Wednesday 30 April 2014

Police arrest Paul Weston, a South East England political candidate for quoting Winston Churchill

I find this hard to believe: Britain has just seen the political arrest of a candidate for making a campaign speech that quoted the words of Sir Winston Churchill. The police did not like that, hence the arrest, and hardly anybody gives a tinker's cuss!

Paul Weston is a candidate for the right wing Liberty GB Party who was making a speech on the steps of the Winchester Guildhall when some woman arrived and started shouting the odds at him. He ignored her, but she was seen to use her mobile 'phone and sure enough the police arrived within minutes to interfere with the democratic process. I have no idea who she was, but the end result was that Paul Weston was interrogated on the street for forty minutes, before being taken off to a police station, held for five hours and then charged with religious or racial harassment.

You can listen to his account of the incident above, but the frightening thing about all this is less the arrest, and more the complete lack of interest that is being shown to it by most of the media in this country. Had this happened in Russia, then you can just imagine what the outrage would be. Now we have a case where a candidate for elected office has been prevented from speaking and the reaction is  almost total indifference.

The Daily Mail has covered the story, but the most outrage is coming from Dan Hannan, who just happens to be an MEP from South West England, the constituency that Weston's party is also running in. That's right, the main Tory in that area is defending a political opponent. Hannon makes the point that there is no evidence to suggest that Weston was inciting violence, to which I would add that the only reason for the arrest seems to be that the police did not like his political message and that thought chills me to the bone.

The left have to get involved in defending our political opponent whether we like it or not. Irrespective of the argument that freedom of speech is too important to be left to the whims of semi-educated policemen, there is the obvious point that if the police get away with this then we are next in line.

The police commissioner for Hampshire is Paul Hayes, and you can write to him at this link. Please be polite, otherwise you may be getting a visit from the police yourself, as they are clearly out to get activists of all shades. If you are in a political party or trades union, then please raise the matter with them as quickly as possible so we can build the biggest coalition possible to defend our right to listen to all political candidates without first having them vetted by the state's agents.

If you live in South West England then why not vote for Liberty GB? Sure, they are a bunch of eccentrics, according to Hannan, but it is only the European elections so they don't count for very much. Or at least they didn't, until the police made them important.

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