Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by Mad_Moriarty, Aug 5, 2006.

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  1. Ring, ring. Ring, ring.
    'Hello, New Scotland Yard, how may I help you?'
    'Hello, I wonder if you can help me?'
    'Good. I've just been looking at the map of your protest exclusion zone around Parliament Square.'
    'It's not an exclusion zone, sir.'
    'It's not an exclusion zone. If you want to protest, you need to get permission. We're not excluding protest.'
    'How exactly can I help you, sir?'
    'Well, the funny thing is, I was looking at your exclusion...'
    'Permission zone around Parliament Square and I realised my new flat is right smack-bang in the middle of it..'
    'I have a question.'
    'Well, you see, I have a roof terrace which can be seen from the road. I was just wondering whether I'd be allowed to protest there if I wanted to? I'm just worried about being arrested and having all my banners torn up.'
    'Who owns the property, sir?'
    'I do.'
    'And who are you planning on protesting against?'
    'Who are you planning to protest against?'
    'Does that matter? The point is whether it's now illegal for me to protest on my own roof... Let's say I'm protesting against myself.'
    'Are you planning to protest against yourself?'
    'Well, I don't like myself very much at the moment, so let's say yes...'
    'Then that's a good question, sir. I'll have to put you through to my colleague who deals with SOCRA [the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act] at Bloomsbury.'
    Ring, ring. Ring... Click.
    'Yes... protest... exclusion...'
    'Sorry, protest... permission... roof terrace... myself...'
    'Let me look at my map. Well, as far as I know, as no-one would be likely to complain if you were to protest against yourself...'
    'They might.'
    'It's unlikely.'
    'OK. Forget me then. What about if I was protesting against my neighbour?'
    'On your roof?'
    'Well, then that would depend whether they were likely to see it and be upset by it.'
    'Not see it and not be upset? OK. Got it. Oh, only thing is, my neighbour is the Home Office.'
    'Well, if you're protesting against the Government and they were likely to see the protest then you'd need to come in and have a chat with us.'
    'Oh, right, OK. But only if I'm likely to upset them.'
    'What do you mean, sir?'
    'Well, if I protested *for* the Government that would be OK?'
    '*For* the Government? You mean protesting in favour of the Government?'
    'Essentially, yes.'
    'Then that wouldn't be a protest.'
    'Got it. So it's only illegal if I'm protesting against the Government in a way that might upset them?'
    'Yes, no. That's not what I actually said.'
    'Oh, I'm terribly sorry. What did you actually say?'
    'I said that if you wanted to protest against the Government on your roof terrace then you should come in and have a chat with us first.'
    'But only if I'm protesting against the Government.'
    'That's right.'
    'In a way that might upset them.'
    'That's right.'
    'Otherwise I might be arrested?'
    'It's possible, sir, yes.'
    'Ok. Thanks.'
    'Thank you sir, is there anything else I can help you with?'
    'No. Yes. Are you going to the carol concert in Parliament Square tomorrow?'
    'Parliament Square comes under Charing Cross, sir, you'd have to ask them.'
    'Right ho! Merry Christmas.'
    'Thank you for your call, sir.'