Wednesday, 24 February 2010

An Accrington Terrorist?

I went to see the Royal Yacht Britannia last week but I couldn't take a photo by walking round the port as it was closed off. It didn't look like there was any special reason for closing this specific area to the public but I think it was something to do with terrorism. I'm not sure how terrorists work but I found lots of books with photographs of the yacht in the gift shop. I may be wrong but it strikes me that a lot of terrorism laws are used to protect copyright and increase sales.

I think there is a law to stop people taking photos near Downing Street. When I was in London recently I saw three armed police officers on the other side of the gate. It was night and I needed a flat surface to take a photo of number 10 without flash and there just happened to be one there. I may have taken a photo, but if I did and if a police officer told me to delete it then you can be sure that I would have done so (it may be that this particular view through the gate did not make a good photo). I did google the words photography and Downing Street and couldn't find anything.

This leads me to the arrest of a photographer in Accrington. You can see the arrest at and come to your own conclusions. I really wanted to use the Guardian report to say how our civil liberties were being eroded and it was outrageous that we can't take photographs in public areas. However I didn't come to that conclusion. It seemed to me that this amateur photographer knew his rights and wanted to test the police. He was acting foolishly. It made me think of children in school who know their rights and don't comply with instructions from the teacher.

The friend didn't get arrested, because he gave his name and address. Simple. Anyone who isn't prepared to give this information willingly to a police officer in my eyes is acting suspiciously. I know the photographer was not obliged to give his details (and so did he), but he could not have been arrested on that point alone. Suspicious behaviour had to be part of a pattern - which in this case it was. I don't know what he did before the filming started which may have been suspicious but I saw this pattern of suspicious behaviour during the film because he repeatedly photographed the police officers after being asked to stop. His repeated legal terminology got my back up and I was just watching the video. We need to show respect to those in authority whether in school or in Accrington town centre.

I didn't think I would come to this conclusion when I thought about writing this blog but at least the photographers got their photos.

Change the world


  1. What?????? are you insane. You are saying we NEED to show respect to our "Authorities"...
    Lest we forget, the police and "authorities work for us. we do NOT have to justify our existance to an organisation that WE created to protect our rights.
    As you pointed out, he was NOT obliged to give any information (It says so very clearly on the Home Office website) Unless there had been a complaint recieved. or he had been observed breaking a common law.
    The kind of mealy mouthed logic that allows our servants to assume superiority, leads to mealy mouthed pandering to "authority" figures that allows to them undertake 2 illegal wars, a fake derivative crash, and god knows what else to come.
    I, for one am sick and tired of taking it any more, I`m am an Englishman, and I still have a pair of balls. Bless our Accrington friend, shame he never stuck to his guns...

  2. Two points. Do you see any merit in my blog anonymous? Secondly, why are you anonymous? If you are the same person that has written to me on several occsions then I have already asked you this question. You have asked me questions and I have answered to the best of my ability but you haven't answered mine about your anonymity.

  3. There has been no reply from anonymous so I'll add to my previous comment.

    Is it insane to show respect for authority? Is it wrong to balance civil liberty with law and order? Did anonymous complain at my sanity because he feels the Royal Yacht is a threat to our security or does he (or she) think that a photo of the gates of Downing Street may bring down the government? I don't know why they are hiding behind anonymity but I would guess that they have acted foolishly in the past and could not be taken seriously if they give their name, and maybe that's why they like to call others insane.

    When I read such conviction I am reminded of the quote from Oscar Wilde "I am not young enough to know everything". I hope this person learns to see other sides to an argument.