Saturday, April 26, 2008

All Our Yesterdays

I have just discovered that back in 2004, Francis Bennion (on the left) ended this item posted on his blog with the following words "Now there is no proper Lord Chancellor, who is to keep Mr Blair's government in line with the law? Harry Barnes can't always be around". I can't, however, ever remember any successes I had on this matter when I was around on those green benches.

Besides even Tony Blair's Government proved to be mortal.

Francis Bennion was a Lecturer in Law at Oxford University from 1984-2002 and a leading Barrister. His entry by Wikipedia includes the following -

"In 1972, Bennion brought a private prosecution against the young Peter Hain for criminal conspiracy, in relation to Hain's activities as chairman of the Stop the Seventy Tour Campaign which took direct action to disrupt sporting events involving participants from South Africa in 1969 and 1970, as a protest against the apartheid regime. During the ten-day trial at the Old Bailey Hain dismissed his defence team, which included barrister Geoffrey Robertson, before being convicted and fined £200."

In those days I joined a demonstration organised by Peter's campaigners. I see no inconsistency in arguing that Governments should stick to the law, whilst (in certain circumstances) arguing that demonstrators can be justified in seeking to bend and change laws. Which is why we finished up having the bailiffs sent to our home in 1973 arising from opposition to a Housing Finance Act, which was directed against Council Tenants. I suspect that puts me outside of Francis Bennion's frame of reference. But it was nice of him to give me that pat on the back 4 years ago.

No comments: