No Free Speech Please, We’re Barking And Dagenham!

Barking and Dagenham Council leader Liam Smith has written to the Home Secretary asking her to ban “inflammatory” protests in the borough.


The move was prompted by a demonstration last month at which three people were assaulted and last weekend’s demonstration by the Muslim Public Affairs Committee UK (MPAC).

So, hardly the Sack of Rome, then? In fact, Edwin has more details on just what the trouble actually was, and who started it.

Cllr Smith says in a letter to Home Secretary Theresa May: “I know that local residents and businesses share my fears about these protests, like me, they believe the groups are unrepresentative of the views of the vast majority of law abiding residents in our community.

“I therefore urge you to intervene, in this instance, in the interests of public safety and ban all such demonstrations which are likely to promote hatred.”

Hmmm, odd. I can’t say I’ve heard much from my mother about terrible public concern over this issue. And she lives there, so she’d know.

Stella Manzie, Barking and Dagenham Council chief executive of said the move was not against everybody but “those whose marches look to have a disruptive effect”.

When asked how it would still be possible for residents to exercise their democratic rights, she said that would be up to legislators to decide.

No, it would not, you monstrous control-freak!

She said: “What we are concerned about is the impact on local people who just want to go about their business.”

I’m not aware that businesses closed down en masse for the duration of these protest, so what the holy hell are you blathering about, woman?

“We are not against freedom of expression and democracy. The issue we are very concerned about is community cohesion. We know that local people want to get on with their lives. I think most people in the borough would completely understand why the letter has been written.”

Have you asked them then?

Or is the term ‘most people in the borough’ merely shorthand for ‘all my council cronies’?

And as for your request to May, the best you can hope for is that she remembers her last encounter with them….

6 comments for “No Free Speech Please, We’re Barking And Dagenham!

  1. Sue
    July 16, 2011 at 7:36 pm

    When the day comes that “Muslims Against Crusades” are arrested and prosecuted for trying to assert Sharia (by bullying local people) in 3 self proclaimed “Caliphates” in our beloved democratic country, I will stop supporting the EDL.

    Truth is, the EDL get bad press because it still pleases the government and media to play “nice” to Muslim extremists. I know quite a few members of the EDL and they are most definitely not far right, they just want their country back FFS!

    • July 17, 2011 at 6:07 am

      I think – hope – they’ll get short shrift from May.

    • July 17, 2011 at 3:39 pm

      Though I haven’t looked too deeply at it the EDL don’t strike me as being particularly far-right so much as pro-England/English. Also I have a vague and quite possibly mistaken idea that they were for protectionist polices, and protectionism is a policy of the left as much as it is the right, if not more so. My advice to the EDL would be to try to recruit some muslims who wish the shariah/caliphate crowd would shut up and stop embarrassing them. It’d make the lazy accusations of racism harder if there are some muslims saying the same thing.

      • July 19, 2011 at 12:19 pm

        Although the EDL began in response specifically to Islamist extremism — it was triggered by the disgraceful behaviour of some bearded men in frocks at an army parade in Luton — the movement seems to have broadened out into opposing the increasing numbers, infiltration and influence of Islam generally in the UK. It opposes new mosques and halal-only catering for example.

        Which seems fair enough to me, but is unlikely to attract the support of “moderate” Muslims (if such a beast exists).

        I shouldn’t worry too much about avoiding accusations of racism; it’s become little more than a synonym for “White person who disagrees with me” or “Right-winger” in any context with an ethnic component. These days when I am called a “racist” I treat it as a compliment.

  2. July 18, 2011 at 9:32 pm

    Isn’t any march at all by it’s very nature “disruptive”, I mean it would be a very effective march if it caused no disruption at all?

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