An open letter to the Mayor of London
I'm sure that like me, you cherish our right to protest. But like me you also believe people should obey the law. And also like me, you will no doubt believe that those who have the power to enforce the law should do so.
Tomorrow, the State Opening of Parliament takes place. It will be a magnet for the many tourists who visit the Capital. They will line the route to watch the Queen as she proceeds from Buckingham Palace through Parliament Square.
And what faces her when she gets to Parliament Square? A mini hippy camp. Over the last few years a few tents have been allowed to go up on the edge of Parliament Square. But in recent weeks the whole of the grass of Parliament Square has been taken over by people who don't seem to be there to protest about anything in particular. They even drape the statue of Winston Churchill with their banners.
The whole Square is an embarrassment to our city and our nation.
What I don't understand is why you and the Metropolitan Police have done nothing to enforce the law. If you or I launched a one man protest in Parliament Sqaure or Whitehall we'd be swiftly moved on under anti terrorism laws. Why is the law different for these people who now inhabit the Square? I don't happen to agree with the anti terrorism laws, but there are other byelaws which are being blatantly transgressed too. You know that and so do I.
I'm all for a quiet life and am well aware that the people now residing (and that's the right word) in Parliament Square would not go quietly. But a line has to be drawn, and you should draw it now.
Like most people I am embarassed whenever I pass the site, and yet I should feel proud of a Square that is home to the Houses of Parliament, the Supreme Court, Westminster Abbey together with many historical statues.
Please do something about it. The time for action is long overdue