Licence to protest
The Government's love for liberty knows no bounds. In addition to the wholly unnecesary extravagence of id cards, Charles Clarke has now decided that those wishing to protest near the seat of government (ie where it has the only chance of making any impact) must apply for a permit first. To be fair, Trafalgar Square - site of the Poll Tax riots, arguably the last public demonstration to make a difference - is exempt. What's perhaps most depressing is that this move is unashamedly aimed at removing Brian Haw, the famous Parliament Square protestor, who has been camped directly outside the Palace of Westminster for the last four years.