The right to protest in England and Wales effectively ended today, not with a bang but a whimper. I went along with some mates to attend what was billed as “the last legal protest”. No-one beyond the usual suspects seemed to mind much.
The Police, Crime, Sentences and Courts Bill will, amongst other things, seriously curtain the right to protest and free assembly. If you’re not sure why, stop reading this and find out. Protesting is why we have so many freedoms in this country. It’s why Wales is officially bilingual. It’s important.
The bill is possibly going to be amended on Monday in the House of Lords. And then possibly de-amended when it goes back to the Commons again. How very British! Our rights hang on the better nature of our Social Superiors. The scandals currently engulfing them are just the latest manifestation of what we’ve known forever: they can do what they want and not be held accountable.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson AKA Mr Partyhead has just had to apologise to the Queen for a booze-up the night before she sat alone at the funeral of her dead husband, notorious racist Prince Phili, while all the rest of us were locked down, unable to see even our own dying loved ones. And this is the same Queen whose son Andrew is being had up for sexually assaulting a young woman who had been sex-trafficked, Virginia Guiffre.
Bozza and the former HRH Nonce-A-Lot are disgusting, to be sure, but they are also pantomime villains. They’re taking the full whack of our wrath but also the frustration at our powerlessness to actually effect any real change. Boo, hiss. At least the endless headlines will serve to bolster the legacy media in clickbait.
In the background sits Sir Keir Starmer, Labour leader and weasley lawyer with the personality of a goldfish. He needs reminding that the only time we’ve changed our leaders recently is when the ruling Party has a rout. In which case – enter another Tory sociopath. And if that is too unbecoming, we have an election and only THEN do we possibly let Labour in…so long as they don’t rock the boat. And are sufficiently distant from anything resembling socialism. And don’t mention Palestine. And it all begins again in an emetic, vicious circle.
No wonder so many young progressives in Wales are seriously considering independence. As if putting up a border will protect us from Tories. Just ask people in the post-Brexit Republic of Ireland how they feel about that.
So that was it: the last demo. We’ve tried to do radical change nicely over the years but no-one listened. No more parties and sound systems and blocking roads argy bargy with the cops at the end. Not that it did much anyway. What worries me now, though, is that this all gets replaced by something so much darker.
But no need to worry! I went off to see some antiques at Jacob’s Market and played an old Hopf guitar. It was quite cool.
Happy new year, folks.