Brian Haw: Cut down to size?
It gave me a warm fuzzy glow to read how 20 brave officers of the Met (who clearly have nothing more pressing to do) dismantled most of Brian Haw's protest materials during the small hours of this morning, in order to enforce a notice they had issued to him under the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005 that he must limit the size of his placards to 10 feet in length.
There has been a lot of discussion today about this, ranging from the implications for free speech in the U.K., police priorities, the shift towards an ever increasing authoritarianism that this represents, the dangers of retrospective law-making, etc, etc. I do not wish to further rehearse these debates here. I merely wish to raise this question: given the intense attention which Parliament and the police have devoted to this protest, am I to assume that it is only a matter of time before he is shut down or locked up? Indeed, is the 10ft length limit merely to accustom Mr Haw to such a confined space for his persistent protesting?