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.from the Mail
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.’
The demonstration was organised by organisations seeking what they described as a ‘purple revolution’ in the UK and included campaigner and musician Billy Bragg.'Nuff said!
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.
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.
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.
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,'Carte blanche! Opening the door for more 'spontaneous' protests!
'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.'
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 demonstrationsand
If you wish to organise a protest march then please send the completed form 3175 form to your local police station.
Static ProtestsAnd 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.
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 'Smith Square', named in the article? That is also within the designated area.
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?