Sunday, September 25, 2011

People should not go to jail for unfurling a banner!

Featured on Liberal Democrat Voice

Gareth Epps tells how student Edd Bauer has spent the last week in prison for the unfurling of a banner decrying us for being traitors at our Conference in Birmingham last weekend.

Now, unfurling banners doesn't actually hurt anybody. If Mr Bauer had been released on bail and unfurled a banner every day of our Conference, the worst that would have happened is that Conference attendees would have looked up and thought "what a prat".

He has a track record for doing this sort of thing - but he hasn't as far as I know, ever harmed anyone. It was that form that led to him being remanded when his co-accused were freed on bail so long as they kept out of Birmingham City Centre.

So we have a situation where somebody has been locked up for over a week when they actually pose no danger for the community. As well as the obvious implications for civil liberties, it costs a fortune. In Scotland, the annual cost of keeping someone in prison is something around £31000, or around £85 a night. So, nearly a grand of public money has been spent on locking this guy up for no good reason.

The right to peaceful protest is a fundamental part of a liberal society and I think we should be looking again at the laws which enabled this guy to be held in custody. What's happened here has been a completely disproportionate use of the law and we need to have a presumption against locking non violent protesters up.

7 comments:

cynicalHighlander said...

Oh dear when did freedom come to be owned by the liberals it is owned by a more open society than any liberals that I have seen or heard in the most recent past.

I believe that something was alleged to of fallen onto the road below to justify the arrest, dubious at best.

Bob said...

cynical...

Yes it's a strange story from Caron. Liberal blogs ( inc this one) regularly block comments and ignore freedom of speech if it goes against their cosy view of the world. You don't see this type of censorship on other non liberal blogs. Pretty much say what you want really.( Guido, Munguins, Dark Lochanagar, biased BBC etc...)

Caron said...

Can you please justify that claim that I regularly block comments?

I break my own policy often enough by publishing comments that are abusive, usually to me.

Bob said...

Well you've just blocked my comment on the liberal drugs policy post you did.
There are regular chats on Munguin's blog about your comment blocking. Do I have to trawl through his blog to find them for you ?
Munguin is kind enough to provide a link to your blog so it would be nice of you to respect other people's views as well.

Caron said...

I might take a wee look on Munguin's blog.

To my knowledge, I have never blocked any of yours.

If you look at the comments I publish, most people would find it very hard to believe that I practises indiscriminate censorship.

There was once I remember blocking CH by accident & I asked him to re-post.

cynicalHighlander said...

I think we have to give Caron the benefit of doubt on moderation Bob as what caused problems in the past was her delay in showing some posts out of sink. Try posting on Labour Hame or even Better Nation now as they like to keep cuddly relationship with some commentators who write repeated blatant 'lies' and rebuttals are taboo.

Bob said...

Caron. It's your blog so you can do what you want. The Bill Clinton defence doesn't wash with me though ;)

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