09 February 2009

How is This Happening Here?

I just cannot believe this stuff:

Having discovered what a useful tool [the 1997 Protection from Harassment Act] had become, in 2005 the government amended the act in a way that seemed deliberately to target peaceful protesters and smear them as stalkers. Originally you had to approach one person twice to be "pursuing a course of conduct"; now you need only approach two people once. In other words, if you hand out leaflets to passers-by which contain news that might alarm or distress them, that is now harassment. The government slipped in a further clause, redefining harassment as representing to "another individual" (ie anyone) "in the vicinity" of his or anyone else's home (ie anywhere) "that he should not do something that he is entitled or required to do; or that he should do something that he is not under any obligation to do". This is, of course, the purpose of protest. These amendments, in other words, allow the police to ban any campaign they please. Surreptitiously inserted into the vast and sprawling 2005 Serious Organised Crime and Police Act, they were undebated in either chamber of parliament.

So I am now forbidden from trying to convince anybody about anything. God help this country. Let's hope the Convention on Modern Liberty is the beginning of the end for this utter disgrace - don't forget to get your tickets. (Via B2fxxx blog.)


Perry said...

I guess the only question is whether it will be enforced by MiniTrue or MiniLove?

Where is George Orwell when you need him?

Glyn Moody said...

Spinning in his grave, I imagine.