Thursday, November 08, 2007

Demonstrable Humour

Socialist comedians, when funny, are something to treasure, so it was with a spring in my step and my legs folded into an awkward arrangement due to a shortage of theatre leg room that I went to see noted-lefty Mark Thomas last night. He was extremely funny. The whole show was based around stories about the various games he's played with the downright daft Serious Organised Crime and Police Act (Socpa) since its introduction in 2005. Sopca has made it illegal to protest or demonstrate in a designated area surrounding the Houses of Parliament unless you apply for and are granted police permission. Thomas set about applying to hold as many ludicrous demonstrations as he could ('Ban Surrealism', 'Ban Static Mimes', 'Reduce Police Paperwork'), making a mockery of the law and generating masses of police paperwork in the process.



When laws are as ridiculous and grounded in pettiness (Sopca was introduced mainly to exclude a sole source of government embarrassment, peace campagined Brian Haw, afterall) as this one, the best thing to do is push them to the limit. In one day Thomas applied for and then held 21 demonstrations, gaining a place in the Guinness Book of Records. He's has held so many protests in the last 18 months that he's on first name terms with most of the staff at Charing Cross police station and has persuaded many of them that the law should be changed. Which it now apparently will be. Good work.

At the end he invited on stage Karen Reissmann, a psychiatric nurse in Manchester who was suspended and later sacked after criticising the funding, operation and growing privatisation of her Mental Health Trust. She's at the centre of a growing campaign to be reinstated and an indefinite strike by other psychiatric staff began today. It's an unbelievable cock-up on the part of the Trust to sack a long-serving member of staff for an expression of rational dissent. She spoke very well about her campaign and lamented that it's under a Labour government that we're seeing underfunding and increasing privatisation of the NHS, together with sustained attacks on trade unionism in general. How true.

8 Comments:

Blogger Gez said...

Yeah Paddy, that's all very well but what happens if one of them rapes YOUR wife?

http://notaleftie.blogspot.com/ This guy knows.

November 13, 2007 7:46 pm  
Blogger Gez said...

Oh my god, if the above post didn't get you riled enough, check these t-shirts out.

http://www.thoseshirts.com/

November 14, 2007 9:03 pm  
Blogger Paddy said...

Pah... conservative t-shirts, what are those? Ones that promote modesty and are against showing too much flesh, so they're long-sleeved with roll necks... thus not being t-shirts atall?

I like the Che Guervara one though. A good bit of satire on the prevailing paranoia.

November 15, 2007 12:17 pm  
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