An Independent Voice - Councillor George Black
Bryan Simpson, who was found guilty of affray in relation to yet another peaceful demonstration which turned not only violent but criminally violent, calls again into question the relationship between civil liberties and civil freedom which we are all entitled to enjoy.
Simpson was found guilty of affray in relation to the protest outside the Tory headquarters at Millbank.
It would appear that Simpson, who is pursuing a masters degree in human rights law, does not accept that everyone has human and civil rights whether or not we agree with them politically or ideologically.
On television Simpson whinged 'my family have been subjected to harassment by the right wing press'.
I wonder if any of the right wing press threw megaphones at Simpson and his family or merely directed uncomfortable questions which would elicit unpalatable truths.
There are many disturbing features to this story not least the relationship between the trades unions and Simpson, who is allegedly an official organiser for the trades union Unite.
I do not think that trade unionists pay their subscriptions in order that those educated and politically aware members of the union are lionised for behaving in a criminal manner. Regional Organiser for unite Roz Foyer said: "The attack on Bryan is the first attempt by the police to target trade unionists for organising people to use their democratic rights to protest."
I'm sorry dear , but in the words of Michael Winner you will have to calm down.
Simpson was not charged for organising a peaceful protest, he was charged originally with more serious crimes for his part in a disgraceful attack on other people's democratic rights. Democracy is like pregnancy, you cannot be a little bit democratic just as you cannot be a little bit pregnant.
I'm afraid that it is an all or nothing situation if you demand these rights for yourself and your class, in a democracy you must accede to the facts that "class enemies" have the same rights as yourself.
It is the fact that we live in a democracy which gave us the right to organise and protest peacefully.
No less a person than gorgeous George Galloway is attributed with saying: "We should all aspire to be Bryan Simpsons, but then again George pretended to be Rula Lenska's cat and saluted Saddam Hussein's "indefatigability".
Simpson should be roundly condemned for his criminal behaviour and should perhaps by way of appropriate punishment be made to provide pro bono representation to a few Tories.
I commented on this a few weeks ago in relation to the London riots of this year that we appear to be as a society afflicted by double standards.
This is perfectly acceptable when practised within the confines of home or family as it only directly affected our nearest and dearest who are best placed to deal with this - but it has now spilled over into the public domain and a young man who in this country is being educated at the taxpayers' expense as a lawyer thinks that he is above the law.
My advice to him would be grow up son
This article appeared in Dumbarton & Vale of Leven Reporter 18 Nov 11
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