27 November 2006

Don't Say a Word

Via Charon QC comes the news from The Guardian that police chiefs are asking the government to enact a new law* that will allow them to arrest protesters for causing offence through the words they chant and the slogans on their placards and even headbands.

Said Metropolitan assistant commissioner, Tarique Ghaffur:
"... What we are seeing in effect is a rise in the politicisation of middle England and the emergence of a significant challenge for capital city policing."
Oh no, people are actually starting to care about what is going on in their country. "Quick, we must do something", cry the police.

Tarique Ghaffur: Because ignoramus
just doesn't cover it

Predictably, the director of Liberty, Shami Chakrabarti, has come out against this perfectly sensible proposal, saying:
"[The proposal] misunderstands the nature of law and free expression in a democracy and casts the police as censors in chief. It aims to protect people from 'offence' rather than harm, slates the CPS and muses wildly on 'public perceptions'."
So, don't express an opinion, because they'll come to get you.

See Also:
* Whether this will be called the Freedom of Speech Protection Act 2007 is as yet unclear.

24 November 2006

Predictable Joke Number 23

The Tories new site, Sort-It.co.uk, is urging people to ignore the "inner tosser".

Advice David Cameron should take to heart next time he wants to husky about the Arctic or post a new video on webcameron.

Other people making the obvious joke:

20 November 2006

16 November 2006

That's Enough

Okay, that's it. I've had enough with all these debt management adverts that depressingly pop-up every single adbreak during the day.

Oh, so helpful

I'm okay with them touting for business in this way, we all need to pay the bills, feed the family, etc. I'm not okay with their explanation that they will use "government legislation" to help debtors. They won't, for a simple reason, which I can summarise as:

"Executive initiates, Parliament legislates and the judiciary adjudicates"

I need a life, preferably one where I don't have the TV on all day.

15 November 2006

The Legislative and Regulatory Reform Act

Something which slipped my attention until I was on the Cabinet Office website today: the Legislative and Regulatory Reform Bill became an Act of Parliament last week (8th November). The full text of the Act can be found here.

The Save Parliament blog seems happy with the amendments made by Parliament to what was originally the Abolition of Parliament Bill in all but name:
"In the words of David Heath (LD) in the Commons last night:

“[The bill] has been filleted, dissected, deconstructed and reconstructed. It is now a better Bill because … lame-brained arguments … have been abandoned by the Government. … At that time, it was a thoroughly bad Bill that did things that were way beyond its stated scope. Now, it has been brought back under control.”

As he points out, the Bill is vastly better than it was when it was first proposed, and we have you to thank for that. This Bill was not just fixed by MPs discussing in Parliament, it was fixed by you, the general public, applying pressure to your representatives, and raising the profile of this Bill so that it could not be ignored. You should all be very pleased that we got as much fixed as we did.

In the debate, John Redwood (Con) stated:

“The problem is that, throughout the process, Ministers have refused to give us examples of how the very real powers under clause 1 would be used. They still seem to have no idea what they wish to deregulate.”
This is sadly true. The government have never shown a real need for this Bill, so it remains unnecessary legislation. However, it is at least no longer the “Abolition of Parliament Bill”.
So there you go. And in the name of balance, this is what the government had to say on its passage.

13 November 2006

08 November 2006

Because we're fallible...

The 13 "Enemies of the Internet", according to Reporters Without Borders, for their marvellous achievements in suppressing freedom of expression on the internet:

  • Belarus
  • Burma
  • China
  • Cuba
  • Egypt
  • Iran
  • North Korea
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Syria
  • Tunisia
  • Turkmenistan
  • Uzbekistan
  • Vietnam
See Also:

05 November 2006

On the Night Before Polling Day...

... And all through the land, up pops Saddam to remind US voters where they should tick their box on Tuesday to protect them in the middle of the "War against/of Terror".

"And I'm going to stick this finger..."

01 November 2006

The Wrong Joke

US Senator John Kerry is under attack for saying those that do poorly at school go on to join the army.

To be fair to Mr Kerry, this is the joke he was trying to tell:
"You know, education, if you make the most of it, you study hard, you do your homework and you make an effort to be smart, you can do well. If you don't you get elected to the White House."