Archive for March 28th, 2011

Like many, I am delighted that I live in a country which permits freedom of speech, protest and dissent. I don’t, like most, care for the mindless violence (or, indeed, any form of violence on the part of protestors or the state) as a means of persuasion to a view.

Today I had the misfortune to read on my twitter timeline some very curious views by @PennyRed – Laurie Penny – who writes for The New Statesman, a magazine I enjoy reading.

The tweets I read – most recent at top – from @PennyRed are here…

I was surprised to read the third tweet above on my timeline and sent a tweet addressed to @PennyRed (She does not follow me – but she would have seen my tweet in her *mentions*?)  Although, to be scrupulously fair…many celebrity tweeters don’t respond to questions put to them and only read their *mentions* for self aggrandisement and  twitteronanism (to see how well they are doing on twitter.)

I did think, however, that  a serious statement by Laurie Penny  and my not unreasonable question merited a reply. I didn’t get one. By the way… the ‘thought through political ‘violence’ was probably in relation to another deleted tweet from Laurie Penny about how the suffragettes used ‘violence’ to achieve their aims.   I can’t say… I have no idea what she meant by principled thought through political ‘violence’...which is why I asked her to answer what I  thought was a perfectly reasonable question.  As it happens, I am fairly sure she saw my series of tweets ( honest and reasonable belief!)…given her open replies on twitter – some of which have been deleted!.

This was my question:

Then this nonsense turned up on twitter….. (I replied):

And then this……

We are living in very difficult times.  A lot of people will lose their livelihoods. A lot of people will suffer.  I am not rehearsing here the faults of our politicians – and they are legion on this issue.  A lot of people protested peacefully on Saturday.  The so called ‘ordinary people’…whatever that means in SKYBBC speak.  They did not trash Trafalgar Square.  They did not occupy Fortnum & Mason and smear the front of the building with absurd slogans.  Many took their children with them. They wanted to protest peacefully.  Instead of being able to listen to reasoned protest by listening to radio or watching TV reports from the main peaceful protest, we were treated to endless coverage of mindless buffoons trashing parts of London.  The BBC and Sky really did not need to overdo that?

@PennyRed – Writes for a respected magazine – The New Statesman.  She  describes herself as a journalist. Objectivity and fairness are what we reasonably expect from journalists – a bit of bias and perspective is acceptable.  We understand this.  I do not expect to read nonsense about *Violence* on twitter from a ‘respected journalist’.  There are plenty of people on twitter talking wonderful bollocks if I want to read what they say.  The difference with @PennyRed?  She gets onto national TV.  She gets to write on a  leading political journal.

It is simply not good enough for @PennyRed to respond to many who were being criticial of her now deleted tweets (above) on twitter by saying that she was ‘confusing people’ and will get back to the issue when she has had more sleep.  I write in terse terms because I happen to believe that peaceful protest is a right and that violent protest is a crime.  I take that view because I want to live in a civilised country where reasoned debate is more powerful than hooded thugs and buffoons (some, it would appear.. middle class buffoons on a Gap Yah!)  trashing other people’s property as a means of ‘persuasion’.   The political process in our country may not be without faults.  But it is all we have for the moment….and the Rule of Law is even more important.  The violence on Saturday broke the ‘Rules of Law’.  Violence is against the law…and it should be… in all its forms… including ‘smashing a window’.

I leave readers with three tweets…to lighten the mood….

I hope that @PennyRed has a good sleep…  but… to be fair…she did have a chance to do this tweet which I have just seen on her timeline….

Hopefully…those who ‘protest’ in future… will stop flinging shit about on our buildings, monuments and streets.  That ain’t the way to protest in a mature democracy?


Oh… and I have always voted Labour…. so I may be a leftie…. although one can’t be sure about that with the Labour Party in recent years 🙂



Happy to give a link to this article by @PennyRed / Laurie Penny in the New Statesman….


What really happened in Trafalgar Square

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