Reading Marcel Berlins in The Guardian today I was reminded I had not vented any spleen about the case of Maya Evans who was convicted under the Serious Organisationd Crime and Police Act merely for reading out near the Cenotaph, the names of British soldiers who died in Iraq. That is so shocking it is scarcely believable that any government, let alone a Labour one, could conceivably pass a law that makes this sort of thing possible. It seems the law was passed solely to bring an end to dedicated anti-war protestor Brian Haw in Parliament Square who so irritated the government with his constant reminders of their folly that they passed an act especially to neuter him.
The joke is on the government, however, says Berlins, as a judge has ruled that Mr Haw's activities are not covered by the law. How incompetent is that? The same article laments the decision to allow police the right to arrest, without warrant, anyone for any offence, however minor-instead of only for crimes which can be punished with over five years in prsionment. This means that those so arrested will have to submit their DNA to police files as well as fingerprints and photographs.