Matthew Steeples suggests that though people should have the right to protest they and the police also must exercise the responsibility of restraint – especially in the context of the rotten rabid ratbag Prince Andrew.
Yesterday in Parliament Square, Westminster a protestor held up a blank sheet of paper. He got short shrift from a clearly over zealous policeman who demanded his details for potentially “offending somebody.” Of this, on Twitter, The Guardian’s recently appointed political editor Pippa Crerar observed: “Just mad.” She was clearly right.
Meanwhile on Edinburgh’s Royal Mile at around 2.50pm as the Queen’s funeral cortège progressed, a 22-year-old named Rory “heckled” a plain-clothed Prince Andrew as he passed and yelled out: “Prince Andrew – Andrew: You’re a sick old man.” He was pushed to the floor and then arrested by police for a breach of the peace as members of the public immediately shouted him down by responding with cheers of “God Save The King.” The rights and wrongs of this were clearly a greyer area.
Analysing reaction, Sky News host Niall Paterson shared: “I am feeling very uneasy about people being arrested for shouting at *Prince Andrew*” whilst trade unionist Howard Beckett described what occurred as “anti-democratic.” Former Chief Crown Prosecutor for the North West of England Nazir Afzal went further and concluded: “There are 12 million reasons why [Rory] did what he did” referencing the alleged settlement between the late Queen’s second son and the woman he allegedly never met, Virginia Roberts Giuffre. Others argued contrary points including: “Right words, wrong place” and “Arresting hecklers is grotesque.”
Whilst the no-longer-so-grand Duke of York – a man, after all, who has never actually been convicted of a crime in a court of law – is most definitely entitled to mourn the loss of his beloved mother, the presence anywhere of a man who paid a sum estimated as high as £12 million to Epstein-Maxwell victim Roberts Giuffre will always clearly upset many members of the public.
Tact and understanding is indeed required at this time and though public sentiment rightly has sometimes turned to outrage against an entitled individual whose moral compass is clearly beyond warped, it is also time for some restraint to be shown also by both the police and public also. Dignity and decency must be upheld, but that does not mean that we should ever forget that Prince Andrew opted to stay in the home of a convicted paedophile just weeks after he got out of jail in 2010.
Next, in the weeks to come, as our national period of mourning concludes and King Charles III’s reign truly comes into fruition, it is time for one thing; it is time for the rotten ratbag Prince Andrew to be consigned to history and sent away into permanent exile. This vile piece of toerag must never hold public office of any form ever again.