So a man and his daughter walk into Westminster waving ISIS flags. No, not the beginning of a joke, but in fact something that happened this very weekend past.
Some hateful human being draped the ISIS flag over his shoulders, plonked is young daughter on top, and handed her a miniature one to wave herself. They then proceeded to walk unabated through the Westminster village, marching through Parliament Square, and past Westminster tube station.
This means they walked directly above, and adjacent to the Parliamentary estate, which sprawls underground as well as being behind bars in the Palace of Westminster and Portcullis House, across the street.
But our police – probably with their effortless wisdom of inter-community peacekeeping in mind – decided that the man needn’t answer for his actions before a court, and that they needn’t arrest him, despite the fact that he was showing support for a proscribed organisation in the United Kingdom, which would make him guilty under the Terrorism Act 2000.
It states that actions, including the wearing of clothes “in such a way or in such circumstances as to arouse reasonable suspicion that he is a member or supporter of a proscribed organisation”, is enough to have one’s collar felt.
But not so according to police patrolling Westminster’s heaving streets this weekend.
Despite all the guff about terror attack dry runs, this public support for a known terror organisation was allowed to go unchecked in the heart of London’s capital, on one of the busiest days of the year. If this man and his daughter were testing how far they could take overt ISIS support in London, they’ve just been handed a massive victory.
No doubt we’ll be seeing rallies in Parliament Square next. But perish the thought they’d be disrupted, because of community cohesion, correct? Not that ISIS are Islamic in any way, though… er… um… right?
And this incident comes just over a year after a British election candidate was arrested for quoting Winston Churchill on the streets of Winchester, a sleepy little city near the English Channel.
Paul Weston – chairman of the ‘LibertyGB’ group and former UKIP parliamentary candidate – was bundled into the back of a police van in April 2014 for quoting a less than flattering paragraph on Islam from Churchill’s book The River War.
And indeed Weston was charged under the Public Order Act 1986, which states that a person may be guilty of a crime if they “display 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”.
The charges were dropped two months later.
But here’s the thing. I feel alarmed by the display of ISIS flags in Westminster. I feel harassed by the cretinous ideology that saw dozens of Britons murdered in Tunisia just last week. And I feel distressed by the fact that our police would rather tackle the “scourge” of quoting a Winston Churchill book than a murderous, thuggish, fundamentalist Islamic cult. So will the police now go back and pick this guy up?
I’m not going to hold my breath.
It strikes fear in me that just seconds away from where I work, there can be such oversight of protecting the British people against a terrorist threat that we’re constantly being told is the worst thing ever. Well it either is, or it isn’t. Make your mind up, British establishment. Or you’ll find that members of the public will start taking matters into their own hands to remove ISIS flags from the shoulders of provocateurs in their midst.
But then we all know who you’d arrest in that circumstance, don’t we?