If You Want To Know The Time Accepted Political Opinion Ask A Policeman…

Police have made members of the public aware that a stall in Southend High Street is being run by a far-right political group.

That’s nice of them. Do they feel the need to warn members of the public that they might be contributing to a political organisation whose aims they may not support when the chuggers are rattling tins for the RSPCA in the high street?

Or is this somehow different?

Two police officers and a street ranger spoke to people who visited the stall run by Britain First which asked people to sign a petition calling for better conditions for Armed Forces and to donate £3.

I signed their petition – I wish one of these three had tried to speak to me about it..!

An Essex Police spokesman said: “A female neighbourhood police officer was on routine patrol and spoke to a small group of pensioners who had just left a Britain First stall.

“She wanted to ensure they were aware of what they had just signed at the stall and discussed with the representative.”

And who told her that was part of her duties?

He said police work closely with Southend Council licensing and trading standards to ensure stalls have necessary permits.

Political groups can campaign in the town centre, but are not able to sell items without permission.

Last week council officers visited the stall following complaints from members of the public, but were unable to do anything as there were no badges on view.

The police spokesman added: “We would advise anyone who has been asked to donate money to charity or sign the petition to ensure they are fully aware of the organisation’s aims.

“All charities have a registered number which should be produced on request.”

I was fully aware, I signed, I wasn’t harassed to donate & get a button.

This is a non-issue, and the police should – quite simply – not be interfering in it. They should stay apolitical and confine themselves to ensuring that the law isn’t broken.

John Wilson, a manager at the Britain First HQ in London, defended the group.

He said: “We have branches doing this all over the country.

We do not charge people for badges. Councils cannot get it through their heads we do not need permits to do this.”

Oh, councils aren’t confused. They – and Essex Police – know exactly what they are doing.

11 comments for “If You Want To Know The Time Accepted Political Opinion Ask A Policeman…

  1. john in cheshire
    May 2, 2014 at 1:12 pm

    What is a street ranger when it’s at home? Do these pseudo-law-enforcers draw normal peoples’ attention to the muslims who set up stalls and push their religion? That’s probably more threatening than the Britain First reps.

  2. Antipholus Papps
    May 2, 2014 at 6:26 pm

    What is a street ranger when it’s at home?

    I think they used to call them ‘block wardens’.

  3. Derek
    May 2, 2014 at 6:53 pm

    Just like the Police in Nazi Germany, who stopped people going into Jewish shops. This country is getting more like Hitler’s Germany every day.

  4. Brightside Bob
    May 2, 2014 at 7:58 pm

    “& get a button.”

    Julia, are you an American? **sigh**

  5. John
    May 2, 2014 at 8:11 pm

    Oh man I would so love to have been “challenged” by one of these coppers. I hope they have a copy of the relevant law to hand, and the relevant complaint forms – this one sounds like nothing less than harrassment.

  6. Stonyground
    May 2, 2014 at 9:01 pm

    First let me say that I totally agree with the point that this issue should have nothing whatsoever to do with the police. Having said that, I think that it is a very good thing that people make themselves aware of what charities actually stand for before donating. I used to run a snack shop at work and donate the proceeds to charity. I ended up not knowing who to give the bloody money to. Once I had eliminated the fake charities and those with an unhealthy political agenda there was hardly any left. I had settled on Cancer Research but they then got into bed with the odious neo-puritans and I had to cross them off my list as well. Many of us recognise that we were incredibly lucky to have been born into a modern industrialised society, we would really like to use a little of our disposable income to make life a little better for other people who were not so fortunate. I have reluctantly come to the conclusion that donating to existing charities is at best a waste of money, and at worst just making matters worse.

    • Peter
      May 3, 2014 at 1:35 pm

      Sadly, hospices do indeed deliver what they promise – a bit of comfort and dignity in those last few weeks. You might never have need of their services – though if it’s a hospice or an NHS ward I know what I’d choose – but you would hedge your bets, maybe, donating to a local one.

    • ivan
      May 3, 2014 at 9:56 pm

      As far as I know the RNLI is the only real charity that is worth giving to.

  7. MTG
    May 2, 2014 at 9:35 pm

    A more sinister and unlawful intervention occurs behind the scenes, Julia. Plod actively monitors individuals critical of the Establishment, and routinely undermines jobs/degrees in order to financially castrate their targets.

    Many UK activist groups are infiltrated by undercover plod for the purpose of gathering intelligence. Clandestine feedback to employers is often distorted with the intention of injuring careers and blighting earning power. However it is doubtful anyone in the UK has free access to results of tests on credit ratings of UK activists against control groups.

  8. Ian
    May 3, 2014 at 3:59 am

    Looking forward to police cracking down on Hamas, er Free Gaza Now, in due course.

  9. May 3, 2014 at 12:15 pm

    E.U. Directive #8934/129/17. Police Officers in all regions will address all citizens with “‘Allo, Allo, Allo. Q’elle avons nous ice then. Je ponce mon Sergeant desires une mot avec vous, cocker”.

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