Monday, 28 February 2011

Is Lynne Hillan infringing my human rights?

Several members of Barnet's blogging community have spent much of today contemplating how to respond to Lynne Hillan's stubborn decision not to allow blogging, filming and tweeting in the public gallery at council meetings.

The decision relates mainly to Tuesday's council meeting, where the council is - alas - likely to adopt a plan for £54.4 million cuts. However, unless they change their minds, the ban will hold good for all council meetings.

So it is well worth challenging! I set out at lunchtime to get some legal advice and by 6pm was sending a solicitor's letter to Lynne Hillan.

It questions Hillan's decision on a number of grounds. One of them, the finest, I think, is that she is infringing my human rights. I suspect, however, that the one that will carry the most weight with Hillan is that she is flouting recent guidance from her own Conservative government, and the fact that the letter has been copied to Secretary of State Eric Pickles.

Let's see how Hillan responds. In any case, whether she relents or not, a number of Barnet residents plan to test her ruling by blogging, filming and tweeting in the public gallery on Tuesday night. The anti-cuts protest at Hendon Town Hall begins at 6pm, and the council meeting itself starts at 7pm.


baarnett said...

So it's thanks to Churchill and the European Court of Human Rights, then.

Keep Calm and Carry On!

David Duff said...

Does that mean, if you get your way, that if I attend a meeting of Barnet Council (which thank the Lord I'm not, sir) I am going to be constantly irritated and distracted by people's 'phones going off, flashing screens and the fidgeting of people tweeting. And is doing all that really a "Human Right"? I mean, is that what my Dad died for?

baarnett said...

Yes, DD, it means exactly that, Sir!

As Squiffy Blenkinsopp said, you remember Squiffy, don't you? Fine Fellow! One of the best! Anyway, what Squiffy said was, ... now, where was I, ... Ah yes!, ...

Or the Council could make recordings itself.

David Duff said...

"Or the Council could make recordings itself."

It does so already, they're called 'minutes'. Alas, they do not require the antics of self-important, self-appointed busybodies making a nuisance of themselves.

Mrs Angry said...

Duff, I am rather shocked at the level of your historical ignorance - or would be if I thought for one minute that you were serious. I think you may recall that many people lost their lives in the last war in order to prevent the rule of the jackboot being imposed on the people of Britain. The freedom to annoy David Duff in the public galleries of council chambers by reporting the activities of our elected representatives should be written into the constitution of our democracy, in my view: if we had a constitution, or a democracy.