The price of freedom

I was going to post about 'Converge' which was a great success and a defining moment for the industry in my mind, I'm still crafting(if that is quite the word) that post right now

But I have more pressing matters to share with you

There has been a great deal written in the media of late regarding stills photographers being prevented from taking pictures in public places, sometimes even arrested, under section 44 of the 2000 Terrorism act.

I always thought this was a daft law which would not be an issue for any length of time, as surely common sense would prevail in this fine nation of ours

Notably a campaign was launched to fight for photographer rights

I'm a photographer not a terrorist

The Daily Mail ran a very good article which pointed out the absurdities of the law

People arrested for photographing park benches, chip shops, that kind of thing.

I was hoping that once it hit the mainstream and beyond the realms of whinging photographers (and god knows we do!) that politicians and the Police would sit up and take notice and that common sense would prevail

I was disappointed to see the Met Police's ham fisted wrong headed response to this

Which is why I'm blogging about this

They could have said 'this is something we are looking into'

What they in fact did was to release this to the media

This is their justification for stopping ordinary photographers taking pictures

My friend Jeff Overs of the BBC was prevented from photographing St Paul's Cathedral

Yes, these guys do seem like they were up to no good, no doubt but lest be clear about this, they were never convicted of this, or any terrorism offence

As the report says

'Two men were subsequently convicted of a huge mobile phone and luxury goods fraud scam and deported after serving prison sentences'

And goes on to say...

'The police said the CPS had decided there was sufficient evidence to bring terrorism charges, but it was not in the public interest because they would have received the same sentence as for fraud'

Am I alone in finding this lacks any credibility?

I think these are weasel words

If they are terrorists they should be prosecuted as such

No matter how difficult the prosecution


If they were terrorist why on earth did the authorities let them out 'back into the wild' ?

Now before anyone gets in touch and talk about danger to the public I have been on the receiving end of a terrorist bomb which killed 2 people, one of whom i knew to say 'hello' to in the mornings when I bought a magazine or newspaper from his store

A terrifying event with awful consequences

The real issue here is the authorities getting better perspective on this, the real issue is not that people are taking photos, but their intent.

Surely sleeper terrorist cells would go about there work in a more discreet manner? Or what about google earth?

If photography is such a danger it should be banned immediately.

Straight away tourists should be prevented from taking photos of Buckingham place, the houses of Parliament and Big Ben, along with photos of their kids at play on the beach (it could be a target, couldn't it?) and yes, those fiends taking photos of chip shops

Democracy and freedom is not worth one jot if we cannot live and go about our daily lives, in fact this means the terrorists have in fact won,for they have changed what we do.

I urge any of you write an email registering your objection to the home secretary Alan Johnson here

I already have.

He seems like a decent bloke, you never know he may even listen?

It will take you a few seconds and will help make this country, a happier free place to live