Crazy Conference

We can’t use terrorism laws to bully pensioners, can we?

I turn my back for a moment, and the world goes crazy. All I did was watch The Ring Two for an hour or so, and three crazy events have hit the headlines at once.

First, we hear that an 82 year old man has been ejected from the Labour Party Conference for heckling Jack Straw over Iraq. Now I welcome this sort of vocal exhibition of democratic rights, prompted by the party’s failure to have a proper, cathartic debate about this problem at any point in the past two and a half years. However, I do understand the need to keep some sort of decorum: noise-mongers should be ejected.

What is totally unacceptable is the idea that terrorism laws were used to prevent the pensioner from returning to the conference! Need I ask what threat this man posed? Terrorism powers should be used sparingly, on the basis of evidence gathered carefully and methodically by the security forces. Applying them to what was obviously nothing more than a public order issue is dangerous, offensive, and bordering on the totalitarian.

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