A ludicrous Private Member's Bill making it offence for people to wear military medals to which they are not entitled has been backed by the government.
The Awards for Valour (Protection) Bill tabled by Conservative MP Gareth Johnson passed its
Commons second reading on Friday.
It could create a new criminal offence with a maximum penalty of six months' imprisonment or a £5,000 fine.
Defence Secretary Michael Fallon says he fully supports the proposal.
It is so
typical of our disgraceful politicians, to propose extreme punishments for trivial reasons so that they can feel good about some pet peeve of theirs.
James Glancy, a former captain in the Royal Marines who received the Conspicuous Gallantry Cross
for his service in Afghanistan, told the BBC's Daily Politics the bill goes too far . He commented:
I think it's just going too far to suggest someone could go to prison. I think it's very important to look at
what's going on with someone that is actually pretending that they served in the armed forces. There may well be a serious mental health problem and actually that person just has low self-esteem, they're not a threat to the public, and they actually need
The Digital Economy Bill is primarily reprehensible for introducing mass internet censorship, but don't forget it also enables the rapid sharing of government databases to more or less any official who makes a request
Well, Part 5 of the Bill will fundamentally change the way our personal information is handled, shared and controlled whenever we hand it over to government.
means that whenever we file a tax return, apply for a driving licence, register a birth, death or marriage, apply for benefits or deal with a council, court or other public authority, all of the data we share, we will have no control of.
Because if Part 5 of the Bill becomes law:
As soon as you share anything with the government, you will be blocked from having any further control over how your personal information and sensitive data is shared around government, with councils, other government bodies and
You will not be allowed to change your data if there is a mistake or error.
You will not be asked permission or informed if an official shares, uses or looks at your data.
You will not be allowed to opt out of your data being shared.
Your birth, death, marriage and civil registration documents will be shared in bulk without your consent.
Data sharing is a fact of life and a great deal of good can come from the sharing of data, but as soon as our data is digitised it is insecure and open to exploitation.
We see this every time we read of a big company
suffering a data breach or data hack. And government aren't immune, in 2014/15 government experienced 9,000 data breaches possibly down to poor data sharing practice, certainly down to not understanding data protection laws.
data is us -- it is who we are, what we do, how we live and who we know. If we don't know where it is going, who it is shared with, why it is used and what we can do to control access to it, the future of all our personal information is at risk.
If you are worried please write to your MP this week and tell them, because without challenge this Bill will pass and control of our personal information will be lost to Government forever.
Jeremy Hunt, the UK's Health Secretary, told food companies that as eating out is no longer a treat they needed to be part of reforms to reduce the nation's waistline.
He wants to encourage food outlets, such as big chain restaurants, takeaways
and fast food retailers, to cut sugar and reduce the size of desserts, cakes and pastries.
Consumers will be able to check the companies' efforts on a website,
Duncan Selbie, Chief nanny of Public Health England, said that the new measures
were needed to improve nutrition across the board:
We need a level playing field - if the food and drink bought in cafes, coffee shops and restaurants does not also get reformulated and portions rethought then it will
remain often significantly higher in sugar and bigger in portion than those being sold in supermarkets and convenience shops.
One of Britain's best known nightclubs, Fabric, has been forced to close permanently after its licence was revoked by the council at the request of the police.
The Metropolitan police had asked the council to shut down the 2,500-capacity nightclub
after the deaths of two teenagers in the space of nine weeks. One died after collapsing outside the club in August, while another died in late June.
At a meeting to consider the police request, Islington Borough Council decided that searches by
security staff at the London venue had been:
Inadequate and in breach of the licence. People entering the club were inadequately searched.
It added that covert police operations suggested people
were openly buying and taking illegal drugs on the premises and that staff should have been aware of it.
Leading figures who played at the venue, one of the most important for fans of electronic music, joined regulars in expressing their sorrow at
the decision. A Change.org petition to halt the closure of the club had reached almost 150,000 signatures. Jacob Husley, who
initiated the petition and has worked at the club's Sunday night party for the past eight years, said of the decision:
We are in shock. I am feeling a mixture of disbelief and anger and sadness ... It would be a
devastating blow for London and culture, and clubs across the UK. It sets a precedent.
The chair of the Night Time Industries Association, Alan Miller, said he would start a grassroots fund to help save the club.
campaign to stay open had been backed by the London mayor, Sadiq Khan who said:
London's iconic clubs are an essential part of our cultural landscape ... My team have spoken to all involved in the current situation and
I am urging them to find a common sense solution that ensures the club remains open while protecting the safety of those who want to enjoy London's clubbing scene.
The MP for Islington, Emily Thornberry, also wrote on Facebook that
she believed Fabric should stay open.
The BBC has weighed in with a surprisingly
damning indictment of the police and local authorities:
Fabric, one of Britain's best-known nightclubs, has been shut after the deaths of two clubbers. But fans, DJs and venue owners have decried the decision, saying
it will not solve the drug problem but will have a chilling effect on the clubbing scene.
Our culture has been torn apart, tweeted dance act Chase & Status , noting that almost all of London's iconic dance venues have
now closed their doors.
Trainspotting author Irvine Welsh said the decision marked the beginning of the end of our cities as cultural centres .
And a host of other artists and DJs, from Fatboy Slim
and the Chemical Brothers to Radio 1's Annie Mac and Nick Grimshaw, also expressed their dismay.
Singer Roisin Murphy told the BBC: For London it is a sign of things going downhill, in terms of being a fun place. I think people
have seen the same thing happen in New York.
Protests have been held across London this weekend against public spaces protection orders (PSPOs), whicg give blank-cheque powers to local authorities to ban all kinds of activities in public spaces.
In London, abusive council PSPOs
Hillingdon council bans standing in groups of two or more unless waiting at a designated bus stop
Brent Council has an order banning offering casual work or running minibuses which stop in restricted area.
Council has an order banning parents from parking outside schools.
Kensington & Chelsea has an order 'banning revving of engines, using abusive language, sounding horns, repeated sudden or rapid acceleration (so as to cause public
Other protests included
Street theatre performers were scheduled to bring back to life the Cambridgeshire Witch Finders of the 17th Century, who having landed in 2016 find that the PSPO laws are just as effective as
witch ducking for the bad behaviour of local society. They will pay homage to the Cambridge PSPO banning punt touting.
FOREST OF DEAN
Members of the sheep Commoners Association were due to deliver a petition
against the council's plan to ban sheep from village of Bream.
A protest opposed the council's ban on chalk pavement art.
Human rights abusers on Salford Council have introduced a Public Space Protection Order to cover the Quays area where it will be deemed a criminal offence if anyone is caught using foul and abusive language .
But the order fails to give any
guidance on which words will be considered foul and abusive enough to constitute a criminal offence. Anyone breaching the conditions faces an on-the-spot fine.
Comedian Mark Thomas is performing at The Lowry arts centre and has prepared a
list of words he intends to use which he is sending to the council - to see if they breach the order.
And now leading human rights group Liberty has written to Salford council saying the move risks breaching right to freedom of expression .
Liberty says the order could have a chilling effect on freedom of expression. Liberty's Rosie Brighouse has requested clarification on four points:
Does the language have to be both foul and abusive to breach
the PSPO, or is its purpose to ban both language that is foul but not abusive, and language that is abusive but not foul?
What is the difference between language that is foul and language that is abusive? What legal test will be
applied to determine whether language is foul and/or abusive?
If someone uses foul and/or abusive language in the area covered by the PSPO, but there is no one present to hear it, will that amount to a criminal offence?
This is a staggering example of the misuse of a Public Space Protection Order - so vaguely worded it's impossible for anybody to know whether they're in danger of breaking the law.
The right to say what we want
should not be restricted at the whim of council officials, able to issue fixed penalty notices on the basis of a poorly defined legal order. Without the freedom to offend, real freedom of expression cannot exist.
concerned that, in its current vaguely worded form, the Order will have a 'chilling effect on artistic performers and political activists in the Salford Quays area - which encompasses the renowned Lowry theatre.