Something really quite bizarre happened in Burton last week.
A low-key peace vigil was organised by a group of local residents, concerned about the plight of Palestinian civilians. The local TUC were also involved in it's organisation.
This, of course, is not unusual. All over the world, a great many people are trying to draw attention to this issue.
But what happened in Burton was far from the usual.
Close to the meeting venue was a riot van. Across Burton that night were an additional eight squad cars, each loaded with officers, ready to assist the riot van officers.
Inside the venue (a hotel meeting room) were two plain clothed police officers. A further four officers were outside the hotel.
The officers were very pleasant, albeit somewhat embarrassed.
The police explained that the "local MP" had "tipped us off that over 80 people would be coming to the meeting to undertake in radical actions".
The ordinary members of the public present (about 40 in total) were shocked, and many complained of feeling "criminalised" by their parliamentary representative. Everybody at the meeting shared the view that the MP could not possibly have had any soundly based cause for concern.
So what was Tory MP Andrew Griffiths playing at? Does he believe that any association of Asian people and/or Trade Unionists constitutes a threat to public safety? What "radical actions" did he fear might happen inside the meeting room of Grail Court?
Mr Griffiths claims to be a staunch supporter of austerity, yet in this instance he has succeeded in wasting an undisclosed fortune in local police resources, not to mention wasted police time.
- ► 2016 (41)
- ► 2015 (10)
- ▼ 2014 (7)
- ► 2013 (19)