The snake bites itself

March 17th, 2006

Jowell singsong
‘broke licensing laws’

Hélène Mulholland and agencies
Friday March 17, 2006

Tessa Jowell returned to the spotlight today for breaching a law she herself introduced as part of new legislation which MPs say was mishandled by her department.

The beleaguered culture secretary fell foul of regulations under the Licensing Act (2003) when she led an apparently innocent singsong to mark International Women’s Day on March 8.

The Licensing Act heralded a massive overhaul of the regulations for public entertainment and drinking, combining 10 separate licensing schemes into one regime.

Though the terms of the act require a licence for any musical performance in a Royal Park, Ms Jowell did not have one when she lead a rendition of The Truth Is Marching On in front of a statue of suffragette Emmeline Pankhurst in Victoria Tower Gardens Royal Park near the Houses of Parliament.

The council’s attention was drawn to the minister’s breach by musician Hamish Burchill, who has campaigned against the act’s provisions on public entertainment.

Westminster city council’s cabinet member for licensing, Audrey Lewis, confirmed that Ms Jowell and her fellow singers had breached the law, but said no prosecution was likely for this first offence.

She told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme: “Technically, to have a performance which was advertised of singing in a Royal Park, which is a premise under the terms of the new Licensing Act, is an offence, because it is not licensed.

“We would not, however, expect to prosecute because nobody has complained about it. It wasn’t a question of disorder breaking out or indeed public nuisance. Having said that, they have had a first offence and if they wanted to do this quite regularly, they would have a warning.” […],,1733278,00.html

The fact is, she is not being prosecuted because she is a minister. That being said, there is something moreinteresing about this story.

I have written before about there being too many laws; we will eventually reach a tipping point where there are so many new and absurd laws that parliamentarians are directly or indirectly affected. When that happens, (in a perfect world) there would be an immediate push for mass reapeal of all bad law. This can only happen when, for example, a ministers daughter cannot have music at her wedding because of some stupid statute.

As for tessa jowel, since we are commenting on a Guardian story, lets put the knife in, in a way that would be guaranteed to be erased from comment is free: What a stupid fucking bitch!

One Response to “The snake bites itself”

  1. Barrie Says:

    I am somewhat pessimistic as to the WHEN people will actually sit up and notice that there is all sorts of bad law, in all countries, that has NOTHING AT ALL to do with anyone but power brokers and the money-laden set. These bad laws make a laughing stock of any kind of legislative process. I would go so far as to say as they make hypocrites of governments who claim their democracies are “better” than so-called ingrate third world nations. A pile of shit is a pile of shit (omg Guardian moderator, WHERE ARE YOU).

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