protests/disobedience. Labour risks alienating its traditional voters. The country needs to jettison the toxic Tory policies, not perpetuate them.”

Also commenting on the clip, Richard Murphy of Funding the Future stated: “And Labour say they will not repeal the laws that allow our structurally racist and misogynistic (and so politically biased) police from doing this. What is happening to our democracy?”

On his website, Mr Murphy expanded on Labour’s betrayal of your universally-held human rights: “With a golden opportunity presented to him to make the news agenda and stand up for the inviolability rather than the conditionality of human rights, Lammy ducked it.

“What, after all, would a party born in the basis of protest want to do supporting the right of those who do so?

“And what, incidentally, is the “positive agenda” Labour will promote? Apparently it is growth, the cost of living and inflation. But inflation will go away anyway as it always does; Labour can do nothing about the cost of living unless it redistributes and it is already staying it will not; whilst on growth, we all know that the benefit of this will all go to those already wealthy.

“So, what is Labour for, now? I keep asking the question and still I can find no answer.”

It’s not for the unions any more – as seems clear from the following:

‘Tom London’ on Twitter also commented on the video clip: “‘Conspiracy to commit a public nuisance’ is an Orwellian phrase which can be used to cynically “justify” almost any arrest. The Tory Govt put this on the Statute Book knowing this. Starmer’s Party barely opposed. BBC and most of the rest of the media feebly nodded – or clapped.”

Other commentators, discussing the Starmer Party’s position, have universally opposed it. This is just one example:

We are left with a simple question: If Labour refuses to represent us, why should we vote for that party? Here’s Sue Jones:

There are still people in what’s left of the Labour Party who still support its founding values – like Prem Sikka (above) and Richard Burgon…

… but they are few and far between, and they are not in charge of party policy.

So there is no reason to support Keir Starmer and his cronies. Their only interest seems to be their own personal gain and their attitude to anyone who wants a country that works for everyone is that there’s nobody else to whom you can give your vote.

But is that right?

The results of last week’s local elections in England show that the electorate is becoming increasingly willing to vote with its feet, taking support away from traditional – tribal – options and handing it to parties that offer better options – or people they know they can trust.

There’s nothing to stop that happening in Westminster – especially when both StarmerLabour and the Conservatives present themselves as equally poor options.

And look what MPs can say when they’re released from the tyranny of the party whip. Here’s Claudia Webbe, who was thrown out of the Labour Party by the Starmer crowd:

It’s time for voters across the UK to take a hard look around and, if necessary, find an alternative to the elites in Westminster from among ourselves.

The corruption of the party in office – and its main rival – has gone too far for reasoned argument to halt it. The coronation day arrests and the way they were supported by Lammy and Gwynne make that perfectly clear.

So we have to find a better way.

Nobody ever achieved change by cowering at home and kowtowing to the thug with the truncheon.


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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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The Coronation is bringing out the worst in SOME Britons

King Charles: does he really think people should be forced to seem happy, under threat of arrest if they display … alternative viewpoints?

I don’t know about you, but I’m already fed up with having jolliness forced on me because of the Coronation.

It isn’t because I’m an anti-monarchist; my attitude to the Monarchy is primarily indifference.

No, it’s because the occasion has brought out all the officious types who want to tell us what to do and how to feel.

So I agree with the sentiment below – although, like Wolfie, I’ve no idea who crystallised it.

For those who can’t read images, it states: “”Dear rest of the world.

“Don’t be fooled by any propaganda you see coming out of the UK this weekend. The mood here is not jubilant, it is sour. England is a fascist nightmare, where there are more food banks than branches of McDonalds. We don’t want pageantry, we want affordable food, and rent, and bills. The timing of this coronation, with all its gold and bejewelled opulence, couldn’t be more distasteful and sickening. It’s unjustifiable and it’s unwanted. If we’re asking God to save anyone it should be the 14.4 million people living in poverty, not the King.”

Needless to say, the comment has been disputed – by people who want to impose a happy mood on the rest of us.

I don’t think anyone should bother protesting against the coronation, though. There’s no point, with the fascist Public Order Act now in force and police empowered to arrest anyone expressing a dissenting point of view in public. Here’s an example of them using their new powers to do just that:

The Metropolitan Police have already said they are running a “multi-layered” security operation that includes “managing crowds” and “carrying out searches”, with “low” “tolerance” for “disruption”:

And they have the full support of some highly dubious public figures.

Here’s one:

I mean, wow.

Last I heard, even after the Public Order Act, here in the UK it is a principle of justice that someone has to actually commit a crime before they can be jailed.

And here’s another: prime minister Rishi Sunak once criticised the Chinese government for refusing to listen to protesters in that country, but apparently he thinks only people in foreign countries should pay any attention to protest; anyone taking issue with whatever’s going on in the UK now clearly needs to suffer a “clampdown”.

So, even though most of us have been driven into poverty by the Establishment that is propping up the Monarch, even though there will be “low tolerance” for anyone pointing this out and the police will be on hand to make sure we do as we’re told, and even though the money being spent on this event would be better-used helping the long-suffering people of the UK to survive…

We’re all supposed to be happy? Or else?

I’m not sure I can manage that.

Public Order Act: are you really happy for people to be arrested for walking slowly?

Police: mind how fast you walk, otherwise you’re nicked!

This Writer is not a massive fan of Just Stop Oil – some of that group have committed acts of vandalism that I can’t condone.

That being said, is there really a good reason for arresting these people because they’ve been walking slowly down a street?

Here’s what a vote for the Conservatives has achieved:

Who benefits?

The police don’t. They look like tinpot tyrants.

Any drivers who were held up by the slow walking? They don’t. They’ll have been stopped by the cops to give witness statements so that’s more time out of their day.

Suella Braverman? No. She comes across as a fascist.

The Tory government? Possibly – because more people know about the Public Order Act than have (so far) experienced how it works, and a proportion of them will approve of the idea of punishing protesters.

Then again, it is also possible to dissuade the Tory government from believing that. You just vote for somebody else in today’s (May 4, 2023) local elections (if you’re in England or Northern Ireland) and hope that enough other people have done the same.

The trouble with that is, it’s like one of those ‘trust’ exercises. Or the “prisoner’s dilemma” in game theory – people bank on everyone acting for personal gain rather than voting in everybody’s interest.

So now you have another reason to vote against the Tories.

Or have you?


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UN human rights chief wants UK to reverse ‘deeply troubling’ Public Order Bill

Volker Turk: this international lawyer is saying the UK’s Tory government is stamping on its own citizens’ human rights and must reverse the Public Order Act.

Suella Braverman might think her fascist Public Order Bill protects “our way of life” but the United Nation’s High Commissioner for Human Rights clearly feels otherwise.

That organisation has released the following statement:

The Public Order Bill, which has now been passed by Parliament in the United Kingdom, is deeply troubling legislation that is incompatible with the UK’s international human rights obligations regarding people’s rights to freedom of expression, peaceful assembly and association, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Türk warned.

I think this means any arrests, convictions, sentences for breaching the Act may be challenged on grounds that it impinges on our human rights to freedom of expression, peaceful assembly and association.

“This new law imposes serious and undue restrictions on these rights that are neither  necessary nor proportionate to achieve a legitimate purpose as defined under international law. This law is wholly unnecessary as UK police already have the powers to act against violent and disruptive demonstrations,” Türk said.

“It is especially worrying that the law expands the powers of the police to stop and search individuals, including without suspicion; defines some of the new criminal offences in a vague and overly broad manner; and imposes unnecessary and disproportionate criminal sanctions on people organizing or taking part in peaceful protests,” he added.

The High Commissioner drew particular attention to Serious Disruption Prevention Orders introduced by the law that allow UK courts to ban affected individuals from being in certain places at certain times; being with particular people; or using the internet in certain ways, and could lead to the individual in question being electronically monitored to ensure compliance. It is especially concerning that such orders can be made against people who have never been convicted of any criminal offence.

“Governments are obliged to facilitate peaceful protests, while, of course, protecting the public from serious and sustained disruption. But the grave risk here is that these orders pre-emptively limit someone’s future legitimate exercise of their rights,” the High Commissioner said.

“I am also concerned that the law appears to target in particular peaceful actions used by those protesting about human rights and environmental issues. As the world faces the triple planetary crises of climate change, loss of biodiversity and pollution, governments should be protecting and facilitating peaceful protests on such existential topics, not hindering and blocking them,” Türk stressed.

“The passage of this Bill regrettably weakens human rights obligations, which the country has long championed in international fora. I call on the UK Government to reverse this legislation as soon as feasible,” he said.

To sum up: the UN reckons that, by passing the Public Order Act, the UK is now a renegade, criminal state because it has passed a law that overrules international agreements on human rights.

Worse, the UK has prioritised polluting industry above the survival of our planetary ecosystem, which means our government is not only facilitating harm to the human race as a species, but persecuting people who want us all to survive.

That is an insane position for a national government to take.

Worse still is that This Writer sees no government-in-waiting that is likely to agree with the United Nations and reverse the situation; Keir Starmer is a corporate yes-man who won’t do anything to upset his real bosses.

Still… perhaps it’s our fault that this has gone as far as it has.

I mean, have you contacted your MP to express opposition to this despotism?

Source: UN Human Rights Chief urges UK to reverse ‘deeply troubling’ Public Order Bill | OHCHR


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