Tories Vs Brian Haw?

Rachel Holdsworth
By Rachel Holdsworth Last edited 108 months ago
Tories Vs Brian Haw?

He's survived attempts to get rid of him before and had his protest reduced to a 3m square pitch, but now David Cameron's planning to have another go at evicting Brian Haw. As we're sure you hardly need reminding, Haw's been protesting in Parliament Square over Iraq since 2001, but if the Tories win the next election Cameron plans to have him removed, saying:

""I am all in favour of free speech and the right to demonstrate and the right to protest... enough is enough"

and complaining that Haw makes the Square look a bit tatty. Has Cameron been walking round his workplace with his eyes shut? Does Haw's camp really make any difference to that benighted traffic island? If Davey really wanted to make an aesthetic difference to the Square he could put pressure on Boris to put the pedestrianisation plans back into action.

Of course, the real reason politicians don't want Haw around is because he's a very public reminder of how their decisions have helped make a total balls-up of the war on terror. It would never do to have politicians living in a world where their actions have consequences.

Last Updated 20 July 2009


Other real reasons include: the fact that he shouts at everyone all day through a megaphone, the fact that he lets that awful australian woman shout at everyone when he's resting, queue-hogging in Tescos, his being a gentleman of questionable personal hygiene and washing in the loos at Westminster Tube Station. I like him though. Crazies play their own role in making London special, and I doubt he'd still be there if it wasn't for the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act. And whatever happened to the Tamils?


What sort of idiot pills has David Cameron been taking?

I'm almost speechless at the brazen stupidity of his comments. Does he really think that "enough is enough" is a sufficient argument to justify the suppression of free speech?

I do think Haw is a bit of a nutter - but that's kind-of irrelevant. He has a right to protest, and no amount of facile platitudes will remove that right.


He has the right to protest, but not the right to squat on Parliament Square and make the place look like a dump.. His message was heard years ago, I don't wanna here it anymore.. The Tamils pushed the limits a few weeks back, I know people were turning against them because of how they acted...Brian Haw is no Hero, He's a bum. This is no longer a protest, the message is lost.


Is "enough is enough" itself enough of a justification to remove him? How's legislation dreamt up? (Separately, heard Patrick McLoughlin talking about how legislation is passed and only after do they realise the repercussions.) Is there a timeline on free speech, i.e. if we're heard it already so move on? What is a democracy? David Starkey's conclusion about the need for separation of executive and legislature (not the rubber stamping we have at present), the NUJournalists worry about the curbs because of new laws, Lord Foulkes having a go at criticism by the military, the onerous laws and the weak will of the people, we should be citizens not mealy mouthed subjects/servile to the power elite. Why are we so conservative and bow and scrape and defer to the elite? Why are we not more cynical of our politicains when they say rubbish or pass rubbish bills. The science minister in US is a Nobel Prize physicist, there are varied cabinet members who known their field (they don't get shoved from one post to another); they're not politicans necessarily but they're vetted by congress. Here we have people who run for power (MPs) but when they get into cabinet, have they any expertise in their appointed field - today Health, tomorrow reshuffled into Education? We're in a sorry mess but we're the best at everything/we invented everything. If we have no self-criticism how can we ever improve? Or just keep looking back to the glory days?


Now Cameron is going to legislate because people don't like someone shouting/someone smelling/someone saying something he's said before? Where does this short-term thinking lead? Do they teach like Civics or cause and effect or logical thinking in schools?


I hear what your saying guys, but I, and many others (atleast the people I know) are sick of this Brian Haw circus.... there are other ways of protesting, like the stop the war coalition do, they organise regular rallies and that, for me, is the proper way to go about it.

Brians' protest hasn't stopped anything, the way He's doing it is wrong in my opinion.. Free speach yes, but dragging on a protest like this, and making my city look like a dump isn't.

I'm not saying stop ptotests..far from it, just continuous non stop year on year out protests are stupid if anything.... the message gets lost.

Stop the war? Yes
Stop protests? No way
Remove Brian Haws' squat from Parliament Square? A soon as possible, get back to your family and live your life.


I can see that both you dave and deanfwj have valid points. but cannot agree with either.

i agree with dave that there shouldn't be limits to free speech - if you don't like the message someone is preaching, than steer away from it. for an interesting perspective on why free speech, (even when hate speech, tho its not the case with brian haw) listen to this: http://www.thoughtfortheworld....

i dont think we can say, deanfwj, that some protest are legit and some should be banned, just on the grounds that they have no effect. but i do convene with you when you say that his form of protest ultimately doesn't achieve anything. this begs a further question: does protest itself, walking around with a banner, actually do anything anyway? i'm not prepared to answer cos i dont know for sure, but i presume not.

ultimately, i think brian haw has the right to stay there if he is willing to sacrifice himself for that cause. he isn't doing any damage, and if you think it ruins our city, well, then, i can point out to a myriad of things that ruin our city, and it is truly a subjective matter (such as, for example, the benefits of staging the olympics). brian shouldnt be removed, its up to him to understand whether his message is irrelevant or not. personally, i would never do what he does - not because i disagree with what he says, but because the way he does it produces no results. but let him squat parliament square if he wishes to (tho perhaps he should turn down the volume of his megaphone... i too have the right not to lose my hearing because of what he wants to preach)


forgot to add - what an idiot david cameron is... another testament why he should never be voted, tho really i wonder who deserves my vote (or anyone's) anyway.