Originally posted by Odium
sminkeypinkey, the problem is they used the 'Anti Terrorism Law' to stop someone from having an opinion...which they said [just before the event]
they would never do.
- This is simply not true.
They did not "stop someone from having an opinion".
Whether you like it or not a political party meeting is a private 'function'; it is not a public meeting.
They had every right to eject this guy if they so chose.....even on a whim.
(particularly as the Labour party have - over the last couple of decades - simply had enough of 'hard-left' and single issue groups acting like
idiots during conference and attempting to disrupt them)
The only thing unusual in this was when the Police
(not the Labour party) attempted to use a provision under part of the new anti-terrorism
laws to stop the guy returning to conference (but not attempting to arrest him).
They were wrong to do this and seen to be wrong, very publicly.
No-one in Britain is going to buy into the 'hecklers/protesters can be terrorists too' nonsense.
It just doesn't 'hold water' considering what happened to the guy afterwards.
In any event the guy did return to conference the next day complete with apologies from the Labour party chairman and the PM.
.....as for the guy being 'silenced'?
He did every UK TV station's political chat show the following weekend, he did extended radio interviews and wrote a lengthy column in almost every
one of the UK 'broadsheet' newspapers as well as being featured in each of the tabloids.
Hardly the hallmark of a man denied his right to have (never mind widely express) his opinion.
This is such a major issue and it is being swept right out of the headlines and under the carpet.
- The cops got it wrong - very publicly - and that was seen by all; no doubt they'll get it wrong again some time but this kind of thing sets a
precedent; no-one can say this hasn't happened before and a view taken on whether they would be right to act that way.
In some respects it is, perversely, a 'good thing'.
.....as for the rest of it? Once the apologies were issued and the guy readmitted the story just died it's natural death.
As for worries about a terrorist threat...you can't buy that? The tags actually say if they are an MP, member of the press and so on and so
fourth so I find it highly unlikely they would have thought he was any form of extermist likely to kill innocent people...
- Have you ever been to a major party conference?
The only people who would have known who this guy was, from the thousands attending (the main event and the fringe meetings, would have been his own
friends there and the delegates from his constituency (or attending union/invited organisation).
I don't blame anyone for not accepting the delegates' 'tags' at face value.
[edit on 9-10-2005 by sminkeypinkey]