5 or so pro fox hunting protestors managed to get onto the floor of the Chamber of the House of Commons, for less than 10 seconds, before they were arrested
According to ITV news lobby correspondent, it seems, that the protestors got in through via Central Lobby, and the staircase which leads to the corridor which contains the Select Committee rooms.
We know this Corridor reasonably well, having attended several Home Affairs Select Committee sessions on ID Cards , as interested members of the public.
They apparently changed out of their suits and ties (leaving them on the staircase or in the Select Committes Corridor), and then rushed along in their protest t-shirts to come down a staircase behind the Speaker's Chair in to the No Lobby. There is talk of a "brojken secuirty device" on a door, and nobody guarding it.
From the look of the tv pictures, 4 of them came in via the No Lobby, but another one manged to get in via the Yes Lobby on the opposite side of the Chamber. A couple of others seem to have been arrested elsewhere, giving a total of 7 protestors under arrest.
The No Lobby is near to where the Prime Minister and other senior Ministers Parliamentary Offices are.
Apparently a couple of the protestors were blocked by the Commons security staff, but the rest managed to get onto the floor of Chamber of the House of Commons, but only for a few seconds, before they were arrested.
Compared with breaches of security in other Parliaments, or Congresses, where firearms have been used, this is still a minor breach of security, but worrying to the authorities, nevertheless. This is not a "massive breach of security" as the media are hyping this incident.
We repeat our view, that it should be made clear to terrorists or others, that even if they ever succeed in penetrating Parliament with weapons, and they ever managed to succeed in killing or injuring any of our MPs or Ministers, it would be regretable, but ultimately futile, as we would democratically elect replacements and the terrorists would not win, or gain any sympathy for their cause.
This is the best defence of Parliament, but it would be prudent to re-inforce the various Houses of Parliament pass zones, with actual physical turnstyle barriers as well. This would have the advantage of telling the building security and saftey officials, exactly how many people are in each area of the building, at any one time, in the event of a fire or bomb threat evacuation.
Unfortunately, turnstyle barriers are ignored by those senior politicians and officials who feel themselves to be somehow especially self important, and so they usually demand not to have to use them. If such barriers are installed, then there must be no exceptions at all, everybody must be forced to use them, there must be no "Ministers' Doors". The system of allowing a variable, and uncounted number of visitors to be let through on the nod if accompanied by a pass holder, who opens security doors for them, as in the Portcullis House annex, which leads via a tunnel into the Palace of Westminster is not acceptable either.
However, these pro-hunting protestors are not terrorists, and they should not be treated as such, any more than the "purple flour" divorced fathers' protestors were.
Just to make things clear, we are probably actually in favour of banning fox hunting, but not in the way that this particular Hunting Bill has been worded (what exactly is the Bill's legal definition of the word "hunting" ?) and especially not the way in which it is being literally "rubber stamped" in a single day through the House of Commons, with no amendments or proper debate, in exactly the same way as one would expect from a third world dictatorship.
This incident should not be used as an excuse to further clamp down on our civil liberties, or our democratic freedoms.