No repeal of SOCPA Designated Area around Parliament as promised - lost in the "wash up" of the Constitutional Reform and Governance Act 2010
The badly draughted and repressive Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005 sections 132 to 138 which created the Designated Area for suppressing even peaceful demonstrations around Parliament and Whitehall and the MI5 Security Service and the Metropolitan Police HQ etc. were passed , without proper Parliamentary scrutiny or debate in the so called "wash up" process when the 2005 General Election was called.
This utterly corrupt and anti-democratic fiddle, whereby the major party whips agree in secret, which bits of the lame duck Government's plethora of Bills will get magically amended within a couple of days and passed "on the nod" without any debate or detailed scrutiny.
They basically decide amongst themselves which Clauses are to be kept and which are dropped from these Bills, a process which makes a mockery of Parliamentary democracy.
Incredibly, this "wash up" process has happened again, with the Constitutional Reform and Governance Act 2010, which was rubber stamped and given Royal Assent yesterday.
This Bill used to have the repeal of the Designated Area around Parliament Square in its sub title, and as its first Clause, so you would have thought that this was its primary purpose.
However, the corruption scandals involving MPs and Peers expenses etc. managed to mutate this Bill so that they became the major bits of the politicians (self) interest during its passage.
What had become Clause 61 Demonstrations in the vicinity of Parliament would have repealed SOCPA ss 132 - 138
The associated amendments in Schedule 9 Amendment to Part 2 of the Public Order Act 1986 etc. which, for some unexplained reason would have created a different, slightly less onerous anti-protest zone "no more than 300 metres" (originally 250 metres) from the main entrances to the Palace of Westminster and Portcullis House. This would "only" have restricted the number of people and times and locations of demonstrations, without any arbitrary powers over , say banners or t-shirts etc, or over loudspeakers, like SOCPA ss 132 - 138.
All of this is now lost in the wash up as the Commons voted to accept the final round of Lords' Amendments and the Bill became an Act of Parliament.
We do not live in a democracy any more.
The individual civil servants and politicians who have allowed the notorious SOCPA 2005 ss 132 - 138 to continue as the law, should be publicly Named and Shamed.
Will the next Home Secretary at least have the guts to heavily restrict the existing Statutory Instrument 2005 No. 1537 - The Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005 (Designated Area) Order 2005 to the bare minimum extent i.e. just to the pavement and highway immediately outside the main entrances to the Houses of Parliament and no further ?