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19 June 2011

The passing of Brian Haw

For nearly ten years he was a Westminster fixture.

By Jon Bernstein

Sad to note the passing of peace campaigner Brian Haw who set up camp in Parliament Square for many years. It was only after Boris Johnson obtained a high court order in March this year that Haw was moved on, ending a near-ten year vigil.

Haw, aged 62, had been suffering from cancer.

In a statement issued earlier today Labour MP Jeremy Corbyn wrote:

He stood and camped in Parliament Square for ten years, challenged law and above all reminded MPs daily of the consequences of their decisions, easily made in the warm glow of moral superiority and jingoism, have consequences for our civil liberties and the lives of thousands of innocent people and generations that follow

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To quote, again, from “Decline & Fall“, Chris Mullin’s second volume of diaries (can you tell what I’ve been reading this weekend?) on the Channel 4 Political awards, 6 February 2010:

Most Inspiring Political Figure of the Year, chosen by viewers rather than politicians, was Brian Haw … He came to the rostrum in a hat covered in badges and a T-shirt inscribed in large letters with the word BLIAR and delivered a lengthy, incoherent rant.

Anyone who heard Haw speak would find this description difficult to dispute. It was in stark contrast to the simplicity and power of his Westminster protest.