P is for Protest

The Right Honourable Bertrand Somerville-Thruppe waddled from the chamber. He’d just voted in favour of the anti-protest bill and was feeling rather smug. That he styled himself a dyed-in-the-wool libertarian didn’t strike him as remotely hypocritical, because of course all that really mattered was his own liberty to do what he damn well pleased.

It wasn’t as if peaceful protest had ever achieved anything worthwhile: women’s votes, workers’ rights, upholding free speech… Poppycock, the lot of it. Those chaps in Brazil and Hungary had the right idea: their laws were doing a top job of keeping dissenters off the streets.

Best of all? The Home Secretary’s new powers to define “serious disruption” however she wished. It pained him to admit it, but she was doing a bloody good job for a woman.

Oh delicious irony. The suffragettes would be spinning in their graves.

The Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill passed its second reading in the House of Commons by 359 votes to 263 on 16 March 2021. Not a single libertarian Tory voted against it. Or any Tory at all, for that matter.