Thursday, December 27, 2007

HP Sauce

a bottle of HP Sauce - it's brown, it's saucy and you put it on bacon“If MPs pass ridiculous laws to limit our freedom, they should be forced to abide by them too” says Mark Thomas, comedian and political activist.

It all started with our own Brian Haw who has been protesting about the Iraq war outside the Houses of Parliament since 2nd June 2001. So fed up with it, did the government become, that they passed a law making it illegal to protest without police approval within half a mile of parliament - the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act (SOCPA) came into force on 1 August 2005.

This is the law that Maya Evans was arrested and convicted under, for reading out the names of the British and Iraqi war dead.

According to Mark, the trouble is that this law has not been worded very well and is open to interpretation. And Mark has been testing. He has been informed by the Police that he needed [and subsequently obtained] permission to wear a red nose on Red Nose day. To hold a banner saying “Support the Poppy Appeal”. He has now asked if he needs permission to hold a gathering by the statue of Winston Churchill in Parliament Square and to make a speech. Yes they said.

Now that is exactly what our Prime Minister did with Nelson Mandela. Mark’s speech was in fact an extract from Gordon’s. Unfortunately, it seems the PM forgot to ask the Police for permission. Mark’s lawyers delivered a letter to the director of public prosecutions on 12th December calling for an urgent investigation into allegations that the prime minister broke the law by demonstrating unlawfully in Parliament Square last summer.
In fact it seems that any MP could be breaking the law while expounding on political issues on College Green without having got permission from the police. Even the press are complicit if they incite a political demonstration. So Mark is asking you to Shop your MP.


  1. I'm so excited, could this mean that we may be experiencing the first steps towards a return go public flogging and the ducking stool. Yippee.

  2. I've always thought Gants Hill Roundabout would be a good site for public hangings, Mme Savant and I would have our knitting needles ready.

  3. Dear Judith,
    Us French are not hanging people anymore. The Guillotine is our way, much more efficient if you deal with a backlog!
    Whatever is decided, I will have my knitting needles and yarn ready to join the Tricoteuses!

  4. I'd be very surprised if Mme Sevant can find the knitting needles in this house, nevertheless there are 'yarns' aplenty.