Police Bill receives royal assent

The government’s controversial Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill received Royal Assent today.

Opponents described it as “a dark day for civil liberties in the UK”.

Protest against the Policing Bill, 15 January 2022. Photo: Andrewa Domeniconi

The bill gives police powers to clamp down on noisy protests in England and Wales and place conditions on demonstrations.

Earlier this week, the House of Lords voted to approve the bill, rejecting Labour and Lib Dem moves to remove curbs and conditions on protests.

The government agreed to a requirement for the Home Secretary to conduct a review of the new powers within two years.

A government press release this afternoon said the bill would:

“strengthen police powers to tackle non-violent protest that have a significant disruptive effect on the public or access to parliament”.

But the measures on noisy protest have been criticised as “highly subjective” and open to challenge in the courts.

Sacha Deshmukh, chief executive of Amnesty International UK, described the bill as a “hugely worrying and widespread attack on human rights”:

“This is dark day for civil liberties in the UK. This deeply-authoritarian Bill places profound and significant restrictions on the basic right to peacefully protest and will have a severely detrimental impact on the ability of ordinary people to make their concerns heard.

“Protest is a cherished part of British history – from the anti-slavery movement, to the suffragettes and recent anti-war marches and the Policing Bill is in direct conflict with the values of freedom and liberty that this government claims o uphold.”

The police monitoring network, Netpol, which has opposed the bill, said this afternoon:

“Protest has not suddenly become illegal. However the new measures mean that the police will have new poorly-defined powers. In practice, the police will choose when and how to impose restrictions on protests and this is likely to lead to widespread abuse of these powers

“If you’re going to a protest, knowing your rights will become more important than ever. New police powers aim to further criminalise protesters who use direct action or civil disobedience tactics.”

Netpol plans to launch its Defending Dissent campaign next week.

12 replies »

  1. Most of my protesting was as a student-many years ago. Strangely, I recall even back then there was agreement between local police and the Union regarding control to avoid the locals having their rights being trashed. That included noise. That included control of infiltration by other groups to change the nature of the protest.

    The protests were still possible, but perhaps back then there was more willingness to accommodate others rights, who may have already “engaged” in the subject but were not convinced by that engagement, and hysteria was only going to move them in the opposite direction?

  2. Hypocrisy.

    While imposing sanctions against Russian business and concealing their conservative party Russian paymasters. Whilst sending £millions of armaments and military personnel to Ukraine against the Russian totalitarian regime in Ukraine. When Russia makes protest an illegal and arrestable offence and is imposing the same restrictions in Ukraine.

    The British government, rather than defending democracy against further attack. This government instead descend the snakes and burn the democratic ladders in order to follow Putin’s lead and seek to crush any dissent in the no longer, Great Britain? (soon to be reframed as “Airstrip One”)

    George Orwell’s “1984” and Aldous Huxley’s “Brave New World” were meant to be warnings about what would happen if democracy and Human Rights were not defended against fascist totalitarianism in Great Britain and across the world, following the 2nd World War and the Nuremberg trials.

    The “1984” and “Brave New World” (Order) warnings were not meant to be used as instruction manuals that this government and the house of frauds appear to be following to the letter with royal approval. So now Great Britain, is nothing more than Airstrip One, part of USA’s “Oceania”.

    Anyone who sees this as some sort of victory, is more of a pyrrhic victory.
    Pyrrhus and Pyrrhic War – Kings and Generals DOCUMENTARY

    A pyrrhic victory is a victory that inflicts such a devastating toll on the victor that it is tantamount to defeat. The origin of “pyrrhic” derives from Pyrrus and the Pyhrric Wars. See link above). For those who think the government’s controversial Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill which received Royal Assent today, is a victory, it is in fact nothing more than a Pyrrhic victory, and they only need to take an honest look at the similarly pyrrhic war in Ukraine and the invasion by Russia to see what effect this bill has done and will do to all British people.

    Have a nice day….

    [Text corrected at poster’s request]

    • Strange one?

      How does one “weaponise” a war? War is in fact a total failure of civilisation. War is already “weaponised” far too much by real guns and bombs. War, War, not Jaw, Jaw? (though maybe “Tap, Tap” would be more appropriate?). It would appear, from many years of interminable exposure, from some, that Jaw, Jaw, (or Tap, Tap) has always been “weaponised” into War, War as a matter of habit?). Perhaps some, in using words as weaponised has always become a habit in a self perceived perpetual war situation? As the old saying goes, “there is nowt so “strange” as folk”

      That hot line to Putin must be almost “red-hot” (see what I did there?) by now? Perhaps Harvey, the Easter Bunny, has departed back to its chocolate box too quickly and would have whisked away the “contributor” when the forbidden subject of the war in Ukraine by Russia was mentioned?

      Never mind, back to the Real World.

      There is a curious parallel between the Pyrrhic wars and the present war in Ukraine by Russia, and that is the location of those wars to the north or the south of the Black Sea. The similarity and irony is inescapable. The consequences of that conflict, appear to be equally inescapable.

      But at least the lessons of history for those who can still remain independent of the current resultant totalitarian authoritarian mêlée can at least discern the dangers that were and are represented by wars that become out of control by all sides, and only lead to destruction of what was left of democracy.

      Macedonia – Ukraine, Russia and the black-sea-map

      There is also an interesting parallel, in that the Greek natural philosopher Democritus gave his name to democracy, and was popularly known as the “Laughing Philosopher” (for laughing at human follies). Democracy was the philosophical practice for rational, peaceful social practice and behaviour, which he supported in its many forms. Not just the one form of representative democracy that is operated somewhat imperfectly in Great Britain.

      Continued next post:

  3. Oh dear, now Russia and Ukraine have to be weaponized because some who claim intelligence are unable to find intelligent ways of protesting, or communicating. How low will some stoop? Shamefully low.

    I would just point out that many a suicide bomber leaves a note/message stating it was their way of protesting. A UK MP has recently been murdered as a form of “protest”. Burning books in 1930’s Germany was a form of protest, recently mirrored (oops) by XR following a similar path in UK. Not all protest is acceptable to all British people, and limits have always been set to make certain the rights of ALL British people are respected. The quote of British people is actually fake. It is apparent from all polling that the majority of British people actually want tighter regulation to protect their human rights from the type of protesting this legislation aims to control which is deliberately aimed at subjugating the rights of the general public to maximum level under the law, and often outside of it.

    Interesting that some protestors require the police to protect them from the ire of the general public, yet expect the general public not to have the police protecting them from the actions of same protestors. Then quote democracy when actually meaning mob rule! Now, that is hypocrisy, and not very intelligent. Just shows why there was a need that has now been met, and that some should quietly find more intelligent methods. That has always been the case with UK law. It evolves as required. Always has, hopefully always will. Sometimes more slowly than ideal, but it usually gets to the place the public support, otherwise it gets changed again. The alternative? Change the public as they don’t have the required intelligence! Now that would really be Orwellian, but has been the intention of much activity by whom? Oh yes, protestors, and some politicians who even suggested that “people” had not voted!

    Sorry, “we” have engaged, “we” just don’t agree, so tough, live with it and let “us” get on with “our” lives. That is democracy.

    • Continued from previous post:

      Democritus and Leucippus also coined the word “atom”. Referring to one of the fundamental elements in matter. And that had unheeded warnings of what would happen if such fundamental forces were allowed to be used as weapons. Whereas atomic energy should only be used for the production of energy.

      The story of Oppenheimer’s infamous quote refers to the Hindu sacred text the Bhagavad-Gita, which has come to define Robert Oppenheimer, but its meaning is more complex than many realize.


      “As he witnessed the first detonation of a nuclear weapon on July 16, 1945, a piece of Hindu scripture ran through the mind of Robert Oppenheimer: “Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds”. It is, perhaps, the most well-known line from the Bhagavad-Gita, but also the most misunderstood.”

      The warlike elements of the human race are playing with forces in this Russia/Ukraine war they can barely understand, let alone control. The destruction of the Human Rights of speech and protest will have similar effects upon democracy.

      To then resort to destroying the Human Rights of free speech and protest in the face of that, is literally insane at these times when government desperately need to listen and hear clearly from those whose lives are threatened by the totalitarian tiptoe into fascism.

      The consequences of wars always have the same devastating effect upon every country and every person concerned.

      The first casualty is always the truth, as has been only too clearly demonstrated by some.

      The second is the lives of the countries, the ecologies and the environments and the ways of life of those innocent people who are trapped between warring sides. Even when they are in a different country but are involved at least by their democratic wishes to preserve theirs and others democracy.

      The third casualty is freedom and democracy, which has been only too clearly “demonstrated” to coin an appropriate word, today.

      The fourth appears to be the institution of authoritarian totalitarianism as a consequence of war on all sides, regardless of location or distance.

      The first two can be recovered by even a little common sense and humanity. The third consequence of innocent lives being destroyed is horrific and can never be justified at any cost.

      The last consequence of the descent into totalitarianism, on all sides, will take perhaps centuries before some degree of sanity returns after the worldwide destruction. Deleting free speech and the Human Rights of freedom of protest can only lead to further degradation. The consequences of that, is there will eventually be so little difference between Russia and Great Britain, that there will be nothing left worth fighting for or preserving.

      There must be a referendum for each of these changes to the Human Rights that are fast being quietly withdrawn.

  4. Nope. There are elections every 5 years maximum. Up to someone honest to state they will reverse such laws and then get elected.

    Good luck with that.

    Deleting freedom of protest is not what has happened, even according to Netpol, so honesty within the proposition should not be trashed in order to mislead the ignorant voters when the time comes.

    If someone wants free speech I would have thought they could use the right with some accuracy. Some do not have that right and do have to state fake comments, but it seems a shame to me that those who have the rights can not use them maintaining accuracy.

    The rest of it? In that famous ancient saying from the Laughing Milkman, Benny Hill, “Cobras”.

    • Well, that was revealing, wasn’t it?

      “There are elections every 5 years maximum. Up to someone honest to state, they will reverse such laws and then get elected.”

      Someone “honest”? Are you suggesting this government are not honest?! I guess you are referring to Boris and Rishi who lied and broke their own laws? Not to mention God alone knows how many others that have been fined for breaking the law, who won’t be revealed as liars and lawbreakers until after the local elections? Maybe Priti and, retrospectively to the recent Party Gates, probably Dominic Cummings too perhaps?

      I would say that if any MP is part of the numerous government Party Gates, (I wonder if Bill was present?) then perhaps it should be assumed they are also guilty and treated accordingly. That should lead to an interesting consequence of the government blatant lies and lawbreaking, shouldn’t it? Clearly, they need a lesson in the consequences of lawbreaking and then lying about it.

      A more appropriate, reference would be “The Laughing Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill”?

      Though I would suspect that no one else, not in the Big Exclusive Club, are laughing. More like democratically infuriated.

      The Laughing Policeman – Charles Jolly / Penrose

      Nope rope. It’s nonsense to say, that not all protest will be made illegal, because the restrictions in the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill give not just the police, but anyone who objects to the protest, to enable the protest to be refused on the grounds of unspecified “noise” (freedom of speech) unspecified disruption, unspecified inconvenience and perhaps just because the government don’t want it. Which means that the only protests that will be allowed, will be in support of the government, just like the under the CCP in China and Hong Kong, the Russian Federation, North Korea, Australia, New Zealand and a growing list of similar regimes across the world. From this bill, the next on the list will be Great Britain.

      As for deleting free speech, and the accumulative effect of the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill, and the other attempts on suppressing the human rights of free speech and protest, then that accumulation of legislations will come with:

      The Human Rights Act Reform: A Modern Bill of Rights

      The Online Safety Bill that will have the last nail in the coffin effects on protest and free speech of any kind:

      Continued next post:

      • Continued from previous post:

        As for the curiously obsessive reference to Cobras, there was a report only recently that 1 in 5 reptiles, (interesting how that 1 in 5 statistic keeps cropping up in so many issues isn’t it?) including King Cobras are suffering from the same extinction statistics as human being deaths due to fossil fuel pollution:

        One in five reptiles is threatened with extinction
        By Helen Briggs
        Environment correspondent

        So perhaps one should not be so complacent and assured of a long retirement? Unless that is referring to the inevitable long retirement of the soul?

        There is also the worrying statistics of the Life Insurance companies reporting an unaccountable 22% rise per quarter more claims due to deaths this year and last?
        Life insurance companies report a sudden rise in non-COVID-related deaths

        Documented Life insurance claims for non covid deaths reveal a 37.8% rise in the 3rd quarter of 2021?

        “Though death-benefit payouts in 2020 rose 15.4 percent to $90.43 billion, at the same time, industry assets rose almost eight percent from $7.6 trillion to $8.2 trillion.”

        Perhaps a windfall tax could be levied on the Life Insurance companies as well as the banks and the fossil fuel industry?

        Not such a funny old world after all, is it? Perhaps it would be kinder to put that surviving snake carefully back in the lake? Not so much a lot of Cobras nope ropes, but more of a single surviving King Cobra hope ropes?

        But of course, as that would be claimed to be an “ethical and moralising” attitude, perhaps it would be termed “academic” by some with less concern and compassion for their fellow creatures?

  5. Nope, I was not suggesting that at all.

    What nonsense. It is this Government who has just brought the law in! It would be another lot who would have to be honest and state to the electorate they would remove. It really is not rocket science. You seem to require some reading up on UK democracy having also previously suggested that the Lords would overturn the legislation.

    Your posts get more like a Trump rally each week. A great ramble, then some false information inserted deliberately aimed to cause excitement.

    [Edited by moderator]

    • What a load of nonsense indeed, but inconveniently, not from myself. It is indeed this Government who has just brought The Laughing Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill in under the cover of the war in Ukraine. It would indeed be another party who would have to be honest and state to the electorate they would remove The Laughing Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill and to replace the present lawbreaking liars. Furthermore, it really was never rocket science. Even for rocket scientists.

      You also seem to require some reading up on UK democracy, having also previously suggested that the Lords would not overturn The Laughing Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill legislation. But the inconvenient truth is, that the House of Lords did overturn The Laughing Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill on the grounds that many of the clauses were added by Priti Patel after the first proposals were submitted to Parliament and the House of Lords and would have to be removed as a consequence.

      That instruction was presumably obeyed, or The Laughing Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill would have been thrown out again. Always better to correct the disinformation and distortion of history by some, isn’t it?

      As for “Trump” I assume you mean Donald Trump? Strange that you should bring up Donald Trump, (but I guess someone needs to do it) even if it is only your own strange opinion. Because ex President Donald Trump (there are other Trumps available) is not renowned to actually mention substantiated facts and documented verified evidence. Whereas I always do supply such evidence. However, there is an odd similarity in that total and utter lack of any substantiation and verified evidence, which applies more to your own “contributions” than anyone else on Drill or Drop. Mind you, the alternative individual in the USA leaves even more to be desired, judging from this clip:


      Never mind. Maybe soon, Harvey the invisible Easter Bunny will return to shake their hands, and lead them all quietly away back to the chocolate box before they melt. Too late for some, apparently.

      Have a nice weekend.

  6. Oh dear.

    As I previously stated.

    Just insert nonsense amongst a ramble/rant.

    The Lords overturned nothing. They added in their own views, that were mainly rejected, and the legislation was passed. That is ping pong that happens with every piece of legislation. It only has one outcome when there is a large majority in the elected Commons (elected is key) and few rebels within that large majority on a particular subject. The numbers are recorded. [Edited by moderator]

    That’s okay. So, all is now fine. The Lords have made that so.


    • First and foremost, folks, Ladies and Gentlemen, Boys and Girls.

      Hello. It’s Sunday the 1st of May 2022. May Day! A day of peace and celebration for the natural cycle from winter to summer.

      [Edited by moderator] I wish you (all-inclusively-without any exception) a good May Day Sunday, and I hope you are all having a pleasant Sunday lunch amongst families and friends, and just having a chilled out day. For some of us, at least. I am sure all our thoughts and minds and hearts are with those who are deep under the jack boots of those for whom no day is sacred, let alone May Day Sunday, which itself has a significance way beyond military displays and warmongering. The true significance goes back into history as shown here:

      May Day Celebrations

      Originally, of course, the May Day celebrations and dances were celebrations of the power of nature returning from the dark cold of the winter months, and were rights of fertility and abundance. The years’ cycle of rotation from darkness and cold, into the summer of plenty, fertility and the celebration of the year’s coming transition into abundance and joy.

      In recent centuries, however, the May Day celebrations were high jacked by such as the fascists, nazis and communists for their proselytising propaganda parades of military might and dreadfully hypocritical workers’ marches. The little ruling tin pot gods speeches and arrogant posturing made even peaceful May Day nature celebrations little more than an arrogant militaristic facade of elitist ownership over the people propaganda and a betrayal of everything that the original long history of pagan celebrations were meant to be demonstrating. (there is that word again)

      [Edited by moderator]

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