My old friend Prem (Lord) Sikka posted this Tweet last night:
The Lords voted 154-68 to allow the Tory government to change the Public Order Act through the unprecedented back door.
Our freedoms to protest are gone; the police have carte blanche, they are not accountable.
Co-workers were told to abstain on Jenny Jones’s motion. I voted for it.
We have a police state.
—Prem Sikka (@premnsikka) June 13, 2023
The vote in question was to block changes to the Act that will now allow police the sole discretion of deciding when a demonstration is likely to cause a nuisance and is therefore allowed or not.
The Greens in the Lords planned a blocking motion that would have blocked this.
The LibDerms supported him.
So did many crossbench partners.
The bill could have been blocked.
But Labor said it was not their job to block government legislation in the Lords, so they abstained, letting the bill pass.
As a result, we now have a law that only allows protests with the permission of the police.
The police are institutionally racist. They are misogynistic. They are conspicuously on the right. And Labor gave them the power to determine the right to protest.
No wonder Prem was furious. Me too.