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Wednesday, May 19, 2004

Today in Parliament

I am sure plenty of other people are going to cover this one, but I only came across the story are I was finding a link for my below post.

It appears that some idiots from Fathers 4 Justice through a condom filled with pink powder at Tony Blair today during Prime Ministers Questions. They are a group whose grievance (in a nutshell, the lack of legal rights for fathers against women) I actually strongly sympathise with, though they are way too activist for my taste, as this latest stunt shows. I found out about it here via the wonders of the BBC website. I think that article does a particularly good job of summing up. There have been lots of arguments about security needs in Parliament, with idealism clashing against threat. Thanks the F4J the threat is now all too readily apparent. I bet Al Quaeda are right now cursing themselves that they didn't think of this.

Then I went over to Tom Watson's blog to see if he had anything about it. This especially struck me:

I noticed our kipper-eating deputy PM not thinking of his own safety by covering up the powder on the floor so that it didn't spread

John Prescott gets a lot of slack in the UK press, but he is someone who I have a great deal of personal respect for. Plain speaking and honest, I think that many people under-estimate him. Although if this was really something serious his gesture would have been pointless, sometimes gestures are what matter.

Unfortunately the other two British weblogs I read (Oliver Kamm and British Spin) haven't written anything on it yet. Casting my net a little wider I cannot yet find anything on this. Unsurprising as I read far, far fewer UK blogs than US blogs (thanks to my interest in US generally and US law specifically, and the fact that there are only 24 hours in a day, yada yada yada). I am sure there must be more comment out there. Hell, it's early evening here.

My own thoughts?

This was inevitable. Thankfully it was just a stunt, but it could have been worse. So much worse I do not think I can really understand how much. Just about every MP is present during PMQs. If that had been something serious perhaps all of them would have been kiled, or at the very least incapacitated.
Thank God that this was just a stunt, and this open door to the heart of our democracy will hopefully be closed.

My other thought. This nation is the birthplace of modern parliamentary democracy. It is a bastion of all the ideas that dictators and terrorists loathe. It can only be a matter of time before something serious is attempted.

So yes, thankyou Fathers 4 Justice, for pointing out a very real weakness and (hopefull) making some people get off their backsides and do something about it. Perhaps not their intended result, but one I would be very thankful for.

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