Politics

Updated: 600,000+ sign petition against protest bill

A petition against plans to restrict protests has been signed by more than 600,000 people, the organisers said today.

Petition presented to parliament against proposals to restrict protest. Photo: Liberty

A coalition of groups, including Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace, 38 Degrees, 350.org and Liberty, presented the petition to the UK parliament as the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill began its Report stage this afternoon.

Under the proposals, people could be jailed for up to 10 years for causing “serious annoyance or inconvenience” by taking part in protests.

Police could impose legally-binding restrictions on marches or rallies on the grounds that noise “may result in serious disruption to the activities of an organisation” or may “have a relevant impact on persons in the vicinity of the protest”.

Anyone breaching conditions imposed by police could be arrested and prosecuted, even if they did not know they were in place. Current legislation says it an offence “knowingly” to fail to comply. But the bill makes it possible for someone to be charged with breaking a restriction which they “knew or ought to have known about”.

There are new controls on protests by a single person and powers to prevent authorised encampments.

Since the bill was published in March, more than 30,000 people have written to the Prime Minister to object.

In a letter to the Homes and Justice Secretaries, 245 organisations described the bill as an “attack” on fundamental rights.

More than 700 of the UK’s leading legal academics have called for the protest sections of the bill to be abandoned.

Opposition MPs have been calling for changes to clauses 55-61 this afternoon. A new clause proposes a code requiring police to facilitate peaceful protest.

The Home Office minister, Victoria Atkins, said the protest sections of the bill had been drawn up based on guidance from the police. Yesterday, senior police officers reportedly said they had not asked for new powers to restrict noisy protests.

In a vote on Monday evening, MPs approved the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill by 365 votes to 265. None of the dozens of amendments that had been proposed were approved. The bill now moves to the House of Lords where there will be further scrutiny and debate.

  • A separate parliamentary petition against the bill has attracted 253,041 signatures and closes on 16 September 2021. The government has already responded saying: “The public order measures in the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill do not erode the public’s right to protest; the Government will not be removing these measures from the Bill.”

Updated 6/7/2021 with paragraphs on the parliamentary petition and the vote to approve the bill

52 replies »

  1. Thanks, David, for all this effort. There can be little doubt that the voter has a right to protest against government proposals. In practice governments are voted in on a limited number of issues dear to individual voters. Not all of the winning party’s programme will appeal to all those who voted it in. The idea that an individual, having voted a government in because, say, it shares his or her antipathy towards foreigners, is bound to accept all the other aspects of its policies, is nonsensical. Similarly to proclaim that he or she can change voting direction at the next election thereby solving the problem, does not speak to the facts of a dynamic democracy. Of course spontaneous protest must be permitted and facilitated.
    To return to an earlier posting by Martin on July 6th.1020pm., in his answer to mine.
    This again is an example of the classic ‘inactivist’ tactic of deflection and distortion, designed to mask denial.

    Martin, your first couple of paragraphs seem irrelevant to my posting and, as such, constitute an attempt to deflect attention from the point of my posting which you do not address, preferring an implied sneer – “So posts the person..”. I will meet you briefly, however, on your terms as I do not want readers to accept your Brexit narrative without submitting it to the usual tests, the first of which is accuracy.
    There proved to be ways of getting the cabinet ‘leavers’ ‘ message across without ‘campaigning’; the lies did not need to figure in actual campaigning to achieve their success. The lies nevertheless were there, and within the government. I have already accepted that HMG as a whole did not desire and work for this catastrophic result but that there were cabinet members who desired it and who contributed to it is established. Penny Mordaunt, purdah notwithstanding, claimed that were we to ‘remain’, we would not be able to stop 70,000,000 Turks departing for British shores, Turkey knocking on Europe’s door at the time. Johnson, (although not in government), aware that the British position favoured Turkish membership, supported this. Albania, Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia, similarly candidates for EU membership, Gove confirmed their citizens would have the right to live and work in the UK. All three ignored the UK’s veto on such membership to present their inflammatory arguments. This is a clear example of a mendacious presentation of the facts. Cameron, fresh from recent contrived confrontations with the EU to appease his party, and now, inexplicably enthusiastic about remaining had been unable to counter leavers’ arguments sourced in xenophobia and injected by the Murdoch media and had fallen back almost exclusively on the powerful economic arguments for remaining. This proved not enough. Cameron himself in his autobiography conceded the point that he could have done more to stop it. Effectively he sacrificed country to party in his attempts to silence the 40 or so Tory militants who threatened a quasi civil war within the party. Look a little more closely at purdah, Martin, this no doubt the source of your comments on campaigning by HMG. The cabinet were free to hold opinions and justify them. Cameron himself leafleted the public in favour of his new, although probably genuine*, public desire to remain.
    The point of your first paragraph, completely irrelevant of course to the arguments I had adduced in my posting, (think ‘deflection’ and ‘distortion’), was that I had demonstrated in London in a certain belief which you deny concerning HMG’s behaviour. Whether I was correct or incorrect, what does it matter? I acted in accordance with my beliefs that it was important to test the people’s deliberately misled and therefore ill-founded referendum decision by calling for a second, informed, referendum. Does this disqualify me from holding an opinion? The inactivists, by the way, did not join us!
    This of course is a simplification of Cameron’s position. I could go on but won’t.

    • Hi Iaith1720, thanks for your efforts too. An uphill struggle isnt it? But that only means its the best place to be, or it wouldn’t be so difficult to tell the truth?
      Free speech and freedom of thought, freedom of views and freedom of action including peaceful protest are fundamental foundations of the democratic basis of this country and many others. All of us appear to be under internal and external attack by forces that can only be percieved by their words and actions. If the fundamental freedoms under Common Law are destroyed, then all these countries will fall the same way. And we will see a darkness worldwide that only novels like George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty Four have foreseen. Which is precisely what this Police Bill is constructed to do by the back door and disguised under other more important protections. It is subterfuge, pure and simple.
      If we allow this present governmental insanity to succeed by inaction, then our children and generations to come will suffer for it. That must not be allowed to happen.
      Those who wish to overturn the fundamental foundations of a free and peaceful democracy will only suffer from their own actions sooner than they think, when the forces they allowed to become institutionalised come to kick down their door too and drag them to the inevitable re-education camps, and maybe worse. Its happened before, its happening now in other totalitarian regimes.
      Peaceful preservation of the formerly strong democratic principles would by operation of justice and freedom for all, not just for the few, would save us and them from suffering their own self generated fate. Its that important.
      As usual of course, the consequences of the disruptor’s of democracy fails to register in their own narrow cognitive dissonance. Just so long as they can persecute others who dare to protest for the betterment of all and of the entire planet.
      What is seen in those who only want power over others and the planet is an inability to project their own actions into the consequences for themselves. Short termism to make immediate personal gain and to have power over others is all they can see. Photos of protests for a better world, are shown of people being terrorised by violent police seems to excite them. To everyone else, it sickens them and the same goes for myself.
      Whereas three dimensional thinking is inclusive of others and moves to make a better future for all. To benefit by others becoming more free, happier, more fulfilled and to develop the conditions in which a better more equal and fair society and a more ecological basis for the planet is the only sensible way to progress. Whereas some only see the planet and the people as a resource to ransack for personal power and profit.
      And that is where we fall, or we stand. It really is as simple as that.

      • And, more use of the “we” to imply that is a consensus! And more oxymorons eg. inclusive of others!

        Except, neither are correct, otherwise this Bill would not be placed and progressed.

        This Government, and every other, has placed and progressed Bills that are not to the liking of sections of the community. There is recourse available-protest in a way that recognises others freedoms otherwise it will appear undemocratic, ill mannered and not inclusive, and vote for an alternative that is brave enough to plonk into their manifesto something that gains your support. If the alternative policy is desired by others, it will be identified by focus groups, or whatever research is conducted, so should be easy to find that democratic choice is available. That may have been more likely if censoring the freedoms of the press was not attempted and seen worthy to promote as an acceptable form of protest.

        But, much of that is out of reach for a minority so the alternative is to claim the moral high ground. A well trodden path, but if surrounded by a larger number who have had their freedoms impacted, and been considered to be excluded as part of a selective democracy, the moral high ground looks very undeserved, and then the maths. will simply show what true democracy is.

        It really is as simple as that.

        And, if the minority want to proclaim their superiority, it should be a simple matter to identify ways to protest that are not unacceptable to the stupid majority. As they don’t, maybe, just maybe, they are not so superior? And, yes, when I was a student, I held such views myself but that was a long time ago and I always accepted that if I wanted to protest I needed to encourage acceptance in the wider community. If I deliberately tried to do the opposite then my actions would create consequences, would not encourage change but would just encourage the consequences. Even then, some, knowing the same, would still see that as their objective. So, ever thus as well as simple. Not a modern trend either as it can certainly be tracked back to Roman times and probably beyond.

        • Hi Iaith1720, strange isn’t it, that as soon as people speak or write with perfectly normal ordinary every day words, that no one on this blue/green Earth has any right to attempt to control or even care about in any way whatsoever, that these irrational fears of words such as we, seem to emerge from this person as if he is being stung? [Edited by moderator]

          As I said before, the word we has appeared in the American Bill of Rights, namely “We The People” In Great Britain, the Queen of England Ireland Scotland and Wales uses the “Royal We” in her speeches. The Republicans have their own expression of solidarity which is “Where We Go One We Go All”.

          Remember that the part time soldiers in the American Republic, who were always ready to drop everything and pick up their weapons, were called “ready men” in the American Wars for Independence? The intention now, is to be ready to fight against attack by just the sort of internal and externally generated ideological elements that we see in Great Britain and who also can only be too clearly recognised by their words in speech and writings.

          The growing tide of redaction and complete removal of texts and papers worldwide, the censoring of anyone who dares to so much as report perfectly reasonable proof of source of forbidden information, are entirely deplatformed and deleted without appeal or for any excuse. The offending elements appear to possess, or be possessed, by almost insane paranoid obsessions and fears of anyone or anything. Any written word (apparently “we” is one of those forbidden words) or social media post that stands between the infiltrators (or infiltraitors?) and their obsessional power gains are subjected to what can only be called deeply Marxist or fascist, or communist totalitarian book burning in digital form.

          So, it begins to become clear why is this paranoid obsession with the word “we”. The word “we” is of course a collective term as shown in The Cambridge English Dictionary: https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/we

          Meaning of we in English
          we
          pronoun
          uk
          strong /wiː/ weak /wi/ us
          strong /wiː/ weak /wi/
          we pronoun (GROUP)
          A1
          used as the subject of a verb to refer to a group including the speaker and at least one other person:
          Can we all go to the swimming pool this afternoon?
          If you don’t hurry up we’ll be late.
          used by a speaker or a writer to refer to themselves and the people listening or reading:
          In today’s lecture, we will be exploring the world economic situation.
          More examples
          We were just chatting about what we did last weekend.
          We weren’t married in church, but we had a civil ceremony in a registry office.
          A friend recently sent me a newspaper clipping about someone we were at school with.
          As we approached the hall we could hear the sound of laughter.
          We’d save time on our journey if we went by train.
          SMART Vocabulary: related words and phrases
          B1
          used as the subject of a verb to refer to all people, especially when considered as a group:
          This planet on which we all live should be cherished and not exploited.
          More examples
          SMART Vocabulary: related words and phrases
          we pronoun (YOU)
          informal
          used as the subject of a verb to mean “you”, especially when talking to a child or someone who is ill:
          We don’t want to be late for school, do we?
          “How are we this morning, Mrs Flanagan?” said the doctor.
          SMART Vocabulary: related words and phrases
          we pronoun (I)
          formal
          used by a queen or king when speaking officially to mean “I”

          That seems all very innocent, so, perhaps the odd fear of that word lies in that it indicates a collection or consensus of people? We (you and I) have seen often on DoD that there is a great deal of fear from these people, that an agreement, or a consensus of views is expressed. How many times have these people tried their absolute hardest to isolate and separate their perceived opposition, from agreeing with each other?

          I don’t know about you Iaith1720, but I can see that it is the fear of these people of any indication of consensus of views and agreed opinions by their perceived opposition (us, or we!).

          I think that explains the obsessional fear of the word we, even when used as a normal figure of speech.

          Would you call that fear of consensus of opinions? I say it does. And it indicates a severe basic weakness, not strength. [Edited by moderator]

          Are WE agreed?

          • You are very confused, David.

            I post (speak) for myself on this site. I express my view/opinion. I have confidence in my own opinion, but it is my own. I have made that point many times before. You can post an opinion regarding a different definition of democracy, 1720 can post things that defy the laws of maths. and need support to suggest they are factual. It still ends up as two who are confused if the facts are incorrect.

            I do note there are some on this site who do gravitate to post as we, but rarely have anyone willing to back them up! Now you have befriended/recruited 1720 you have taken him/her out of that position. Well done, but democratically, it is still not a majority! There are many who are very aware of when an individual slips to the “we”, because it is very noticeable and the immediate thought is “why?” There are training courses that cost a lot of money to observe when and why. Serious professional negotiators will, for example, be sick to their back teeth of refresher courses. Don’t be shocked to find it. The same applies to body language.

            I have noted it in another situation already today, when I spotted Starmer with his latest re-launch on breakfast TV. I was told by someone else who was also watching, “that guy does not live in the real world” Must have been down at the golf club? Nope, in a major NHS hospital and the someone else was a member of the NHS, had immediately noted the attempt at the we and was not fooled, even without training. Perhaps the technique is widely understood, or is it just common sense? Sorry to upset you, but to her the we just meant there were a whole bunch of them who didn’t live in the real world.

            Or is it, “we have a load of ships behind that smokescreen. All called Boaty McBF!”

            Nope, just one called “Democracy” sailing without the need for a smokescreen.

              • [Edited by moderator] the real truth is that WE (collective) are all equal in every way. WE have differences of opinions of course, but that is easily talked out into the open. That can occur without egos getting in the way. An agreement can be reached or differences of opinion agreed. No-one should have any need to resort to all these psychological delusions of superiority or inferiority in anyones eyes at all to discuss anything.

                Ego and value judgments are mistaken as being the personality themselves, but the real personality, the one we were born with, has no need to feel superior or inferior at all. It just is as it is. Perhaps people imagine that their wealth or lack of it is them, that their job or their connections are them, or their power or lack of power over others is them. None of that is true of course, its a result of subjective ego, not an objective reality at all, its an egoist delusion.

                Its the issue of the dichotomy between subjectivity and objectivity again isn’t it. When objective arguments or views are seen by themselves to be weaker than their own, they can feel superior, which is subjectivity. If the other person is seen as superior, that interferes with their need to feel superior, so they need to insult to reinforce their own delusions from the outset. [Edited by moderator]

                If and when WE all feel equal, then WE would simply discuss an issue calmly and rationally without need to insult or obsess over words that indicate consensus and agreement.

                [Edited by moderator]

                • David – you appear to live in a parallel universe. The real world, and human nature, are somewhat different to your beliefs (or aspirations?). I have no idea if you have travelled, lived overseas, worked in different countries but my guess is you don’t have a lot of experience of other countries. No insults, just facts. I have lived many years overseas and worked in 30 plus countries and consider that I have reasonable understanding of how the world works. Unfortunately it is very different to how you think it works or want it to work. The UK is a lot better off than most if not all of the countries I have worked in but we are a very small part of that world.

                • Paul – To reply in kind, you appear to live in a non parallel universe to myself and to most people I know. And you also jump to entirely wrong conclusions based upon? Perhaps its better not to know.

                  The real world, from any perspective, and human nature, are vastly different to your apparent beliefs (or aspirations?). You say you have travelled, lived overseas, worked in different countries but my guess is you don’t have a lot of appreciation of other countries peoples and ways of life. No insults, just facts. I have also lived many years overseas and worked and resided for long periods in around 15 countries and consider that I have reasonable understanding of how people are similar in just about every way to myself. And its not as bleak as you appear to think it is, or imagine it is.

                  When you show photos of police violence as some sort of indication of how any peoples should be treated, regardless of reason, that does not at all agree with my experience or understanding of what real people want or work hard to achieve. Quite the opposite. The prospect of institutionalised violence is abhorrent to almost everyone I have met. There are a few of course who think as you appear to do, but I never invite them to dinner. I would guess that are similarly disposed not to invite me to dinner either. There, balance incarnate.

                  There is a saying that we all expect to get back from the world precisely the sort of expectations that we give out to the world at large.
                  There is apparently an ancient Zen saying I read on Buddhism, and it stuck in my mind. The saying was of an angry man looking at a river, sees nothing but anger. But the river isn’t angry. Another saying I saw in the same book on Buddhism, was of monks sitting around a bowl of vinegar and were sipping from it. All but one monk was scowling. One monk was smiling. The scowling monks were thinking. How awful that there is something so bitter in the world! What a sour place the world is! The monk that was smiling was thinking. Isn’t it funny that vinegar is so bitter? What a wonderful place the world is.

                  So its all to do with perspective. WE tend to perceive the world in the way WE expect it to be. That is an internal perspective and not in any way the world as it really is. The river is not angry, or sad or anything. It just is. Vinegar is not bitter or angry at the world for being bitter to the taste of humans. It’s just the way it is without expectation of being anything else.

                  Fortunately the world at large is very different to how you think it works or want it to work. The UK was once a lot better off than most if not all of the countries but that is no longer the case. I have for your information, though you don’t deserve it, (no offence) worked and lived in other countries where the people are similarly under oppression by their own government. Although WE are a very small part of that world. The rest of the world is in just as dire straights from internal and external influences, particularly their own governments, as WE all are. There is a clue there to the solution.

                  So its obvious that fundamentally transforming the very foundation of this countries freedoms and formerly peaceful lawful way of life regarding ourselves and others is a fatal mistake isn’t it. There is no excuse for seeing the world as a dark angry place, nor is it an excuse for seeing the world as an entirely light and totally peaceful place. The real truth, is that its like everything else. Like the river and the vinegar and the monks, its neither good nor bad. It just is. If some in this country are so all fired set to drastically change fundamental freedoms for everyone else including themselves. Then the only result of that will be fundamental repressions. God alone knows where that will lead. Turning peace into war? Why upset the balance just to stop a few protests about the fossil fuel industry? The result of instituting more draconian laws to replace natural Common Law freedoms, will not result in freedom or peace. Quite the opposite.

                  It must be much better for everyone to work for agreement and freedom and resolve differences peacefully, just as I tried to say before. you see what happened to that. To have that remain established in law and society. The alternative is destabilising the delicate balance of this countries hard fought for freedoms. And that after two world wars is unthinkable. Except apparently for a few.

                • If everyone needs to work together, then everyone needs to be considered equal!

                  At, last “we” have arrived. I believe it is called democracy. Indeed, a slow way to get to a position, but better than the alternatives.

                  If some want to work on their own, or in minority groups, to stop many of the everyone doing what they want, then everyone is not working together and means have to be found that correct that situation, hence this part of the Bill. Ideally, that point would not have been reached, but it has. (I do not want to be forced to read the Guardian. Been there, done that.)

                  Goodness, it has taken a lot of words to arrive at that, but it was always very simple. I repeat:

                  Democracy: A system of government by the WHOLE population or ALL the eligible members of a state, typically through ELECTED representatives.

                  That is the UK system, and hard won and preserved. Many around the world would love to be somewhere close, and many horrified how it can be so easily misrepresented once hard won.

                  (The emphasis is my own addition to help prevent the discourse meandering off into interesting, but disconnected territory.)

                  I have tried, but horses and water come to mind.

                • A Metropolitan Police officer Wayne Couzens pleaded guilty to the murder of Sarah Everard at the Old Bailey this morning

                  https://www.policeprofessional.com/news/pc-wayne-couzens-pleads-guilty-to-the-murder-of-sarah-everard/

                  https://metro.co.uk/2021/07/09/pc-wayne-couzens-pleads-guilty-to-murder-of-sarah-everard-14899574/

                  Metropolitan Police officer Wayne Couzens, 48, has pleaded guilty to murdering Sarah Everard, the marketing executive who went missing in south London earlier this year.

                • Good that someone will be held accountable and that they have admitted guilt, making it a little easier upon family and friends.

                  Good that this Bill also has some tightening up regarding crimes against women. Long overdue.

                  Look forward to see more measures regarding how prosecutions can be accelerated so those impacted can, at least, have the length of waiting, shortened.

                  Other news today, of far less significance, but may interest some who read comments on this site.

                  Labour calls for “Buy British”.

                • Not sure what a murder case has to do with what we are discussing – we can read about that in the mainstream news.

                  “When you show photos of police violence as some sort of indication of how any peoples should be treated, regardless of reason….”
                  – That is not what I wrote. The reason the photo was posted (France not Belgium) was to point out that protesting is viewed and reacted to differently by some, if not all, of our European neighbours – perhaps not the Scandinavian countries.

                  “You say you have travelled, lived overseas, worked in different countries but my guess is you don’t have a lot of appreciation of other countries peoples and ways of life. No insults, just facts. I have also lived many years overseas and worked and resided for long periods in around 15 countries and consider that I have reasonable understanding of how people are similar in just about every way to myself. And its not as bleak as you appear to think it is, or imagine it is.”
                  – Good to see that someone else on this BB, other than those who worked in the oil and gas industry, has experienced living overseas. However my experience of living in in Europe, Africa, Middle East and the Far East is that most people where I lived and worked were similar to myself. And I am clearly different to you as you have pointed out….

                • [Edited by moderator]

                  You say you are happy with the Police bill which will give the police far more draconian powers over everyone and destroy established freedoms of free speech, freedom of protest, and the unlawful attempt to overturn Common Law rights. Yes? With me so far? You can draw your own diagrams.
                  More rights to the police [Edited by moderator]

                  UK: Metropolitan Police branded “institutionally corrupt” by inquiry into murder of private detective
                  https://www.statewatch.org/news/2021/june/uk-metropolitan-police-branded-institutionally-corrupt-by-inquiry-into-murder-of-private-detective/

                  Now do you understand. police:- Horrifying Acts. Met officer pleads guilty of abduction rape and murder. Many more are either being tried or have been tried. Now, a tiny minority of domestic extremists want the present balanced Common Law Rights to be overturned by statute (which is illegal) by the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill 2021 and to give even more powers to the Police, who commit horrifying acts…and so on.

                  Not finished yet.

                  Metropolitan Police defiant over accusations on Daniel Morgan investigation
                  https://www.thetelegraphandargus.co.uk/news/national/19392399.metropolitan-police-defiant-accusations-daniel-morgan-investigation/

                  Greater Manchester Police ‘failed to record 80,000 crimes in a year’
                  https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-manchester-55251366

                  It goes on, and on, and on, and on, pity I have no space for anymore on this page. But you get the drift.

                  [Edited by moderator]

                • Paul, you say that:-

                  “When you show photos of police violence as some sort of indication of how any peoples should be treated, regardless of reason….”
                  – That is not what I wrote. The reason the photo was posted (France not Belgium) was to point out that protesting is viewed and reacted to differently by some, if not all, of our European neighbours – perhaps not the Scandinavian countries.”

                  No Paul, what you said was :-

                  “ER and others, through their disruptive actions, have brought this legislation to, and probably through Parliament, into Law.” “You should try protesting in Belgium or France.” Wrong of course as I pointed out.

                  You didn’t say anything about “The reason the photo was posted (France not Belgium) was to point out that protesting is viewed and reacted to differently by some, if not all, of our European neighbours – perhaps not the Scandinavian countries.” Nothing about that at all in your post.
                  Not the same at all.

                  I just picked out Belgium from your own post, which you did refer to. So dont try to deny it. What you say now, is waffle.
                  The photo you showed was either French or Belgian police attacking people in the street. I am correct, in that I selected one from the two you suggested, you have misrepresented what you said yourself.

                  You say that:-

                  “You say you have travelled, lived overseas, worked in different countries but my guess is you don’t have a lot of appreciation of other countries peoples and ways of life. No insults, just facts. I have also lived many years overseas and worked and resided for long periods in around 15 countries and consider that I have reasonable understanding of how people are similar in just about every way to myself. And its not as bleak as you appear to think it is, or imagine it is.”
                  “– Good to see that someone else on this BB, other than those who worked in the oil and gas industry, has experienced living overseas. However my experience of living in in Europe, Africa, Middle East and the Far East is that most people where I lived and worked were similar to myself. And I am clearly different to you as you have pointed out….”

                  Indeed we are dissimilar. I liked and still like a high percentage of people I met and got to know. I keep in touch with many still. You say however, you met more people like yourself….Like i said before, we get back what we put out in the world. We draw to ourselves like minds and souls and personalities.
                  And us to them.

            • Just to put the record straight, I am not at all confused and never have been. To say anyone is confused without evidence to support it is confusion in itself. And can easily be returned to whence it came. Apparently the real truth is that there are those that whos mission is to spread confusion and subjective unsubstantiated accusations rather than discuss a subject sensibly and objectively.

              I post (speak) for myself on this site. I express my view/opinion. I have confidence in my own opinion, but it is my own. I have made that point many times before. You can post an opinion regarding a different definition of democracy. Fossil fuel promoters can post things that defy the laws of mathematics. And apparently need each others support to suggest their mathematics are factual, when they are not. It still ends up as two who are confused when their facts are incorrect.

              I say to everyone, don’t let these types attempt to control what you say, how you say it and with what words you say it. Obsessive attempts to control the narrative down to individual words is what is displayed by those posts.

              [ Edited by moderator]

              There are those who are very worried and obsessed about words because the implications of those words are not liked and are attempted to be demonised for no better reason that fear of consensus. When an individual uses the word “we” it is a perfectly normal figure of speech. The very noticeable and the immediate thought is “why is someone so fearful of the word “we” being used?” There are established courses into the psychology the psychometrics of speech in the English language. Those courses tend to cost a lot of money to observe when and why, or not “we” is such a cause of consternation and unwillingness to accept the implications of consensus. when “we” or any other word that is objected to, is a perfectly normal figure of speech. Particularly when the same is not true and is not criticised of the befriended/recruited fellow conspirator.

              Serious professional psychologists will, no doubt, for example, be sick to their back teeth of spurious “re-education” courses which seek to make perfectly ordinary words forbidden for purely totalitarian political purposes. Be shocked to find it. Body language is irrelevant in a purely written blog such as this so that issue is rendered pointless.

  2. Yes, it does matter, 1720.

    You have a perfect right to demonstrate about whatever you like. However, you do owe it to those you inconvenience, and worse, to be able to articulate clearly why you are doing that. And you can’t, and you haven’t. Anyone with more than one grey cell knows that no one who campaigned for Brexit was doing so on behalf of HMG. It was well advertised, at tax payer expense. Maybe “we” should not go there, as, with that as the true history, the result was even more remarkable?!

    And why campaign against the voter? They voted as they did, and were quite aware of where porkies lay-on both sides. When you have to campaign against those who voted democratically at least adjust the title to “Against Peoples Vote”. And that sums up the nonsense of referencing democracy when within the smoke screen it is the opposite.

    Your first bit also demeans most voters. Of course voters do not love everything in a manifesto, but if there are items that are beyond the pale to them, then they go elsewhere. Labour found that out the hard way, but already knew it and just carried on. (Remember the unedifying spectacle of JA being caught “joking” about the outcome? Wonder what happened to him? Oh, still there, just the same, except
    I would now not believe a word he says.)

    And, no, this Bill is nothing to do with stopping rights to protest. If you really believe that-and I give you credit that you don’t-then you need to read the details. If my credit award is deserved, why would you post the sort of false information that you have just indicated caused you to demonstrate? That is the unfortunate conclusion to such actions, on scrutiny, it represents a breeding ground for oxymorons. And in case Paul gets excited, that is used in the literal sense, and can be confirmed by anyone who wants to track back through the vast smoke screens produced around this subject, on DoD, or elsewhere.

  3. “ I have already accepted that HMG as a whole did not desire and work for this catastrophic result but that there were cabinet members who desired it and who contributed to it is established.”
    Anything there too difficult for you, Martin?
    Your reply: “ Anyone with more than one grey cell knows that no one who campaigned for Brexit was doing so on behalf of HMG.”
    Do try and read more carefully, Martin. And let’s do without the gratuitous implied insults. This does little for the integrity of your causes.

    • Do try and read, yourself, 1720.

      That re-adjustment to not as a whole was eventually conceded. However, what you have not conceded is NO member of HMG campaigned for Brexit. It really is no worse to say your post was incorrect, rather than defend the indefensible. In fact it would be better as you would not have established that you try to defend the indefensible.

      However, your choice and too late now. I can repeat your original post, if you like, and the subsequent one, but no need as they are recorded.

      If you wanted to protest about individuals making private statements, why direct at HMG? Don’t bother to answer that one.

  4. I am happy to accept that no member of the government campaigned for leave, Martin. This is easy for me as I have never claimed the contrary. This term ‘campaign’ (and derivatives) was coined by you in an earlier attempt to distort – part of your deflection campaign. What I did say was that in protesting I had believed the government had engineered the referendum result, (not however my main reason for protesting which was to support the second referendum.) You perhaps remember your early attempt to deflect.* I am happy to admit that this idea of engineering the result was incorrect. The government worked half-heartedly, (as I have tried to demonstrate in an earlier post perhaps not fully understood by yourself), for remain whilst allowing members to express themselves publicly, successfully and mendaciously, in the opposite direction. My confusion here matters little as my protest in favour of a second referendum was conditioned by the lies which have bedevilled and still bedevil this government and the ‘leave’ argument.
    Thank you for looking up democracy for your readers, Martin. I suspect however that most of us, (yes, us,) know what it means. You need to realise, Martin, that to achieve such a Utopia, the government needs to be held to account, not always possible via Parliament if one’s MP is a party of government ‘yes man’. The most efficacious method is often the spontaneous protest, as respectful as possible of other people’s liberties. One cannot/ must not sit back and wait five years whilst enormities are enacted.

    On a related deflectory front initiated by yourself and already comprehensively debunked by those more aware, I refuse to have anything to do with your campaign against the first person plural English pronouns. I can scarcely believe I am writing this. Dig away if you must: it’s clearly deflection.

    I’m sorry to have to respond to your didacticism with my own but to restrict myself to saying that you do post a lot of nonsense deprives me of the opportunity to be moderated by DoD for an inappropriate derogatory term.
    By the way, your new word ‘oxymoron’ is, I think, incorrectly used.

    * you will remember that you turned this into an ad hominem attack, accusing me of not knowing why I had protested. This of course was an early attempt to deflect and pointed either to an inability to understand English or to a want of integrity. Given your denialist position – you have not accepted anthropogenic climate change – one has grown used to thinking hard about your posts.

    • Hi 1720.

      [Edited by moderator]

      Protest ranges from those who make a payment late because they are upset with the price of an item, right through to suicide bombers. There are mechanisms to control all protest within that range, to protect those who need protecting. There is no such thing as freedom to protest in any way desired without controls, and the spontaneous bit does not change that. This Bill is not about stopping protest, it is just doing what you state in your own post, being respectful of other people’s liberties-which do include reading what is within the free press and deciding for themselves whether the content is informative or tripe. Maybe if that liberty had not been threatened, then this part of the Bill may have been different? I suspect it would have been, so maybe the criticism-and maybe a demonstration, or a petition!- should be aimed at those responsible and not HMG?

      There are protests in the South of England regarding oil exploration, and also regarding new interconnectors. The irony is for IOW, that imports oil to produce energy, and also relies upon interconnectors for the same. So, the protestors can protest against each other, and that is all fine, but please don’t expect an awful lot of sympathy from those who may be impacted when they can see that irony that seems to elude the protestors. And that was the same sort of irony that eluded yourself when you decided to post about HMG, but others do notice it.

      I do like your comment about your local MP! But, I think you will find that even if you had an MP more to your liking, unless that MP was part of a group that could actually apply change, then you would still be no better off. Sorry, see the definition of democracy provided.

  5. So called democracy being replaced by mendacious Dictatorship on a daily basis!

    Much promoted local democracy regarding planning applications went this way years ago when a 98% village poll on the Fylde against new residential development was overturned by the government inspector and the Lancashire County Council decision against Cuadrilla’s test fracking operations was overturned by the London based communities secretary now Minister of Health Savid Javid!

    All because there was allegedly money to be made!

    • And people to be housed, so, not all.

      Local democracy regarding housing rarely includes, we don’t want any more. The choice is usually, where?

      Can’t see how these new, energy efficient homes will ever be built if no one accepts them in their back yard, Peter. Suppose if they don’t then fracking could be cranked up to produce lots of gas to heat the old, energy inefficient, homes. Now, there’s an idea.

  6. PS, Peter.

    I see Starmer was in the ballroom!

    Sizing it up for Strictly, no doubt. He could do quite well, as he would just sack the judges until he obtained the correct scores.

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