Can I suggest that anyone... (20 Dec 2004)
Can I suggest that anyone in Birmingham heads over to the Repertory tonight and makes sure that tonight's performance is packed out?
For those outside the UK, a number of Sikhs in Birmingham has decided that they can censor a play which they feel is `insulting' by physically attacking the theatre. The police were there in some force, but obviously not enough to do their job.
This play is exactly what Blunkett was targeting with his offense of Inciting Religious Hatred. A Sikh on Radio4's Today this morning said that he thought as much, though thankfully realised that it would look bad if he said so. The BBC found an excellent corespondent to argue the opposite case in Dr Evan Harris (Lib Dem MP) which makes that Today clip very enjoyable.
And today I understand that the police are having a meeting with both sides about it. I think they should be apologising for failing to defend the theatre (since the theatre isn't allowed to defend itself) and for not arresting anyone for criminal damage despite many officers being present at the time.
I await tomorrow morning's news.
(On the same topic, Channel 4 is supposed to have a good programme on Christmas Day called Who Wrote the Bible.)