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EditorialsUp Front 12/04

Up Front 12/04

There is never a shortage of stories about protesters in the news. Recent reports include a hunt protester who was taken to hospital after a clash at a meet on Dartmoor; students in Taunton staged a protest at plans to shorten their lunch hour and fire fighters gathered in Devon to protest against plans to build a regional control room. One incident that really leapt off the page, however, was the story of how 38-year-old registered child minder and divorced father of one, Jonathan Stanesby from Devon, handcuff himself to Children’s Minister Margaret Hodge for 40 minutes at a conference. The Fathers4Justice group member who has a five-year-old daughter, managed to blag his way into the conference on the pretext of bringing some books to the Minister and when he felt he had heard enough, he proceeded to slip a cuff onto each of their wrists and invite her to come and meet his daughter. Apart from the security, moral and legal issues of this incident, it’s certainly a way of getting to know your MP. The question is, whom would you want to be handcuffed to for forty minutes? Got a problem with taxes? – hook yourself up to Gordon Brown. If your problem is with DEFRA you could plan a cosy time with Margaret Beckett or if it’s crime you could sit down with David Blunkett. For health problems try John Reid or if your problem is with west Dorset, you could spend some quality time with Oliver Letwin. Now aren’t we the lucky ones to have such a choice.

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