After Boris Johnson’s LBC radio show, I have just emailed the following message to him
As a constituent of yours, I was alarmed to hear your comments regarding the flying of an ISIS flag in London on LBC radio today, as confirmed in the following tract from The Independent
The Isis flag should not be banned by law because Britain is a “free country”, Boris Johnson has said.
The Mayor of London said he did not want to see the flag of the so-called Islamic State flying anywhere but said that banning it in law could prove unworkable.
“I don’t like people carrying the ISIS flag … I think a balance has got to be struck,” he told LBC radio.
May I draw to your attention the following passage from The 2003 Terrorism Act
Proscription makes it a criminal offence to:
- wear clothing or carry or display articles in public in such a way or in such circumstances as arouse reasonable suspicion that an individual is a member or supporter of the proscribed organisation (section 13).
The penalties for proscription offences under sections 11 and 12 are a maximum of 10 years in prison and/or a fine. The maximum penalty for a section 13 offence is 6 months in prison and/or a fine not exceeding £5,000.
ISIL are a proscribed organisation under the Act as seen on Page 13 of the Home Office Document (Link below)
The flying of the flag is also a breach of Section 5 of The Public Order Act as listed below in italics –
Harassment, alarm or distress.E+W
(1)A person is guilty of an offence if he—
(a)uses threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour, or disorderly behaviour, or
(b)displays any writing, sign or other visible representation which is threatening, abusive or insulting,
within the hearing or sight of a person likely to be caused harassment, alarm or distress thereby.
(2)An offence under this section may be committed in a public or a private place, except that no offence is committed where the words or behaviour are used, or the writing, sign or other visible representation is displayed, by a person inside a dwelling and the other person is also inside that or another dwelling.
Your own leader, Prime Minister David Cameron, has recently stated that anybody flying the flag of IS should be arrested and the two pieces of legislation above give the Police the right to do just that. Yet you are contradicting the message coming from Mr Cameron that was made quite clear immediately after the recent atrocity in Tunisia.
It is interesting that you talk of free speech, yet section 5 of the Public Order Act was used to arrest and prosecute Paul Weston, leader of the political party Liberty GB, because he had quoted in public a section of Churchill’s book ‘The River War’ that was critical of a particular religion.
Indeed, in the 1980’s, leaders of the IRA were dubbed out on national TV because the government decided that their message was an incitement to people to join in with their brand of terrorism, yet the current batch of terrorists should not be censored according to yourself because ‘This is a free country’.
Also listed on Page 10 of the 2003 Terrorism Act document are the group Hizbollah, whose flags have been in prominence over a number of years at the annual Al Quds Day Parade in London – This is being carried out again this Friday, with the march ending at the US Embassy in Grosvenor Square.
Despite much correspondence with The Home Office and the Metropolitan Police, who have admitted to me that a criminal offence under the act has taken place, the march will be allowed to happen again this week.
I have a right to free speech, yet no doubt I will once again be issued with a dispersal notice by the Metropolitan Police for having the temerity to point out the breaches of the law listed above if I attend again to confront the extremists.
I am sorry Boris, we are at war with the Islamists who have blown up civilians and beheaded a British soldier on the streets of London.
Would you have defended the rights of somebody to wave the flag of the Nazis on the streets of London in 1940 because it is a ‘free country’’?
This pandering to an extremist minority will only encourage further outrage and conversions to an ideology that threatens our way of life