Dear Chief Secretary to the Treasury,
I'm afraid to tell you there's no money left.
Signed, Liam Byrne

(Outgoing Labour Chief Secretary to the Treasury. May 2010)

Sunday, 9 May 2010

Straw protests.

The son of Justice Secretary Jack Straw yesterday joined more than 1,000 protesters who gathered outside Nick Clegg’s party meeting to demand electoral reform.

Will Straw, 29, who edits the Left Foot Forward blog which promotes a progressive political agenda, joined in with chants urging the Lib Dems to stand firm on their call for proportional representation to be introduced.

He said: ‘I am here because I have long believed in electoral reform. We have seen again in this Election the third party has been under-represented and it was a big issue.

‘We want to send a strong message to Nick Clegg.’
from the Mail

The demonstration was organised by organisations seeking what they described as a ‘purple revolution’ in the UK and included campaigner and musician Billy Bragg.

The surprise protest forced Nick Clegg to come outside and address the crowd which was chanting 'fair votes now' and was calling for him to stand firm over the issue in any pact with the Tories.
'Nuff said!

Of course it was a 'surprise'! Of course it was designed to tell Mr Clegg 'what the people want'! Must have been music to his ears to learn he had such a lot of support.

But, Straw?

Like father, like son.
[Will Straw] graduated from Oxford University where he was president of the Student Union and spent four years as a senior policy advisor for the Treasury.
Jack Straw, centre, 1971. President of the National Union of Students.

Picture Mail

Oh, and Mr Clegg?

It seems he was very impressed, because Mr Clegg said,
'The fact that you are here because you care so much about political reform is absolutely wonderful,'

'Take it from me, reforming politics is one of the reasons I went into politics.

'I've campaigned for a better, more open, more transparent, new politics, every single day of this General Election campaign. I genuinely believe it is in the national interest.'

'I take your petition in the spirit in which I am sure you meant to deliver it - in a spirit of change, of real change, in the politics of this country.

'And in return, I would ask you to do what you are doing so well here today in Smith Square in every street and every community of our country, to continue your campaign for a different, better, new politics.'
Carte blanche! Opening the door for more 'spontaneous' protests!

He really should think before he opens his mouth and encourages protests he knows nothing about. Welcome to the sleazy world of Labour politics Mr Clegg.

He should also pause a moment to wonder who gave consent for this 'surprise protest' because they must be approved by the Police, and it can take quite some time to process the forms and get consent. It is unlikely to be arranged in a day or two, unless there are strings to be pulled by a puppeteer.

Lib Dem headquarters are in Cowley Street. Cowley Street is within the designated area with regard to Sections 132 - 137 of the Serious Organised Crimes and Police Act. To arrange a demonstration within that area this is what you have to do:-
Marches and demonstrations

If you wish to organise a protest march then please send the completed form 3175 form to your local police station.
Static Protests

If you wish to organise a static protest near the Houses of Parliament it may fall within the designated area, if so, it will be regulated by the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005 which places certain restrictions and obligations on organisers; you should contact either the MPS Public Order Branch or Charing Cross Police station (see below).

Persons seeking authority to hold a static protest within the SOCPA designated area should complete Form 3175a, and send the completed form to Charing Cross Police station, or the Public Order Branch, in accordance with Section 133 of the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005. This form connot be completed online.
And here's the map. Cowley Street runs between Great Peter Street and Great College Street, to the south of the Houses of Parliament, it is well within the designated area.

And 'Smith Square', named in the article? That is also within the designated area.
And Mr Brown had nothing to do with it, according to Iain Dale he's gone to Scotland!

And it must have been a very peaceful protest, because the Police seem to have been conspicuous by their absence, or at least they kept themselves away from the press photographers. Unusual that, don't you think?


Quiet_Man said...

Judging by what I've read and what others have noticed, I smell an over-ripe Labour rat here in these protests. They believe that iDave wont get the Tories to accept pr voting so are pressuring Clegg to hold out for it.

Wonder if this Straw is as anti-English as his Dad, seems pretty likely.

Michele said...

I understood it was organised by Pam Giddes? from Power2010 - I got an invite and an update including the quotations you used in my in-box here in Australia.

I emailed back asking when the protest is going to be for the English Parliament or at least EVoEL - still waiting for a reply

Anonymous said...

Michele said...
I understood it was organised by Pam Giddes? from Power2010 - I got an invite and an update including the quotations you used in my in-box here in Australia.

I emailed back asking when the protest is going to be for the English Parliament or at least EVoEL - still waiting for a reply

I get e-mailed by them to. I think power2010 is a set-up and i've told Pam that to. Not enough people wanted an English parliament so it didnt make it to the top five. Oh yes, like I believe that Pam.
This "protest" was obviously set up in advance with the police in on it.

Anonymous said...

I would suggest that saying Will was "a senior policy advisor at the Treasury" is a mite OTT! Working in an entry level post in the "economist" discipline maybe ! That is why Will himself sticks with "worked for the Center for American Progress and HM Treasury. He was a 2007-08 Fulbright Scholar and is a former President of the Oxford University Student Union." No doubt like both Mum (Alice Perkins) and Dad Will will achieve greatness idc, so no need to "big up" his early life..

Mrs Rigby said...

@ QM It's been building for some time, thanks to an online lobbying group that didn't hide its true colours for very long.

Mrs Rigby said...

@ Michelle - They won't reply and if you try to unsubscribe it doesn't work. Best to just block the emails if you don't want to hear from them any more.

Mrs Rigby said...

@ Anon#1 - If you look around you'll see that many think the EVoEL was the most popular, but there was a puch from elsewhere to get the electoral reform to the top of the list - making it appear democratic. Clicking a button on a website is easy when you can get as many free email addresses as you want.

Mrs Rigby said...

@ Anon#2 - Best you take up your complaint against 'bigging up' with the newspaper that printed those words.

Take a moment to follow the link and you'll see they are still there in the article - so clearly nobody has taken the time, or trouble, to retract or correct the error.

Perhaps those wishing to boost his profile will be pleased none of the papers appear to have mentioned the little problem with drugs a few years ago.

No doubt he will go far, parental background helps some - but is used as a weapon against others.

Anonymous said...

Isn't it Jack Dromey on the right of hte picture?

Mrs Rigby said...

@ Anon.
Haven't a clue, although it does look a bit like him. Maybe that's why he's decided to speak out so early in his tenure as an MP.