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Critical Mass and the law on Radio 4 this Tuesday

Posted: 13 Oct 2008, 2:27pm
by Speshact
Law in Action's look at the Critical Mass bike ride is on BBC Radio 4, Tuesday 14 October at 1600 BST
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/magazine/7667183.stm

Posted: 14 Oct 2008, 3:15pm
by Skully
London CM was unpoliced last month. And there have been some murmors about that a curious incident with a CMer, who was taking photographs, may have been plain clothes/agent provocateurs at work.

All slightly fishy.

Now this piece on the 'independent' (but govt. funded) Beeb.

Posted: 14 Oct 2008, 3:25pm
by Coffee
Thanks for the link, I've posted it in the red light jumper CM thread in 'on the road' too.

http://forum.ctc.org.uk/viewtopic.php?t=17477&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=0

Posted: 14 Oct 2008, 3:44pm
by thirdcrank
Skully wrote:London CM was unpoliced last month. And there have been some murmors about that a curious incident with a CMer, who was taking photographs, may have been plain clothes/agent provocateurs at work.

All slightly fishy.

Now this piece on the 'independent' (but govt. funded) Beeb.


Hmm.

The thing that really starts the alarm bells ringing is that somebody from the secret services or whatever has been taking photographs but then the BBC make a radio programme. :shock:

Posted: 14 Oct 2008, 3:47pm
by bikely-challenged
Surely the BBC is mostly funded by us, the license payers rather than the Government?

I think the Govt. only contribute to the World Service. (the Govt., btw, just spend what they take from us, so it's our money being spent yet again).

Until my partner started his own business I never realised that it's only Joe Public who actually pays VAT. Businesses claim back the VAT that they pay and collect it from us to give to the Govt.

I've often wondered exactly how much tax the average bod pays when you add up VAT, Council Tax, Inland Revenue, Fuel, Fags, Booze etc.

If you have any money left over after paying all this and you put it in a savings account they'll tax the interest!

Sorry to go OT again, but anything to do with the parasitic BBC raises my blood pressure.

Posted: 14 Oct 2008, 4:25pm
by Coffee
bikely-challenged wrote:Surely the BBC is mostly funded by us, the license payers rather than the Government?

I think the Govt. only contribute to the World Service. (the Govt., btw, just spend what they take from us, so it's our money being spent yet again).

Until my partner started his own business I never realised that it's only Joe Public who actually pays VAT. Businesses claim back the VAT that they pay and collect it from us to give to the Govt.

I've often wondered exactly how much tax the average bod pays when you add up VAT, Council Tax, Inland Revenue, Fuel, Fags, Booze etc.

If you have any money left over after paying all this and you put it in a savings account they'll tax the interest!

Sorry to go OT again, but anything to do with the parasitic BBC raises my blood pressure.


I can't get Taxman - The Beatles out of my head now.

but then there is always cash ISA's for your savings!

BBC and the Government!? Conspiracy!!! Black helicopters...

Posted: 14 Oct 2008, 5:06pm
by thirdcrank
Another suspicious thing.Looks friendly enough but I've just noticed that that overweight uniform sergeant on a mountain bike is a certain Detective Boyle in a cunning disguise.

Posted: 14 Oct 2008, 8:57pm
by meic
I listened to the show. I guess in a few days time the House of Lords will decide if it is the Police's job to police or to supress.
I guess if the Lords find against the Police they can always use the Terrorism Act instead.


PS I dont have a TV Licence or TV for that matter :D

Posted: 14 Oct 2008, 9:41pm
by thirdcrank
I'd not call myself a fan of CM but I hope the House of Lords allows the appeal.

The 1986 legislation was actually introduced by the Thatcher government largely as a cost-saving measure, which as a side-effect involved a bit of police welfare.

Ever since the days of Sir Bob Peel and Messrs Rowan and Mayne (the first Commissioners of the Met) one of the things that inspired the G&S ditty* was rest days being cancelled or changed at very short notice. Once upon a time, at the slightest whiff of trouble or if there was a murder, rest days were cancelled or rearranged at the drop of a hat and people ended up sitting about on standby, 'just in case.' In the early seventies, conditions of service were changed to give quite substantial recompense when this happened so it suddenly stopped. This was not a burst of generosity from the Home Office. Police wastage was so bad they risked having none left if pay and conditions were not improved. At the time it was not such a big deal because most events needing a lot of personnel such as soccer matches, general election meetings (National Front demos) were known about some time in advance.

Anyway, along came Thatcher and it was demonstrations, strikes etc., all the time. Of course, some of this was countered by a lot of anti-union legislation but Thatcher would not let K Clarke etc., worsen police conditions of service (well, not much, anyway. I had that info from none less than Parris.) So, the 1986 legislation was part of a move to cut costs by allowing planning for demos etc., and the cancellation of police rest days with more notice and therefore less expense.

Now, whatever the points argued by m'learned friends next week before their Lordships, the whole point of CM is that you know it's coming, although nobody can say how big it will be on a particular day (partly, I suspect, because nobody can predict the weather more than a few hours in advance - and that's if you are lucky.) If you know it's coming, you can plan the staffing. The unpredictable route must make sensible deployment more difficult but that really was not the point of the legislation.

It seems sad that through all the Thatcher years CM was never seen as a big deal but under a government with so many who were once civil rights campaigners this should go to the House of Lords. I nearly said 'end up' but there is still the possibility that it will end up with the European Court once again telling the UK Govt to stop being silly.

* A policeman's lot is not ...

Posted: 15 Oct 2008, 12:04am
by 7_lives_left
I enjoyed listening to the program. If the house of Lords ruling is going to be given out
in the next few days, as was indicated in the program, this month's ride might be an
interesting one to attend, whichever way the ruling goes (hopefully in favor of Critical Mass).

Now, donning my tin foil hat while looking for black helicopters, if no police cyclists
turned up last month, while ordinarily they would turn up as unpaid, off duty volunteers,
as discussed in another thread, does that mean they were given instructions to stay away?

I actually tried to attend last months ride (only the second time I have done so), but I was late
getting to the South Bank so I missed the start. It is hopeless trying to find the ride once they
have set off. Actually there were police cyclists out that night because I remember passing a
group of about six of them waiting by the Centrepoint building near Totenhamcourt Road
tube station. I did think about asking them if they knew the ware abouts of the ride, but
thought better of it because 1) they might think I was taking the mick, and 2) they might
have no more idea than me where the ride was. It could be that they were on duty and had
nothing to do with the Critical Mass ride.

Posted: 15 Oct 2008, 1:07am
by dan_b
Yes, I met a group of cops on bikes on New Fetter Lane that night, and assumed CM must be somewhere about. Maybe like you they intended to be there but were late getting to the start? ;-)

I didn't stop to chat, I had a couple of hundred other rollerskaters following me...

Posted: 15 Oct 2008, 12:06pm
by Ben Lovejoy
Even assuming the police won the case, what exactly would it achieve?

My understanding from the R4 piece is that there is nothing illegal about being on the ride, only being an organiser of it. Since there are no organisers, who are they going to prosecute?

Ben

Posted: 15 Oct 2008, 12:16pm
by 2Tubs
Skully wrote:London CM was unpoliced last month. And there have been some murmors about that a curious incident with a CMer, who was taking photographs, may have been plain clothes/agent provocateurs at work.

All slightly fishy.

Now this piece on the 'independent' (but govt. funded) Beeb.

Don't you mean publicly funded?

Gazza

Posted: 15 Oct 2008, 5:54pm
by JQ666
thirdcrank wrote:
It seems sad that through all the Thatcher years CM was never seen as a big deal but under a government with so many who were once civil rights campaigners this should go to the House of Lords.....



Also, many in this government spent their early / student political careers affiliated with communist groups - so perhaps it's not surprising that we now live in a big brother society!

Posted: 15 Oct 2008, 8:15pm
by aesmith
I find it hard to accept their claim that these rides are not organised, then see the quote ...

"Critical Mass claims to host these sort of rides in 400 cities around the world, and they had been happening without incident in London for 11 years"

Tony S