Regular readers will remember Olly Cromwell for his persistent attempts to do what the
government says he should be free to do, namely video a public council meeting
if he wants to. For his pains councillor Linda Bailey set upon him physically
with her now infamous cry of “I can do what I like”. Following that he was
banned from attending future council meetings.
Last night he decided to find out if the ban applied to committee meetings too. He sat quietly behind me waiting for the meeting to begin. At 19:30 as the Public Realm meeting was due to start, councillor and meeting chairman Cheryl Bacon said there was someone in the room who was “likely to disrupt the meeting” and the doorman asked Olly to leave or he would call the police. Olly said he would like him to do that and we sat patiently waiting for the fuzz to appear. Thirteen minutes later we had the pleasure of the company of one Inspector, one Sergeant and three Police Constables. As soon as they appeared Olly got up and walked out without uttering a word. Unfortunately I involuntarily broke my rule to never say anything in the council chamber; I said “That’s democracy Bexley style” at which councillor June Slaughter who was sitting within six feet of me turned around to say Olly was being evicted “because he writes offensive nonsense”. Olly strives to get at the truth which will be offensive to many at Bexley council and his blog writing style is undoubtedly crude, but I’m not convinced it is all “nonsense”. But probably councillor Slaughter is typical when she believes that residents can be excluded from the democratic process for crudity or any other activity they might choose to label anti-Bexley. Accusations of being ‘Vexatious’ spring to mind.
You might think that Olly getting up and leaving the meeting without a word being spoken would be the end of the matter, but no, Bexleyheath’s finest had their paymasters to please. They tried to arrest him for breach of the peace. They took him to a small room to interrogate him. They claimed he had breached the peace and they were entitled to have his name and address. Olly said they weren’t having either. The senior officer intervened and threatened him with arrest for “abusive electronic communications”. Olly continued to say no; instead he berated them for enforcing council rules rather than upholding the law of the land.
Olly said the Civic Offices were public buildings and it was his right to be there. The police said the council chamber was a private building and he was trespassing. If the Town Hall is not a public building then surely nothing is a public building?
The five policemen were intent on getting Olly for something so they invented a crime called ‘Prevention of Breach of the Peace’ which must be some sort of thought crime. Olly eventually left without any more illegal harassment by Bexley council’s puppets. Muppets.
The three preceding paragraphs include information supplied by Olly himself.
The Notomob crew are inclined to pop in and out of the council chamber at intervals, drinks; smokes or weak bladders I do not know, but they report that police remained on the premises and were still there when they left around 21:30. The police had gone by 21:50. One must assume that Bexleyheath police regard the totally law-abiding Notomob as a threat and me and two friends as harmless. What is more worrying is that Bexleyheath was five officers short for an hour or so and three short for two hours or more (the senior officers got fed up and went home earlier) because of Bexley council’s stupidity over a man who has done nothing worse than write a few rude words on a blog. A blog which was removed when it mentioned the less than impressive Chief Inspector Stringer of Bexleyheath police. The same Chief Inspector Stringer who has failed to investigate a rather worse crime that while probably not committed by Chris Loynes of Bexley council, then by someone to whom he passed information. Is it too much to hope for the end of one rule for them, one rule for everyone else? Pigs might fly.