The screeching has resumed

FROM my office in the upper committee corridor of the House of Commons, I can hear a screeching. The door to the roof of the Commons is open because it’s a bit hot in here, so I can hear the yelling, but not the actual words.

It’s coming from the resident protest on Parliament Square, of course, and you have to wonder how they can spare all the time to shout abuse at MPs and everyone else who comes in and out of the palace. For all the noise they make, no-one can make out a single word that they say. They’re very angry, and they’re very loud (although when you’re inside the building, you don’t even know they’re there) but a more pointless waste of time I cannot imagine.

I’m not even sure what they’re protesting about today. It’s probably Iraq. Or maybe ID cards. Or 42 days. Or the weather, maybe, who knows? But while this particular protest has had absolutely no effect whatsoever on the opinions or actions of MPs, it has had an effect on the comfort of the thousands of tourists whose enjoyment of Parliament Square and the Houses of Parliament has been tarnished by the hectoring, bullying tone of these stout defenders of liberty.

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20 Comments

Filed under Parliament, Politics

20 responses to “The screeching has resumed

  1. Brian

    So speaking up for your opinion and against the injustices of government is now frowned upon by even you; the Labour MP I view most kindly.

    Surely the relationship between Labour and free-speech is no longer bitter and twisted. It is non-existent!

    If the government focused upon solving problems instead of creating them (ID-cards, Iraq, 42 Days) you could find yourself with a much quieter atmosphere.

  2. John

    I fear the shouting will turn into a more serious form of civil disorder within a few months as this crisis, which none of our elected representatives seem to have a clue what to do about apart from dither, deepens and unemployment rapidly accelerates.
    Perhaps then you may decide to hear the ‘actual words’ as the numbers swell.
    As we have been saying all along, the politicians choose not to listen.
    Your post confirms this.

  3. John – you (deliberately?) misunderstand: it’s not a case of “deciding” to hear the words of the protesters; it’s simply not possible. Wherever you stand, it’s completely indecipherable.

  4. richard

    “Wherever you stand, it’s completely indecipherable”.

    There are none so blind as those who will not see and, apparently, none so deaf as those who will not hear.

  5. Oh I do love these cyber-Tories who claim Labour is anti-freedom!

    You of course know why there is a demo in Parliament Square – because of the repeal of sections 132 to 138 of the 2005 Serious Organised Crime and Police Act which had previously outlawed it.

    So instead of claiming that Labour is anti-freedom, perhaps they should be thanking Brown for changing the excesses of Blair! Can’t see that happening any time soon though.

  6. Your last few posts have sounded very bitter , Tom and this is particularly grumpy. If you don’t like people getting upset at the decisions you voted on then you’re in the wrong job.
    I know you’ll say it’s the method of their opposition that perplexes you but that’s up to them.
    It just sounds like you’d rather be left alone to get on with your important business and not be bothered by some crusties. I expect that view from Tories, not Labour MPs.

  7. I wish there were many more people getting angry at the globalist puppets in Westminster.

    Fancy being against the loss of habeas corpus, eh? Or a war that has killed hundreds of thousands and created a million widows and orphans. All based on lies.

    Tom, buy a megaphone and shout back at these idiots to go back home, take a bath and do something normal like write a blog about The X-Factor.

    And here’s me thinking you had at least half an ounce of sanity and a smidgen of empathy for real people.

    Don’t worry, it’s all my fault: I’ve always been a very poor judge of character.

  8. tubolard

    labourmatters said “…perhaps they should be thanking Brown for changing the excesses of Blair”.

    Please don’t mistake the British electorate for ignoramus’ who will forget what they ate for breakfast yesterday. The PLP in 2005 was pretty much the same as it is now, yet these “excesses of Blair” were voted through by the government of the day!

    S’funny how the PLP appears to have developed some backbone since then…or has it?

  9. Zorro

    “You of course know why there is a demo in Parliament Square – because of the repeal of sections 132 to 138 of the 2005 Serious Organised Crime and Police Act which had previously outlawed it.”

    Oh I do love the typical Labour spin and contortion of facts. For starters as you point out yourself that was introduced by Blair (which party was he now?). Secondly and more importantly the demo is most certainly not there /because/ they can now protest in parliament square. They may on be considered to be demonstrating /there/ for the reason you give but they certainly aren’t protesting for that reason.

    Tom. Please take note for when you are considered for an important role in the Labour party some time in 2010 after the annihilation Gordon is going to lead your party to: Labour might learn something if it actually listened to people who can be bothered to ‘waste their time’ trying to tell you what it is you’re doing which they/we don’t like. Seriously…

    And no obviously I realise government cannot just bow to every small protest but at least take serious consideration what the public bother to tell you. I’m talking about things like ID cards, which no matter what your spin-meisters/poll-fiddlers say, only about 1 in 10 appears to actually favour.

  10. Angryvoter

    I have to agree with Tom here guys. Having seen that rabble that masquerades as a protest in Parliament Square.

    The thing is an eyesore and a damn nuisance and I was followed by a woman with a megaphone when I tried to go take a look at the statues of Gladstone and Churchill, screeching something about war criminals. [I assume Milosovec or something? Seriously, it was *screeeech waiiil* “WARCRIMES!” *screeeeeeeeeeeeeech*

    They’re intimidating, bullying, indecipherable and protesting for protests sake. If they were more… British about it, protesting quietly with catchy chants and carefully and engaging with people in a civilized manner. Heck, how about dressing a little more conventionally in T-shirts and jeans instead of Che Guevara shirts and knitted hats. People might take their message a tad seriously.

  11. I’m curious Tom – while you think it’s inadvisable and probably pointless (and as somebody who used to do my own fair share of protesting, I probably agree) to protest on Parliament Square – do you think it should be banned?

  12. No protesting shouldn’t be banned, you should be allowed to protest once you have applied to the Police, with the full details and reasons for your protest, numbers of protestors etc. Submitted the words that will be on your banners to the appropriate department along with names and addresses of said protestors . A convenient time, including start and finish times (no more than one hour allowed, no more than 50 protestors at a location agreed by the Police) will then be arranged. Sheffield G8 meeting 2006

  13. This is a manifestation of the “me, me” culture that got such a boost in the 1980s. I’m sure a lot of the protesters are well meaning and that only a few are the usual rent-a-mob, down-with-everything crowd.

    I expect that most of them also feel they represent a majority view even though they have no evidence other than “all my friends think the same” to support this theory. A lot of people aren’t very good at maths and have difficulty getting their heads around big numbers such as 42 million voters or the fact that the handful of people they happen to know are unlikely to be representative of the population at large.

    It’s a shame that modern technology (cheap megaphones, access to websites that reinforce their prejudices, etc) and increased affluence have helped moved them on from semi-rational debate at Speakers’ Corner on a Sunday afternoon to ranting platitudes outside Parliament all through the week.

  14. Alison

    They’re allowed to say what they want, where they want and how they want, as long as they don’t harm others in doing so. But by the same token Tom is entitled to complain about it – I can understand it being a pain in the whatsit, having walked past several times myself. And it’s true you can’t make out what they’re saying. But let’s stop griping for a second and think what a wonderful sign of tolerance and liberalism in Britain this situation is. It actually makes me smile.

  15. Jeremy Poynton

    “hectoring, bullying tone of these stout defenders of liberty.”

    Tom, don’t be so rude about the PM.

    By the way, great idea to put kiddie spies into schools. We get more and more like East Germany everyday, with neighbourhood snoops, now school snoops, and a justice system which punishes crimes against the state harder than those against the person.

  16. davidc

    one of the inconveniences of living in a ‘liberal democracy’ is having to put up with the views, sometimes noisily expressed , of those with whom we do not agree.

  17. Auntie Flo'

    It’s called democracy, Tom, something your party have attempted to erode to the point of non-existence for over a decade.

    Yet, like it or not – and you nulabber clearly detest it – the yearning for Democracy continues and rages all over the UK. As evident in a small, squeaky voice on the internet as in those protestors shouting their heads off outside parliament.

    And if you and your nulab pals don’t get it and can’t fathom what that yearning for democracy is all about, might I suggest that you speak to our greatest parliamentarian: Tony Benn.

    Not only does Tony understand and believe in democracy body and soul, though in his 70s, he still fights for it like the great man of the people he is.

    Pop your head out the window a bit further, Tom, crane your neck a little, and you are likely to see, much loved Tony Benn out there where you should be – on the streets, fighting for our precious democracy.

  18. iain smith

    You typify New Labours intoleranc e of nor
    mal democratic procedures.I suppose you want the protestors to be arrested under the anti-terrorist act and tortured.

  19. tubolard

    labourmatters said “Zorro zero IQ”.

    The intellectual quality of that particular contribution to this entry really does leave something to be desired and should really only be expected from a Sun gossip columnist making her first appearance on Question Time.

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