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In order to pander to the powerful vested interests which surround the whole Olympic Games with the stench of corruption and repression, the previous Labour government decided to meddle with Londoners' fundamental human rights of free speech, by passing their controversial London Olympic Games and Paralympic Games Act 2006

Just how ill thought out this typical "enabling legislation" was is shown up by the Regulations which were published in December 2011:

The London Olympic Games and Paralympic Games (Advertising and Trading) (England) Regulations 2011

These have to list huge categories of Exemptions, which the original legislation made illegal and which would have created a massive bureaucratic mess, even for the Government and Local Authorities themselves.

Given the natural tendency of the "little Hitler" jobsworths who will be acting as paid or unpaid security guards and volunteer marshals and the same sort of behaviour which the Metropolitan Police is notorious for, we still expect there to be lots of incidents of harassment and intimidation of tourists and residents in the Olympic Advertising Zones (which extend far outside the actual sports stadium venues)

Why were these obvious (and obscure) Exceptions not debated in Parliament back in 2006 ?

7 Exception for demonstrations,

(1) Regulation 6 does not apply to advertising activity intended to--

(a)demonstrate support for or opposition to the views or actions of any person or body of persons,

(b)publicise a belief, cause or campaign, or

(c)mark or commemorate an event.

(2) But this exception does not apply to advertising activity that promotes or advertises--

(a)a good or service, or

(b)a person or body (excluding a not-for-profit body) that provides a good or service.

Since the "ambush advertising" enforcement powers include the power of forced entry into your private home or business premises, the original legislation without this exception was unthinkingly repressive and evil.

8 Exception for individuals wearing advertising attire, displaying advertisements on their bodies, or carrying personal property

(1) Regulation 6 does not apply to an individual who engages in advertising activity only by doing one or more of the following, unless the individual knows or has reasonable cause to believe that he or she is participating in an ambush marketing campaign--

(a)wearing advertising attire,

(b)displaying an advertisement on the individual's body,

(c)carrying or holding personal property on which an advertisement is displayed.

(2) The fact that this exception applies to an individual does not affect the application of regulation 6 to any other person (whether in respect of the same advertising activity or otherwise).

Remember now, there is now no legal reason for you to harassed for wearing the "wrong" brand (i.e. not made by an official Olympics sponsor) of sportswear or carrying the "wrong" brand of soft drink etc. which the original legislation banned.

9 Exceptions modelled on the Town and Country Planning Regulations

(1) Regulation 6 does not apply to advertising activity that consists of--

(n)an advertisement within Class 16 (advertisements on telephone kiosks).

So adverts on telephone kiosks or booths do still; need the permission of the Olympics bureaucrats,

Presumably the inevitable telephone booth cards advertising the services of prostitutes (one of the most established forms of "ambush" or "guerilla" advertising) , will therefore be allowed to flourish, since the jobsworths who only be targeting the "legitimate" paid for adverts within such telephone kiosks.

No doubt there will be plenty of UK and foreign Olympic officials who will be caught pretending to be "inspecting" such prostitutes, who have dared to use the words or symbols of the "Olympics" monopoly in their advertising.

10 Other exceptions

(1) Regulation 6 does not apply to advertising activity of a description falling within paragraphs (2) to (7).

(2) Displaying an advertisement that is employed wholly as--

(a)a memorial, or

(b)a railway signal,

Surely anyone who displays an advertisement on a "railway signal" should be prosecuted under other legislation for endangering lives on the railway ?

(3) Distributing or providing a current newspaper or periodical.

(4) Advertising activity undertaken in accordance with a condition attached to an authorisation granted under regulation 15 (trading activity authorised by the Olympic Delivery Authority &c.).

(5) Displaying an advertisement on an aircraft for one or more of the following purposes--(a)complying with the law of the United Kingdom or any other country, being law in force in relation to the aircraft,
(b)securing the safety of the aircraft or any person or property therein,
(c)the furtherance, by or on behalf of a Government department, by a person acting under any public duty or by a person providing ambulance or rescue facilities by air, of measures in connection with circumstances, existing or imminent at the time the aircraft is used, which may cause danger to persons or property,
(d)civil defence, military or police purposes.

(6) Displaying a mark or inscription (other than an illuminated sign) on the body of an aeroplane or helicopter.

The original legislation banned advertisements on Aircraft and Helicopters

(7) Displaying an advertisement on an item of street furniture provided that the advertisement--

(a)is not illuminated,
(b)bears only the name, contact details and device (or any one or more of those things) of the manufacturer, owner and operator of the street furniture (or any one or more of those persons), and
(c)is not displayed as part of an ambush marketing campaign.

The politicians who drew up the original Act forgot that Local Authorities etc. would have had to bureaucratically apply for permission from the Olympic Delivery Authority for permission to continue to display their own signs etc. on street furniture.

Interpretation of this Part5.

(1) In this Part--

[...]

(3) Advertising activity that consists of the display of an advertisement on a personal communication device is not to be treated as advertising activity for the purposes of this Part unless the advertiser intends the advertisement to be displayed, by means of the device, to the public at large (rather than only to the individual using the device).(

4) In paragraph (3), "personal communication device" means a mobile telephone or other personal interactive communication device.

The original legislation banned unapproved adverts on your Mobile Phone !

14 Exceptions

(1) Regulation 13 does not apply to trading activity of a description falling within paragraphs (2) to (12).

(2) Selling a current newspaper or periodical.
(3) Trading activity undertaken or controlled by the London Organising Committee on enclosed land on which a London Olympic Event is taking place or to take place.
(4) Selling or delivering an article to a person in premises adjoining a highway.
(5) Selling a motor vehicle on private land generally used for the sale of motor vehicles.
(6) Supplying motor vehicle cleaning services on private land generally used for the supply of those services.
(7) Supplying motor vehicle parking services in a building or on other land designed or generally used for the parking of motor vehicles.

The original legislation banned private Car Parks unless licensed by the Olympic Delivery Authority !

(8) Providing a public sanitary convenience.

The original legislation banned Public Toilets ("spend a penny / 20p / 50p £1 etc.") unless licensed by the Olympic Delivery Authority !

(9) Providing a permanent telephone kiosk.

The original legislation banned Public Telephone Kiosks unless licensed by the Olympic Delivery Authority !

(10) Trading as a walking tour operator.

(11) Supplying public transport services including tourist services.

The original legislation banned Taxis, Buses, Tubes, Railways and "tourist services" unless licensed by the Olympic Delivery Authority !

(12) Trading activity on private land adjacent to exempt retail premises provided that the trading activity--

(a)forms part of the usual business of the owner of the premises or a person assessed for uniform business rate in respect of the premises, and
(b)takes place during the period during which the premises are open to the public for business.

(13) Paragraph (2) does not apply to selling a current newspaper or periodical in a street if the selling is done from a receptacle that causes undue interference or inconvenience to persons using the street.

(14) In this regulation--"exempt retail premises" means a building normally used as--

(a)a shop,
(b)a restaurant, bar, or other premises used for the supply of meals, refreshments or alcohol to the public, or
(c)a petrol filling station,

"sanitary convenience" has the same meaning as in the Building Act 1984(1),
"tourist services" means public transport services primarily for the benefit of tourists, and"walking tour operator" means a person that supplies services to the public comprising tours of an area on foot.

Why should the Olympics impose such unnecessary regulations and restrictions for the sake of a few monopolistic advertising sponsors ?

The extent of the Olympic Event Zones is huge and extends far beyond the Olympic Park - including the many miles of the marathon and cycle races, the seafront at Weymouth for the sailing events, and sports stadia in Wimbledon, Manchester and Coventry etc. This also covers the airspace above these venues.

SCHEDULE 1

Meaning of "event zone"

1. In these Regulations, "event zone" means each of the following zones:
(a)the City of Coventry Stadium zone,
(b)the Earls Court zone,
(c)the Eton Dorney zone,
(d)the ExCel zone,
(e)the Greenwich Park zone,
(f)the Hadleigh Farm zone,
(g)the Horse Guards Parade zone,
(h)the Hyde Park zone,
(i)the Lee Valley White Water Centre zone,
(j)the Lord's Cricket Ground zone,
(k)the North Greenwich Arena zone,
(l)the Old Trafford zone,
(m)the Olympic marathon zone,
(n)the Olympic Park zone,
(o)the Olympic race walk zone,
(p)the Olympic road cycling zone,
(q)the Olympic time trial zone.
(r)the Olympic triathlon zone,
(s)the Paralympic marathon zone,
(t)the Paralympic road cycling zone.
(u)the Royal Artillery Barracks zone,
(v)the St James Park Stadium zone,
(w)the Wembley zone,
(x)the Weymouth and Portland zone, and
(y)the Wimbledon zone.

2. An event zone comprises the non-shaded area that is bounded externally by a dotted green line shown on the deposited map together with--
(a)any road on the deposited map that is marked with a blue line (an "event road"),
(b)the pavement on each side of an event road or, where there is no pavement, the land or water that is within two metres of each side of the road, but excluding the frontage of any building on that pavement or land, and
(c)where an event road is carried by a bridge, the entire structure of that bridge.

3. An event zone includes the airspace above the land or water in that zone.

4. If any part of a railway station is on or above the ground in an event zone, all parts of that station (whether on, above or under the ground and whether in or outside the event zone) are to be taken as being within the event zone.

The Conservative / Liberal Democrat coalition government has amended some of the worst excesses of Labour's original legislation, but they have still missed some huge potential areas of repression, which, hopefully, will be too difficult to enforce e.g. there is still no exception for displaying broadcast television or radio adverts (especially foreign ones) or for desktop or laptop computers connected to the internet - which could be used both for unapproved Advertising or for Trading.

The Observer reports the apparently deepening scandal regarding abuse and fraud, by serving Metropolitan Police counter -terrorism and serious crime officers, of their corporate Amex credit cards.

It was bad enough when half a dozen of them were arrested, but it seems that the lax financial auditing and encouraged a "canteen culture" of expenses fiddling "within the rules" and some and outright theft from the taxpayer, just like with MPs expenses.

Card fraud probe targets 300 detectives

Scotland Yard officers are suspected of defrauding taxpayers of millions

* Rajeev Syal, investigations editor
* The Observer, Sunday 14 June 2009

More than 300 elite Scotland Yard detectives are suspected of defrauding the taxpayer of millions of pounds by abusing their corporate credit cards, the Observer can disclose.

300 detectives ???

Auditors who have examined the American Express accounts of 3,500 officers involved in countering terrorism and organised crime have reported almost one in 11 detectives to the Metropolitan Police's internal investigators.

A senior officer appears to have spent £40,000 on his Amex card in one year, without authorisation. Items bought by others without permission include suits, women's clothing and fishing rods.

The scale of the suspected fraud, disclosed in an internal Metropolitan Police Authority report, will send shock waves through the force. Until now, the investigation into expenses fraud was thought to have focused on fewer than 40 officers. It comes days after Sir Paul Stephenson, the Met Commissioner, faced the potentially damaging disclosure that six officers face investigation over claims that a drug suspect's head was forced into a lavatory that was flushed repeatedly.

[...]

Auditors at the Metropolitan Police Authority have spent two years examining receipts from the accounts of more than 3,500 officers. The Amex cards were issued in 2006 to detectives from specialist operations, which includes counter-terrorism and those involved in diplomatic and royalty protection.

The scheme was then extended to the specialist crime directorate, which counters organised crime, as well as conducting sensitive inquiries such as the cash-for-honours investigation.

The cards were for travel and subsistence, so that officers did not have to spend their own money while on long-running investigations away from their Scotland Yard base.

Sources have told the Observer that some detectives had fallen into the habit of withdrawing hundreds of pounds at a time from cashpoints. Other officers appear to have filled in blank receipts from restaurants to account for cash payments.

One source said: "Some people bought three-piece suits while in the far east and claimed that they needed them for work. But it would not have taken much nous to realise that it was 45C in the shade, and not the weather for a waistcoat."

The number of suspected fraudsters will be presented to the Met at a meeting tomorrow.

A report by Peter Tickner, the head of internal audit at the Metropolitan Police Authority, states that it has finished examining the Amex accounts of all officers. "In excess of 300 police officers have been referred to the Directorate of Professional Standards [DPS] by my staff and 46 of these have become formal investigations overseen by the Independent Police Complaints Commission," he wrote.

Only detectives suspected of overcharging by more than £1,000 have been referred to the DPS. Its investigators are believed to be examining hundreds of files.

Ordinary members of the public would have been fired and / or prosecuted for far less of a fiddle than £1000 !

The use of Amex cards was halted in December 2007. A number of officers have already been arrested in connection with the investigation.

So the corporate Amex cards were issued in 2006, and withdrawn at the end of 2007- what disgraceful mismanagement by Sir Ian Blair and his senior managers, including Sir Paul Stephenson !

Will nobody at Scotland Yard have the honour to take responsibility for this scandal and resign ?

Will Mayor of London Boris Johnson act decisively to restore public confidence in the Metropolitan Police Service

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