You´ve no doubt seen the story about 82 year old Walter Wolfgang being thrown out of the Labour Party Conference by a couple of goons because he dared to shout "nonsense" when Jack Straw tried to defend our part in the Iraq war. Police even used their new powers under the Terrorism Act to bar him from re-entering. This shows quite clearly how so called anti-terrorist laws can be used to prevent anyone who opposes the government from having their say. They refuse to listen to criticism....from anyone.
In this case it backfired spectacularly as Mr Wolfgang was interviewed by all and sundry and heavily criticised the government´s actions in Iraq. As a party member of 57 years surely he is entitled to give his opinion. Blair immediately had to issue an apology for this unacceptable action and Mr Wolfgang was re-admitted the following day. He got a standing ovation and said a "small mistake" had been rectified, unlike the "big mistake we made in invading Iraq".
Politicians have to be able to defend their actions but New Labour don´t seem to believe in accountability. The art of debate in the political process is dying a painful death as Labour´s increasingly Orwellian legislation comes into effect.
The two heavies sent to cast Wolfgang out ignored his request to be allowed to follow them out and instead manhandled him unnecessarily. He was briefly arrested under the Terrorism Act, according to Blair, because "My understanding is that his delegate´s credentials showed he had been ejected before and he had to wait while that was checked out." This didn´t really tally with the police statement.
Sussex Police said "We wish to stress that the delegate was not arrested or searched at any point during his brief interaction with the police officer and that it is a matter for the Labour Party to decide who they allow into their conference." Apparently this includes anyone who disagrees with them, even frail law-abiding members of their own party.