April 2005 Archives

Today is technically the last day for you to give "not less than 6 clear days notice" to inform the "Commissioner of Police in the Metropolis" about any celebrations or demonstrations or protests about the result of next week's General Election, if you plan to do this within "one kilometre in a straight line from the point nearest to it in Parliament Square", under the new, as yet still secret procedures, under the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005

"one kilometre in a straight line from the point nearest to it in Parliament Square" could potentially include all of Whitehall, Downing Street, Trafalagar Square and Piccadilly Circus to the north, the Catholic Westminster Cathedral, the Mall and Buckingham Palace to the West, the MI5 building, Tate Gallery, Vauxhall Bridge and the MI6 building, to the South, and Lambeth Palace, the South Bank Arts complex and Waterloo Station to the East. What is the justification for a "designated area" which could be just over 3 square kilometres in size ?

The wording of this bad piece of legislation (the "Police" part rather than the "Serious Organised Crime" part of the Act) confusingly, also includes a provision for "not less than 24 hours before the time the demonstration is to start":

The West End Final print edition of today's Evening Standard reports:

"Convoy brings chaos in demo over C-charge - stars join motorists' go -slow over West London extension":

"Protest organiser Gordon Taylor, of the West London Residents Association, said "This is a protest to demonstrate to Mayor Ken Livingstone that we're not going away. We are going on to the streets because we can't have a sensible dialogue with him or Transport for London... a Berlin Wall is being constructed across parts of London"


There is a slightly different version of the story in the Evening Standard online archive, which reports:

"C-charge protest to cause chaos
By Bo Wilson And Elizabeth Hopkirk, Evening Standard
27 April 2005

Motorists were today trying to disrupt traffic in central London in protest at plans to extend the congestion charge zone. About 100 cars and vans were expected to drive in a slow convoy from Holland Park to the West End and back. Millionaire interior designer Kelly Hoppen was among residents and business people taking part.

Sir Malcolm Rifkind, Tory candidate for Kensington and Chelsea, was waving the convoy on its way from Addison Road to Hyde Park Corner, the Strand, Trafalgar Square, Marylebone Road and Marble Arch.

Sir Malcolm said: "It will go straight down the middle of Earl's Court Road, dividing the community. Mums dropping children at school will have to pay."

Michele Weininger, standing as a candidate in Brent East under the banner of Justice For Motorists, says the Mayor's old constituency will be badly hit by the C-charge as it is just outside the proposed extension."

The very first question that came to mind, when we set out some of our worries about the proposed London Olympic bid, just after it was announced was: 1. What chance has London got to "win" the bid without bribery ?

The spin is that the (now withdrawn) financial offer to some of the smaller Pacific island Olympic sports committees, by the London Olympic Bid team is not technically "bribery". We beg to differ.

Apparently the Mayor is "supporting" various Saint George's Day events and celebrations.

Is this a genuine reflection of popular support for the Patron Saint of England (and Georgia, and Moscow and other places), or is this political manipulation, again ?

The Trafalger Square "event" has creepy overtones of something that could have been organised by Nicolae Ceauşescu's Securitate in Romania e.g. political slogans backed up by thousands of human drones holding up placards, to form a large scale mosaic displays.

" St George's Day in Trafalgar Square

Make England Proud: celebrating diversity and opposing racism

10am-3pm

The Mayor is inviting the general public, sporting heroes and sports fans to participate in a national initiative to celebrate St George's Day.

To make a clear statement to the world that England is a nation opposed to racism and that London is the ideal home for the 2012 Olympic Games, thousands of pictures are being gathered of the public and celebrities shot against a white or a red background. These images will be assembled into a large cross of St George, displayed in Trafalgar Square for one day only on St George's Day.

The final few images needed to complete the flag will be taken live in Trafalgar Square and you are invited to central London to have your picture taken and join this important initiative to stamp out racism for good."

Since this is obviously also an Olympic Bid promotion event, how much money is coming from their budget, or is it all being paid for by London taxpayers ?

Does anyone seriously think that "racism" will actually be reduced by this "clear statement to the world" ? Who exactly in London, let alone the rest of England, was consulted on this "statement" allegedly being made on their behalf ?

Neither the (Byzantine) Saint George nor the Cross of Saint George Flag, should be allowed to be abused by politicans, nor by commercial vested interests, nor by the Mayor of London Ken Livingstone for his own agenda.

With talk of postal vote fraud, of fuel protests and of "peace" demonstrations etc. it seems likely that there going to be some kinds of protest in Parliament Square during and after the General Election.

However, the new Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005 changes all the rules, and now applies to protests or demonstrations, even by a single individual.

So far, the Metropolitan Police do not seem to have published any new rules or guidance regarding the procedures that are needed to be complied with to mount a legal protest, within 1 kilometre of Parliament Square.

Some questions we sent off by email, which we are still awaiting a reply to:

The Register follows up a report in The Times about Transport for London and, presumably Mayor Ken Livingstone's "pie in the sky" plans for satellite technology road tolls within the whole of the M25 area.

The Metropolitan Police have a web page describing Operation Maxim, which combats illegal immigrant people smugglers etc.

This is one of the areas which New Labour / Home Office claim would be addressed by their controversial ID card plans, and plans for Biometric Passports etc.

"The majority of cases dealt with by Maxim involve identity document fraud of some description.

In 2004 the following seizures were made of documents that were either forged or obtained by obtained by fraud;

  • 394 Passports
  • 156 UK National Insurance Cards
  • 46 UK Driving Licenses
  • 19 Other UK based ID documents
  • 8200 Non UK ID documents
  • 30 Immigration stamps"

In other words, over 93% of the false or fraudulently obtained Identity Documents seized by Operation Maxim are foreign documents, over which the UK Government has no control.

Therefore even if a perfect United Kindom ID Card or Biometric Passport systems magically eliminated all false UK Passports and identity documents, the vast majority of false or fake ID used by foreign illegal immigrants would still be "Non UK" i.e. it would make virtually no difference at all.

This evidence from the Metropolitan Police themselves undermines the claims made by Sir Ian Blair, the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, in his controversial political interview with Sir David Frost last Sunday.

In that interview, Sir Ian Blair also raised the spectre of bubonic plague for no good reason, except, presumably to contribute to the "Climate of Fear".

Our fairly calm and reasoned sceptical questions about the dubious London Olympics bid seem to have irritated someone enough to flame us by email.

Is he taking his lead from Mayor Ken Livingtone's style of ethnic insults, aimed at the very people he should be trying to convince, especially the ones he expects to put their hands in their pockets to pay for his pet scheme ?

"User-Agent: Microsoft-Outlook-Express-Macintosh-Edition/5.0.6
Date: Fri, 15 Apr 2005 20:57:22 +0100
Subject: nimbys
From: eastlondondesignshow info@eastlondondesignshow.co.uk"

Is this a personal email from a work computer ? Or does this flame reflect the corporate view of this organisation ?

"To: nobid@mayor-of-london.co.uk

Thanks for giving me opportunity to read your objections.
Luddite is not the word."

It certainly is not the right word in this context.

"You are the sort of people that say no without coming up with any suggestions. Just - "I don't want it. Computer says no"."

How can anyone generalise about "what sort" of people object to the Bid ? We can think of plenty of ways to spend several billion pounds of our money on more worthwhile projects. It is up to the pro Bid supporters to argue the cost benefits.

How much money does this "Bid supporter" expect to gain from the Olympic Games, either directly, or for commercial and other vested interests ?

"Go and live in Manchester they won't get the bid ,"

Even opponents of the Bid know that Manchester was excluded from the United Kingdom bid right at the start of the process, and is not one of the bidding cities at all.

" but why stay here and bugger it up for those that that feel proud of London and its diversity."

Pride in London is one of the reasons for not wanting to see the reputation and the finances of the city damaged by the Games.

Remember the word "diversity" for later on.

"You probably won't like it up there either, it's full of people that enjoy live and are optimistic. allow me to amend my idea.

Go to Yorkshire. They'll love you there. They love to moan about how
everyone is shitter than them."

Guess what, the people of Manchester, Yorkshire and the rest of the UK also need to be convinced why their tax money and their voluntary contibutions to the National Lottery "Sports Good Causes" money should be spent on a London Games.

"Book a holiday while it's on."

Ah! The Beijing communist approach to the Olympics - order people who might object to leave their homes for the duration of the Games.

"I'd gladly chip in if it means miserable sods like your lot leave."

Excellent, thanks for the kind offer to re-imburse part of the £240 minimum that the Olympic Games will cost in extra Mayoral precept tax, plus the inevitable cost overruns, should we be unlucky enough to have the Games inflicted on us.

"Maybe you'd like it abroad. Daily Mail isn't cheap.

Lots of foreigners though!"

Do you mean that there is "diversity" ? We are cosmopolitan and "diverse" enough to have been "abroad" , and to Manchester and Yorkshire, and even to the East End. Perhaps it is this "Bid supporter" who needs to braoden his horizons a bit more.

"Au revoir"

Ooh la la! Perhaps he is really a supporter of the Parisian bid ?

"[name of "Bid supporter" removed for now]"

What a welcoming and tolerant "Bid Supporter" this person seems to be. If only he had been on hand to influence the Olympic Committee.

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There are many good people trapped in the bureaucracies which run London. If you are thinking about blowing the whistle on shadowy and powerful people in Government or commerce, and their dubious policies then you need be very careful these days. The mainstream media and bloggers also need to take simple precautions to help preserve the anonymity of their sources e.g.

Links

Wikipedia article on the Mayor of London

Wikipedia article on the London Assembly

The Evening Standard newspaper - fulfills its role by scrutinising the Mayor and the GLA etc. rather more effectively than the politicians and bureaucrats do.

Mayor of London press releases

London Assembly press releases

MayorWatch - commercial news site about the Mayor of London etc.

Campaign Button Links

Watching Them, Watching Us, UK Public CCTV Surveillance Regulation Campaign
UK Public CCTV Surveillance Regulation Campaign

NO2ID - opposition to the NuLabour Compulsory Biometric ID Card
NO2ID - opposition to NuLabour's plans for Compulsory Biometric ID Card and National Identity Register centralised database.

asboconcern logo
ASBO Concern - alliance of organisations and individuals who are concerned about the abuse of NuLabour's Anti Social Behaviour Orders.

MI5 encrypted contact web form use 999 or 112 to report immediate threats
Encrypted MI5 web response form NuLabour's "Climate of Fear" is not the same as the real fight against terror.

gamesmonitor_logo_150.gif Games Monitor - "Games Monitor is a network of people raising awareness about issues within the London Olympic development processes. We want to highlight the local, London and international implications of the Olympic industry. We seek to deconstruct the 'fantastic' hype of Olympic boosterism and the eager complicity of the 'urban elites' in politics, business, the media, sport, academia and local institutional 'community stakeholders'. "

Peaceful resistance to the curtailment of our rights to Free Assembly and Free Speech in the SOCPA Designated Area around Parliament Square and beyond
Parliament Protest blog - resistance to the Designated Area resticting peaceful demonstrations or lobbying in the vicinity of Parliament.

Save Parliament: Legislative and Regulatory Reform Bill (and other issues)
Save Parliament - Legislative and Regulatory Reform Bill Act

Ken Livingstone Links

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