It’s bad. It’s bad when a Government drafts legislation badly. To put a draft text out there which has a mixture of headlining positive proposals, but also mind-bendingly bad measures is bad politics. I can’t use the word “bad” enough.
Today, the #PolicingBill is being debated in the UK Parliament. The bill is an unparalleled attack on civil liberties. This post-Brexit slide towards authoritarianism under this Conservative Government is dangerous. The Bill contains the most draconian crackdowns on the right of peaceful protest that any of us have seen in our lifetime.
Protest by its very nature causes a level of disruption. So, if UK legislation makes disruption illegal it effectively bans public and personal protect. This is shocking.
This incredibly badly drafted legislation has proposals that look like they were taken directly out of 1984. 10-years in jail for annoying someone, particularly a police officer. This is dangerous politics.
Protest isn’t a gift from given by a generous authority. It’s our fundamental right. It’s our fundamental right to show that we disagree. If this bad bill passes unamended, we will end up with a police state where our civil liberties are eroded in ways that it will be difficult to claw back.
If you don’t believe me then I recommend you read the text of the proposed Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill (PCSC Bill). See: 59 Intentionally or recklessly causing public nuisance. https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/bills/cbill/58-01/0268/200268.pdf
You will get 10-years in jail for serious annoyance, serious inconvenience, or serious loss of amenity to a person or even risk of such.