As one gets older it's tempting to say: What the hell? It's all a lost cause. Why not just enjoy one's hobbies and watch the collapse of civilisation from the sidelines? The problem is this: even my hobbies are now under attack.
I'm a keen photographer, but I now find that even that activity is under relentless state harassment. There's an excellent article in today's Scotsman although it's behind the premium window.
The right to report and photograph is a fundamental right of any democratic society. This is even set out in the police-press guidelines laid down by the Association of Chief Police Officers.But the police don't seen to care about mere abstractions like "the law". That's why Austin Mitchell MP, a keen photographer, has introduced an Early Day Motion in Parliament:
It states: "Members of the media have a duty to take photographs and film incidents and (police officers) have no legal power or moral responsibility to prevent or restrict what they record."
Austin Mitchell MP (pictured) is canvassing the support of fellow politicians following growing reports of police stopping innocent photography enthusiasts taking pictures in public areas.Good luck to Mitchell. I'd go further of course. I'd favour a law that says that all police officers who make up their own laws should be instantly dismissed from the force along with all of their superior officers right up the chain of command to the Chief Constable. With loss of all accumulated pension rights.