To be perfectly honest, I hadn’t really expected anyone to turn up. So when I walked into a room full of cameras and journalists, it was a bit of a shock to say the least.
I arrived in the room just as a jobs-worth security guard from the Himmler school of charm and diplomacy, called the Palace of Westminster police to escort the cameramen off the estate.
It took a call to the deputy Sergeant at Arms to discover that we could audio record only. And the use of that would be what? In case I forgot what I said?
It appears the House of Commons’ authorities had decided that my press conference was OK for radio. But not TV.
Just who are these faceless people who occupy hundreds, nay thousands of offices in this Palace, which belongs to the people, and the representatives of the people?
Who are these nameless bureaucrats who tell an elected MP sent to Parliament by the people, that I can’t film in a room which broadcasts committee meetings every day to the nation, from five permanent suspended cameras?
Who are these people sat in plush offices centred around the chamber whilst MPs walk miles to and fro each day, and camp out in corridors and the library; and by what right do they tell me that an event planned to launch a major campaign, aimed at amending legislation, cannot continue?
Someone who has a democratic right, a far greater right than any jobs-worth officious rude security guard, to be here.
Who has the right to run this place? Is it the people or the bureaucrats?
As it was we de-camped onto College Green.
Within seconds another security guard arrived. He asked me did I have a permit?
I said yes. I lied, we began.
Perhaps someone would now like to report me to the standards committee?
I am going to hunt down one of the legal constitutional brains over here. I have rights and I am going to find out what they are and, make sure every other MP knows what they are too.
There should be a balance between the executive and the administration, however it appears to me that balance needs to be redressed.
As it was, despite the attempts by the House of Commons’ politeriat to thwart the day, it was a beautiful sunny day and worked out really well.
We had interlopers, the MP who is the Labour version of Evan Harris – Chris McCafferty – sent her husband and researcher along.
They were very welcome!