10,000 protesting muslims - conspicuous by their absence.
Despite the absence of Geert Wilders, barred from my country by Jacqui Smith the "Two Homes" Secretary, Baroness Cox and Lord Pearson went ahead with the showing of the film Fitna in Parliament tonight.
Mindful of Lord Ahmeds threat that were Fitna to be shown he could arrange 10,000 muslims to protest I decided to go to Westminster to see what might be happening.
Not a lot. As you can see from these photographs people were moving freely in and out of 1 Abbey Garden unhindered by any hint of protest against the meeting.
I must admit I was hoping for some protest in support of Mr Wilders who was sent back to Holland despite being an elected representative of a democratic country with which we are allied but that will be more effective by other means.
The houses in Abbey Garden are part of the Parliamentary Estate and their being the venue for the evening's presentation means that the film Fitna was shown in Parliament just as much as in the building known to the world as The Houses of Parliament. I know some US writers were worried about that point.
There is always a police presence around Westminster and Whitehall. Tonight the police were unobtrusive but plentiful.
This is Abbey Garden from Little College Street.
This is Abbey Garden looking down Great College Street. 1 Abbey Garden is the 17th century house behind the garden wall. The Police are wearing yellow high visibility jackets.
There were also plenty of Press and TV personel about both in Great College Street and on the green by the Jewel Tower. UKTV and Dutch.
Shortly after Big Ben struck 7pm members of the audience began to leave. Some from their dress and relative youth were officials rather than members of the House. "That was the one of the most disturbing films I have even seen" is one remark I overheard.
Later Baroness Cox came and gave an interview. I do not know yet what channel or news programme this will be shown on.
I am glad that the showing went ahead but disgusted that Geert Wilders was refused entry. And as for Lord Ahmed, all mouth and trousers.
Posted on 02/12/2009 3:52 PM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
13 Apr 2009
Good atmospheric pictures, Esmé. Were you lurking? "Come along now, madam, nothing to see. Our 10,000 separated brethren haven't turned up."
And as for Lord Ahmed, all mouth and trousers.
Tee-hee! And mobile phone. Don't forget the mobile.
13 Apr 2009
Lurkio, Lurkio, I am sure you remember Up Pompeii.
I used to be a Civil Servant and have not been retired long enough to look any different. So I blended in, but kept my distance.