Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Brian Haw - raided in the early hours

So, hidden down in recesses of the BBC front page, is the news that Brian Haw was raided this morning and has had most of his placards alongside much of his personal possessions removed and "dumped in a container".

Cllr Ayling is, rightly, outraged, not just at the action itself, but also that the coverage it has been given puts it so far down the headlines that you could blink and miss it (I did until a friend pointed it out to me). I'm not sure I agree, completely, with his take, but it does cause me some concern. Peter Black does, however, pose a much more important question:
If they did not want to give the impression of a Police state why did they not execute this act in broad daylight when we could all see what they were doing?
He's right, this was an ongoing dispute, Mr Haw was not a direct threat to anyone. He lost his case to remain untouched, and now has a very restricted protest allowed to continue. As much as we dislike these restrictions, the police are tasked with upholding the law. So how do they choose to do it? During the day, in daylight, peaceably and with an attempt to keep it amicable? No.
A Metropolitan Police spokeswoman said officers removed the placards at 0235 BST
I'll just say that again

0235 BST

Nice one to the boys in blue there, really making it hard for those of us who want to think that you're doing your job despite concerns over the powers this government has been giving you. 2.35am? For a peaceful, non-violent protest?



Tim has more on the fiasco, including picture of the confiscation of his bell last week. Spyblog reports it was 25 police officers sent (at 2.35am mind, think of the overtime payments) to do the dirty deed. Tomorrow am, given that Brian has had his bell removed, it seems timed to make sure he can't annoy Tony, there will be a protest as Blair turns up for PM questions, aiming to make as much noise as possible. A little far for me to drive, but if you're in the area?


Gavin Ayling said...

The media coverage, despite my early-morning rambling, incoherent post, is really annoying me -- I think this is important progress towards a police state.

V For Vendetta got the wrong party.

MatGB said...

Oh, you'll get no real arguments from me there on the police state thing, the fact that they felt the need to do it in the early hours (after newspapers go to press as well) is just wrong.

I'm just not sure about your analysis as to why the media isn't covering it. They should be, and aren't. But why is something I'm not sure about. Ah well.

I'm not sure it matters what party though; the system seems to corrupt. late Tory years under Major/Thatcher were bad, Blair was nice and liberal in many ways when he came in, then got corupted by the power thing.

Need to change the system.

Gavin Ayling said...

Maximum terms?

MatGB said...

Nope; don't like the idea for MPs, and thus utterly refute it for any cabinet post.

Sort Parliament out so we go back to being a Parliamentary democracy, the executive is accountable to the legislative, not controlling it as it does.

Basically, implement the Power report proposals for a new Concordat (if you haven't read the whole thing, they were giving copies away free).

Term limits are wrong in the US, and they're wrong everywhere. It's accountability and systemic corruption that matters. Tony's current bunker mentality is a result of winning on 35%, not of being in power for too long. I think.

And yes, I just contradicted myself a little. Essentially, one big problem is that the Govt doesn't have the support of the majority of the population, merely the majority of MPs. Cabinet government with broad church coalitions would allow for a more responsive approach.