Armed Police in Parliament – Is this right?

Further to many accounts from the past three days of both IDS & Pennig turning up at Select Committee meetings with several armed police; and the more from disabled people saying how they felt intimidated having guns pointed at them, I have to wonder what is going on?

This seems to be a fairly new development in fact when I asked Paula Peters from DPAC, who has been attending Select and other meetings at Parliament for years she said “last year they patrolled the ground floor and security, they never went upstairs, security from September to now at parliament has been stepped up dramatically; have never seen armed police in any corridors before but the security has been raised to substantial”.

I noted in my blog from the W&P Select on Monday, I had to hobble through this group of armed police to join the queue waiting, but I failed to note a small incident that happened earlier in the day; whilst I was meeting with Kate Green, my carer was straining to see the art work liberally placed around the central lobby of Portcullis House, Kate noticed and suggested he go to view it. Minutes later he returned having been stopped from crossing the lobby by a security guard and told “You must stay with your MP at all times”; asking sarcastically no doubt, ‘what about the loo’ she replied – “You Go with her and You Wait”! Kate’s response to this was “that is not true” as she  shook her head, some comments around ‘jobsworth’ were then shared and we laughed it off.

It does seem that this current ministerial behaviour, needing to hide between bodyguards, is at yet, confined to Ministers of the DWP; however is this behaviour indicative of how we, the public, are being viewed by Parliament? If so I’m concerned on several levels; is it have the powers that be become seduced by their own rhetoric, and now perceive anyone who is interested with Democracy and their Rights as a terrorist? Or does it speak hidden volumes as to the mental health of certain Politicians, do they really need help with living with Paranoia?

Whatever the real reasoning behind this raised security, it is in my view unacceptable that disabled people, lawfully engaging in Politics, are left feeling terrified by armed police. Even if a genuine risk assessment reveals a true threat to the lives and well-being of Politicians; is that any reason for highly trained armed men to use their weapons in a threatening manner – I think NOT?

These men are fully aware and capable of doing their jobs in a professional manner without their weapons being pointed towards wheelchair users; and in my opinion, there is NO excuse for this.

DPAC has published an personal account of their experienc of this along with a Freedom of Information request which asks questions as to the reasons and I for one look forward to the response

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60 thoughts on “Armed Police in Parliament – Is this right?

  1. This is an absolute disgrace, how can we trust politicians to be working on our behalf when they are clearly frightened to actually converse with us.This is bullying of the highest ranks against ordinary people and certainly questions must be asked and answers given. On the other hand it shows that they are only too aware of the harm their policies are doing to people and they obviously are expected some form of reprisals.

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  2. They would not do this to a visiting foreign delegation but feel comfortable doing it to representatives of vunerable groups of their own people. These are not policemen but shock troops reminiscent of a paranoid Hitlers personal bodyguard. It was my understanding that Close Protection Teams were made up of highly experienced plain clothes police officers with side arms who could call in the duty heavy squad as required .

    This display can only mean ;
    a) IDS has seen too many SWAT movies ( what he was doing instead of false degrees)
    b) he has a fetish for men in uniform ( we all know his lies about being an army officer)
    C) he wished to intimidate and subjected those not on his team, a bully tactic

    The man is a baffoon and should stay in office as he does far more harm to the Conservative party than a division of Panzers could do. Next he will be in uniform too!

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  3. I met my cousin who lives in Brazil yesterday for the first time in many years. She is used to the sight of guns there but simply couldn’t believe that it was happening in the country she left. The only news about the UK they seem to get is from the BBC and the Telegraph. I suggested she should broaden her reading and probably stay where she was, at least until this mob are ousted.

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  4. Pingback: Armed Police in Parliament – Is this right? | Jay's Journal

  5. IDS is scared – he knows that millions of people in this country want harm to come to him and even death. To have armed police and bodyguards to attend this “meeting” shows his fear of the disabled, and I for one am glad of it. If he can let it run around and around his head, then he will get so paranoid that he may snap – he’s already a narcissist and anything that throws him over the edge will see millions of people grinning from ear to ear! He’s due again in February along with Lord Fraud again, let’s see how they act then.

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  6. I witnessed two armed officers patrolling the upper balcony outside the Wilson Room before Alan Rusbridger was interrogated by the Home Affairs Committee

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  7. the FOI has nothing to do with DPAc and was posted by someone we don’t know before we published our blog about these events. However we do look forward to getting the response to the FOI questions and we feel this together with legislation now going through parliament shows democracy as we know it is very very seriously under threat.

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  8. do you not think it’s the new level of violence in Northern Ireland? They have lots of new tech and bombings have gone up dramatically (deaths not, thank god, yet) – i imagine secretly the security code is higher because of something we don’t know? Maybe.

    Funny story: i had been abroad a long time with no news of Britain and returned with my wooden suitcase (i didn’t know when i bought it, i thought it was very cheap – this is true) it weighed 10kg empty !!! and was full of grammar books, specialist textbooks etc and as you know, nothing is heavier than books. I didn’t know there’d been a bomb or something the day before, and all the tubes were affected and i had to carry this 300kg monster (so it felt) up and down every damn tube staircase in London (i’d never noticed how many there were before). I had to take a different route too, so i had to check the tube map. A family of tourists had decided to park themselves next to the map, as the wretched blighters always do, a huge family, and i couldn’t get past them or see, they kept yattering ignoring me, so i had to leave the suitcase and walk three steps round them to check my next line & direction. In a few seconds I got back to it to be threatened by a 7foot tall man in black with an AK47 yelling at me – no, a soldier – on further inspection an armed policeman with some sort of gun i haven’t seen in films, yelling at me about how he almost took it away to destroy it and, except that i knew the books had cost me £60 and up, i would have said, “Please, do.” I ached to. But he had a gun and i felt guilty about wasting money.

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  9. Reblogged this on Beastrabban’s Weblog and commented:
    I’ve posted the accounts of a number of disabled people on the way IDS surrounded himself with bodyguards and armed policemen when giving evidence before the Work and Pensions Committee. This is Jayne Linney’s observations on the matter, which I found through Mike’s reposting on Vox Political. She notes that security in parliament has been massively stepped up, and describes the domineering and officious attitudes of some of the security personnel. She also has some acute and pessimistic remarks about what this new level of armed security may mean for the way we’re viewed by our governors.

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  10. Pingback: Armed Police in Parliament - Is this right? | W...

  11. Iain Duncan Smith and Mike Penning are capitalising on the heightened security sitution (caused by their own governments policies in the Middle East) as an excuse to prowl around Westminister armed with machine guns. IDS is minister for DWP and Mike Penning is Disabled minister, if they were foreign secretary or Prime Minister maybe I could understand but they are dealing entirely with domestic affairs and disabled people do not pose a threat to their security. Yes disabled people and their carers are angry and frightened by the deaths and suicides that this governments policies are causing but disabled people have demonstrated time and time again that they are using the courts and due process of the law to get justice. What threat do 3 people in wheelchairs plus several mental health sufferers and their supporters offer? They had all been through rigorous airport style security checks. It is pathetic that these 2 grown men are so afraid of this particular group that they feel justified in using tax payers money to carry guns in order to intimidate innocent people attending hearings at the House of Commons. The guns show me that they know full well that they are up to no good and have a lot to hide.

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