Once again Thurrock’s road network has been disrupted by the self indulgent actions of the Just stop oil eco-terrorists. This kind of self righteous virtue-signalling does nothing to save the planet. It just causes a nuisance to good law-abiding folk who find it more difficult to go about their everyday business
And it costs the taxpayers of Thurrock a great deal of money. We suffer far more from this activity than anywhere else in the country and the burden of sealing with it falls onto Essex Police and Thurrock Council. I congratulate the team who managed it so effectively over the last few days. They have performed a service to the nation in ensuring that the disruption caused by these protests were minimised.
Equally I have heard criticism that Essex Police could have done more to move them on. Let ne assure you that Essex Police were absolutely committed to using all the powers at their disposal to deal with them. I can also assure you that Home Secretary Priti Patel is equally committed to ensuring that the Police have the powers to deal with them.
Our problem is that when we tried to give the Police the powers they need, our proposals were defeated in the House of Lords. I can also tell you that my postbag contained more representations against those powers than in support of them. I know that on this issue and so many others my postbag does not reflect the majority opinion amongst the public. It grieves me to spend so much time managing volumes of correspondence which have been generated by well funded campaign groups and simply get in the way of MPs paying attention to those people with real grievances to pursue.
We are having another go at giving the Police these powers with a new Bill that has just cleared the Commons. If anyone would like to express their support for these powers message me at Jackie.firstname.lastname@example.org. It will make a change from the campaigns sponsored by 38 degrees.