Wednesday, 5 November 2008

Remember, remember.

Leg-iron here. OH is otherwise occupied, as you see above. (picture pinched from Guido)

Today, every MP should have a copy of 1984. Every one of them should then look at this image and then read the book. Twice.

Old Holborn and around ten other people have been stopped and searched by PCSO's. For walking. In fancy dress. In daylight.

There was no protest. No slogans, no chanting, just a walk. OH wondered if it was still legal to walk the streets dressed as he pleased, unmolested by authority. It seems not.

What threat do these PCSO's imagine a small group in fancy dress would pose? Terrorism? Don't they imagine for a moment that the last thing a terrorist would do when approaching a target is to look as conspicuous as possible?

No, it's not about terrorism. It never was. PCSO's do far more than 'reassure the public by providing a uniformed presence'. They were always meant to. If there's anyone left who doesn't see this yet, look at that picture again. What exactly are these people being arrested for here?

It will come as no surprise to find that wearing a mask in public will be illegal very soon. That walking in a group of more than two will be illegal. It already is for teenagers in many towns. Since those on the walk were bloggers, Bleary Hazel will no doubt seize on this as evidence that all bloggers are crazed anarchists. Well, not all. Only those that don't follow the party line with blind obedience. More new laws on petty things. And all for your own protection.

Next year, there might well be a lot more than ten present on this walk.


the slippery slope said...

Beware. PCSOs are Gordon Browns prototype stasi.

Blue Eyes said...

I didn't think PCSOs had the power to search or arrest. The only reason I can see for being stopped at all is that you were dressed as caricatures of a known terrorist. Would someone in an Osama bin Laden costume expect to be stopped? I think so.

ranter said...

I too didn't think PCSO's have the power to stop AND search. But maybe in certain areas and authorised under POTA 2000 they do. I hate them.

Bobsheadrevisited said...

Have sent the link from Guido's site to a few broadsheets' news desks, inc The Times. You never know. It should be reported.

BristolDave said...

...dressed as a known terrorist who died over 400 years ago.

This is an utter fucking disgrace. What on earth were they stopped and searched for?

Guthrum said...

And they turned the webcam off at 10am for 'Operational Reasons' They don't like it when they are watched by the public using their own technology.

Goodnight Vienna said...

I saw a 'live' action shot on the webcam at abt 12.14 - traffic stopped, police and police cars, and something that looked like a khaki-coloured, open-topped jeep pulling into Downing St gate area.

I agree with Bristol Dave: "This is an utter fucking disgrace".

Someone at Guido's has suggested 13th Feb next year as an ideal time for a London spring-time stroll - apparently it's the anniversary of the presentation of the Bill of Rights to Williamanmary.

Anonymous said...

Turnout of ten...pathetic. This thing needs publicising properly. Flyers, stickers weblinks and more, everywhere. Everyone should recognise the mask. And everyone should know the date (ANY date) to go for an invigorating commemorative ramble.

Anonymous said...


William Nicholson said...

The problem with publicising it with posters and flyers, means that it then is organised. It must be word-of-mouth from someone announcing that they are going for a walk on their blog. (Though I don't know the legal difference of something which is organised as opposed to something which is just gonna happen.)

Anonymous said...

part of me would like the idea that all you need to do is walk a bit and suddenly it all turns out nice again. But it isn't going to happen.

Governments don't have a cost verses effort formula to calculate so the police can waste as much time as they want to prove a point. Ever wondered why police helicopters get used to spot speeding motorcycles? £60 fine which costs £10000 an hour to prove?

I still think the best idea is to find a better way - the question is, what?

Bemused Wolf said...

Do you not see that the whole POINT of this walk was NOT to change anything, but to SHOW you what would happen if a person, (Or persons.) were to take a simple strol from Trafalger Square, to Parliament square, wearing a mask.

OH has succeeded in what he was trying to do, it didn't matter if it were just him, or dozens, hundreds, or thousands of people, the point is, and has been proven, that our freedom to take a walk, dressed as we please, is no longer there.

NEXT time, this could be organised, but this one has served it's purpose perfectly.

Wyrm said...

I'm not even British and probably I will fly to London and march with you as well, that is, if you don't mind a foreigner marching with you.

The reason is, UK still is still kind of a model to other European countries and if fascism is so advanced there it is a just matter of time until it starts spreading.

It must be stopped and it is everyone's problem.

Snowolf said...

There were about ten of us dressed up and good number hanging on observing the action.

OH very kindly donated his red rose to a nice policeman at the gate of Downing Street, we made it as far as the corner of Parliament Square when a vehicle with blue flashing lights pulled up at the kerb and discharged a number of PCSO, a handful of proper coppers turned up shortly after. Then the searching began.

We attracted quite a bit of attention from the general public, and one bloke who seemed to be a pap, but disappeared pretty smartish when he was accused of being SB (Special Branch).

Anyhow, proper coppers and strollers all deported themselves with good humour and a spirit of co-operation.

It was bloody good fun.

electro-kevin said...

I'm kinda glad you didn't get the Jacob's Club buscuit treatment 'at regular intervals'

Though this is markedly preferable to the 'chat without coffee' as they say.

Sweet Cheeks said...

Hats off to OH and the others that joined in! Lets hope some of us over here in the Yoo Ess of Obama Fodder follow their example when the 'new government' offers to open all our mail - in the name of national security of course.

Thud said...

I'm not a great oh fan usualy but in this case I feel that a bit of humility is in order...well done sir and if you walk again I feel honour bound to attend.

reveller said...

Somebody has suggested elsewhere that instead of the usual funny hats in Trafalgar Square on New Year's Eve having a gentle stroll in a mask to take the evening air along Whitehall just before midnight might be fun. Should be a few folks around aat that time.(hint hint)

bofl said...

well done o/h and others....

i doff my cap to you!

noble cause said...

"i doff my cap to you!"

You might need a crash helmet if you go next year bofl, and I'm not being facetious.

Guthrum said...

Well done Chaps!

The Beast Of Clerkenwell said...

The funniest thing was that despite having been informed(by whom ?)that this gentle walk by like minded souls was going to start at 12 pm in a certain pub, the coppers turned up in force at the pub @12:30
Couldnt find their arse with both hands.
Mr OH look forward to getting shitfaced with you next week.
Please wear the mask again, that or several pillowcases (+:

Anonymous said...

Hats off to OH for proving the point that freedom within the UK (the English part of it anyway)no longer exists. Now we know where we stand......

killemallletgodsortemout said...

Bravo OH, and all the others.

Mrs Killem was right - I would have been locked up!!

Stopped and searched by plastic policemen?

I should fucking coco!

Sir Henry Morgan said...

Hmmmm - looks to me like plastic pcs do NOT have the power to search in the Met police area

Sir Henry Morgan said...

And either do they have the power to prevent a detained person making off. You should have walked away from the plastics.

Sue them

Sir Henry Morgan said...

2nd comment was in error.

lilith said...

Well done OH et al. Fabulous picture too. Could be a run on those masks sometime :-)

Stuart said...

I was one of the hangers-on. Congrats OH, and to all the other Vs. Next year, I'll be dressed up too.

You can't go for a walk in 21st century England. Case proved. There is something seriously wrong with this country.

Happy to be kittymaster again anytime. Just tell me where to report.

Aeneas said...

Well done OH, you have helped provide even more evidence of the slide into tyranny that is so obvious to the unbrainwashed.

You have helped to demonstrate the ragged state of civil liberties in the New Labour utopia in which we reside.

Many thanks.

TheFatBigot said...

Fine work Mr Holborn. You will, I hope, be pleased to know that the cheese and onion toastie didn't finish me off. A splendid day all round.

Quiet_Man said...

Well done sir, sadly working nightshift prevented my attendance, however next year on this day should you choose to have a midday stroll followed by a pint, I'll make the effort.

Custard said...

I left and managed to get to Victoria unhindered. Being peckish I grabbed a Burger King thingy and munched on my way back to Surrey.

At Clapham Junction, I was asked to leave the train "for a chat" and because I was acting "a bit odd" and "not wearing a jacket" by two officers who trust cards at me. The train was quite empty at the time.

After a two minute "chat" when they revealed they recognised my black jumper(!) I was allowed on my way, albeit on the next train.

One of them rejoined the train and followed me to Wallington - where I got off - and straight into a cab - then back to a certain Young's pub. I then took a long and winding road to another pub, then home.

Good fun.

Anonymous said...

I suggest you look at the following insane blog post at "Draper's Blog Rebuttal".

Not only is it laughably insane and clearly written by someone with serious mental retardation, but it also says the walk was organised by Guido Fawkes, and adds that he is a reprobate and drunk (he'd probably agree) but also a convicted criminal. If false I suggest legal action. If true, isn't some other crime being committed by releasing such personal data in a public forum? Shysters please jump in.


I am a slave said...

Good work. You are going to have to do much much more though to wake up the british braindead, brainwashed zombies called the British public. Who are so fucked up that they don't know a police state even when it slaps them on the back of the head. When they get prised away from Simon Cowell, Wayne Rooney, Katie and Jordan and other brain dead non entities it may dawn on them that they have been bought and sold and now they have NO freedoms. The sheeple had better wake up and wake up fast!

MerdeofAllParliaments said...

While OH & Clones were being grilled like bangers I was the other side of parliament square and watched two Muslimas (one in burka, one in hijab) posing with two grinning coppers for the benefit of a weirdbeard in a dress with an upturned begging bowl on his head.

Wish I'd had a camera myself to capture the collabos.

Well done, OH & other Guys!

Sacerdote said...

anonymous @19:09


and well done OH et al.

Leg-iron said...

Anon 19:09

That Draper site is a spoof. A very good one. Had me going for a moment but even Labour can't be that stupid.

As for lawsuits over who organised it, well, nobody organised anything. OH went for a walk and invited a few friends along. That's all there was to it.

Just to see whether it's still legal to walk the streets dressed any way you like.

And it's not.

So, nobody organised it. It was not an organised event in any way and the walkers did not walk as representatives of any group or organisation.

The remark about Guido's past is a matter for Guido.

(I swear OH is setting these word verifications himself. This one says 'fingumen')

swindon_alan said...

OH - thanks and mightily impressed with today. Yoo iz V btw :-)

Great stuff - next year I will don the outfit too.

However, I really think that you should have kitted yourself out with the knives under your cape. That would have given that copper who searched you a bit more fun...

Dave said...

Old holborn pulled it off. result!

Now we know what we're up against. What about a spate of "Who is John Galt?" graffitti?

Anonymous said...

Well done OH. Would love to have been there but just too busy. This thing may have been small but it has certainly caught some attention. Now the point has been proven hopefully next year many more will turn up - myself being one of them. I can see the Government wanting to nip this in the bud, this could be part of their undoing if its allowed to flourish. Don`t give up OH, this will grow.

SaltedSlug said...

That was fucking ace.
Thanks for throwing it all together, OH.

I think we've started something here.

Stray Taoist said...

I presume I spoke with you. A fine belt buckle you have there.

Dick Puddlecote said...

Good gig OH, and proved to perfection what those with a brain already knew. Free country my back alley.

Tourists loved it too, except the ones who were all but frogmarched down the underground steps by the plastic Stasi of course.

Great exercise too. Seeing as HMG keeps telling us we should be walking everywnere, it's a surprise that their enforcers seem so keen to call us terrorists for doing so.

There's something very wrong with this country isn't there? ;-)

William Nicholson said...

I was there today. Might 've looked a bit 'pap'ish. Next year I'll have the will and courage to dress up. I'll take the day off work too. One picture has turned up here.

Snowolf said...

Great photos, Taoist, superb quality.

I also love the one of OH passing the rose to the Policeman. It was heartening that the regular police officers were professional and discharged their duties in a respectful manner.

A shame that the same could not be said of the PCSO's who were shameful.

Tomrat said...

My copy should have arrived today; was in training in Manc yesterday and ran halfway across town to the nearest post office to get it sent next-day.

Didn't mean to scare the young clerk though, but it was addressed to parliament and was a light package....

Gutted I couldn't be there with OH (wife isn't) but have just started gainful employment that is absorbing all my time, plus they dont allow internet access to anything more visceral than Guido's.

Was with them in spirit, and my prayers go out to OH for his safe return, with limited molestation by the po-po.

curly15 said...

I will publish the findings from my walk tomorrow, enlightening, but not surprising for some. This ought to become an annual event, a great way of commemorating what we used to have.

Being stopped by PCSOs - good news or bad?

Scrobs said...

Good day for you Holbers - please excuse the reflected glory, but I've done a post for you - hope all is OK with you and your result.

I really tried to get there - unfortunately; money has to talk - in this case yell and hurt...

Paul said...

I'd like to say well done to the lot of you. You do our country proud.

Anonymous said...

What happened to "Custard" is actually far more sinister than the Hobby Bobbies. Spooks following him around on trains and filming them from pre-parked vans makes the plastic plods pale into insignificance.
It proves that the spook's bosses are far more scared of average citizens getting ideas than, say, middle easterners.

(Custard/G.Bl.N., what did they say to you?)

ObamaRhymeswithDeeleyPlaza said...

I agree with the idea of another stroll on New Year's Eve...Might have succeeded in glueing the mask together by then!

Bex said...

Hmmm, it's intresting that some of you were followed, I wonder if it mearly stopped at that, following.
Gunner settel down and watch V in a minute with a cuppa tea and reflect on current recent event's.
OH, you make us proud old chap, nicely done and hopefully next year I can walk along side you :D

phuquit said...

Hello Old H.

First time visitor and hoping to return. Nice blog with attitude.

I would respectfully suggest that on your next stroll that you should all wear burkhas and time your stroll to coincide with a visit from some Muslim ladies.

Let's see the PCSOs pick the bones out of that.

Tim Carpenter said...


Very well done that man. Your point is robustly proven. Custard's experience is also very important in the mix.

Dave B said...

Nice One, I'd have liked to have seen it. Hope more people stroll with you this week. However I was discussing this with a freind in the law business (yes I know) who pointed out this:

Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 (c. 33)

60Aa(2)This subsection confers power on any constable in uniform—
to require any person to remove any item which the constable reasonably believes that person is wearing wholly or mainly for the purpose of concealing his identity;
to seize any item which the constable reasonably believes any person intends to wear wholly or mainly for that purpose.

(7) A person who fails to remove an item worn by him when required to do so by a constable in the exercise of his power under this section shall be liable, on summary conviction, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding one month or to a fine not exceeding level 3 on the standard scale or both.

And it's anti-terror stuff. they can do the full 42day disapearance thing on you apparently.


Old Holborn said...


A section 60AA can only be issued by a senior officer. They didn't have time. Hence the fact it was only a walk, not a protest.

Anonymous said...

Love it.U can walk down any high street looking like cousin it with a shave with nary a look in your direction and a mask warrants a stop and frisk. Merry olde indeed

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