Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Methinks they do protest too much

Justin at Chicken Yoghurt has more on Maya Evans, this time on Charlie Falconer's attempted defense of the legislation this morning on Today. How did Falconer get his job?:
he got it for not nicking Tony's milk and doing the washing up when it was his turn? Sweet.
Devil's Kitchen has a nice summary of Falconer's argument:
Lord Falconer of Enemas with Concentrated Sulphuric Acid: "I'm sorry, but that simply isn't the case. Black is white."
.Her own MP tried to defend the legislation in a letter to the Independent on Monday:
Sir: I am really sorry that my constituent Maya Evans was convicted under Section 122 of the new Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005 (report, 8 December) ... with the current terrorist threat it would be easy to mask a terrorist atrocity under the guise of a legitimate demonstration. The easy solution would have been to simply ban such protest ... but that was not the Government's intention ... Section 122 of the Act makes protests within 1km of Parliament illegal unless authorised by the police ... the police are required to give that authorisation unless public safety or national security is compromised. Thus protests such as that of Maya Evans can be accommodated ... it should be noted that Miss Evans's fellow demonstrator Mr Rai did give such notice and was not prosecuted .... Ms Evans's prosecution is unfortunate and appears to have been somewhat zealous, but to suggest it is an attack on free speech is bizarre. Such a right must be, and indeed is, protected by this legislation.


To which a good response in the next days paper was printed:
Sir: As the person arrested with Maya Evans, I am really sorry that my MP Michael Foster has misled himself so seriously as to the facts of her case, and as to the new law (letters, 12 December).

I was the organiser of the ceremony at which Maya was arrested, and, as Mr Foster acknowledges, I did give notice to the police of the event. However, this notice was for the event as a whole, and on behalf of all those who might attend, including Maya. So therefore Maya had no need legally to give such notice as an individual participant.
Obviously, not read the court transcripts (tempted, but, well, time is at a premium currently).

Can we get them out of office somehow? Anyhow?


chris said...

Can we get them out of office?

Short of a revolution, unfeasible number of by elections (I suspect that someone would notice that many Labour MP's deciding to 'spend more time with their family'), or a miracle then we are stuck for them for 5 years.

Given the current anti-Tory bias in the electoral districts it is more like 10. "For the Conservatives to win power outright with a majority of just two, they would need a national lead of 11.7%". The Lib-Dems unfortunately don't stand a chance of getting rid of New Labour under the present system.

This is so long as New Labour doesn't suddenly find itself in the kind of crisis that would mean invoking the Civil Contingencies Act, such as looking like they could lose, in which case we are stuck with them for ever.

Anyway a drink? I'm away friday but will be around most other nights.

MatGB said...

How about not the LibDems, not the Tories, but both, the way we got the Tories out in '97?

Tomorrow night? 8ish? (I finish work at 6 in Paignton, but he time I've got home, etc...)

A series of unfortunate accidents could be arranged, but not as useful. Or a party rebellion and a decent split, which could happen. They're not all NuLab, and they're not all evil nasty authoritarian bastards.

chris said...

The problem with a grand coelition of Lib-Dems and Conservatives is:

1. Charles Kennedy, who has already said he will not share power with them.

2. Simple electoral calculus. Most of the seats that can change hands are not between Conservative and Labour. Lib-Dem and Labour have some scuffles where tactical voting could help. But most of the fight will be between Conservative and Lib-Dem, including Torbay.

Hence they will be going at each other hammer and tongs next election, as that is what their self interest requires. Which makes tactical voting seem unlikely as the one thing the Lib-Dem party will be telling people likely to vote for them is not to vote conservative, as that is what is most likely to lose them the most seats. Which is all very depressing.

Anyway didn't notice your proposed time last night, how about tonight (thursday)?

Anonymous said...

Oh, agree, it's nowhere near as easy to build as the Labour/LibDem one was, but in many areas of the country (ie not locally) then it could work. Exeter for example.

But yup, 8-m tonight, Hogshead. Um, I'll carry a copy of the Independent? I just tried to find a pic of me online that looks like me, but they're all old ones. Pony tail, black shirt.