Monday, 15 March 2010

Effective Civil Disobediance

I promised Gregg a post on the subject of effective civil disobediance. We both think that the LPUK needs to choose its battles carefully.

Which laws deserve to be broken and which ones upheld?

There is also the question of "should the law be broken publicly or privately?"

In Nick Hogan's case, I don't know the specifics of the "mass light up" he organised. Did he invite the media? Shop himself to the authorities? [EDIT: Nick expected to be fined and expected to be able to pay.]

Refusing to pay the fine was definitely an act of civil disobediance. [EDIT: Apparently not! The judge just gave insufficient time for Nick to pay the fine.] Is it one that the public would support?

I'm guessing that it might be very popular with some and very unpopular with others. Is that a good thing or a bad thing at this stage of the game?

In the end, his fine was paid by well-wishers on the blogosphere. I'm sure that Nick had no desire to spend the full six months inside to make a political point so I'm just glad he's not in prison.

Should we put the freedom to smoke in pubs at the top of our agenda or are there other more pressing issues?

So far, I've just asked questions. No definte answers yet. I'd be pleased to read some helpful comments on this topic to help clarify the issue.

UPDATE: Thanks to Guthrum for filling in the blanks.


Guthrum said...

This is a bit more complicated than it first appears. Nick Hogan deliberately chose to broke the Law and was prepared to pay the financial consequences. Unfortunately the Financial consequences where punative and in line with a Government directive to Magistrates that anybody campaigning against or making public statements against the smoking ban would be jailed for up to six months.

Hogan went to Court having already already paid part of the fine to ask for time to pay. He did not refuse to pay, he simply said he needed more time.

Government diktat demanded that public protest should be rewarded with a jail sentence.

I am a reformed smoker, but this is a civil liberties issue not a smoking issue, the Government should not be interfering with an independent judiciary otherwise we are back to the 18th Century sedition trials for opposing Government policy.

For me this was a deserving shot across the bows to an overweening State and worthy of our support.

sound money man said...

Thanks Guthrum.

So he was expected to cough up £3,000 fine + £6,000 legal coasts all at once?

That fact needs underlining. The MSM just said he "couldn't afford" the fine.

No wonder!