In Which I Agree With Sunny

I don’t often agree with Sunny Hundal, but his latest piece in the Groan is spot on – and for the right reasons. Sunny doesn’t much like the EDL, in the same way that I intensely dislike Greenpeace. But both must be allowed to demonstrate lawfully in a liberal democracy. Free speech is more important than either or both. And Sunny rightly opposes calls for the march in Bradford to be banned.

Sunny also comments on the policing aspect.

In recent years the police have repeatedly unlawfully stopped protests or brutally intimidated environmentalists.

The problem isn’t just the police, it’s our political culture. The Conservatives and New Labour have never been particularly enamoured of protecting civil liberties (though the influence of the Lib Dems on the coalition may change this) and have fallen over themselves in the past to give the police carte blanche.

Again, we are in agreement. The police have become not merely politicised by successive governments in recent years, but have lost sight of their raison d’etre; policing by consent. They have become thuggish bullies who will think nothing of making up laws on the hoof to harass citizens doing nothing more than taking photographs. Their abuse of anti-terror legislation has become out of hand; and, frankly, the subtle shift over time from the bobby on the beat to the storm trooper in menacing black uniforms toting automatic weaponry is an unpleasant symptom of all that is wrong with the modern police force.

So, agreement all round on this one. Is it a full moon, perchance?


  1. It’s a strange world, but yes, Hundal is right. Mind you, I found myself agreeing with Keith Vaz the other day too! Help!

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