Friday, 11 May 2007

Pond life and petitions

Getting away from politics, readers will be fascinated and excited as I was to discover that this creature has taken up residence by my garden pond. Is it a frog or a toad? I could google to find out but prefer to seek the views of others. Steady...
On an even more serious note here is the Downing Street website's response to the concern about possible restrictions on photography, covered in my post about the Art gallery eons ago:
-----Original Message-----
From: 10 Downing Street [] Sent: 29 March 2007 14:31
To: e-petition signatories Subject: E-Petition: response from the Government

E-Petition: response from the Government
The e-petition asking the Prime Minister to "Stop proposed restrictions regarding photography in public places" is on-going. This is a response in advance of the closing date from the Government.
Thank you for signing the petition on the Downing Street website calling for the Prime Minister to stop proposed restrictions on photography in public places.
This petition has already attracted over 60,000 signatures from people who obviously share your concern. Not surprisingly, the idea that the Government might be poised to restrict your ability to take photos has caused some puzzlement and even alarm.
We have therefore decided to respond to this petition before its closing date of August, in order to reassure people.
The Government appreciates that millions of people in this country enjoy photography. So we have checked carefully to see if any Government department was considering any proposal that might possibly lead to the sort of restrictions suggested by this petition. We have been assured this is not the case.
There may be cases where individual schools or other bodies believe it is necessary to have some restrictions on photography, for instance to protect children, but that would be a matter for local decisions.
In fact, Simon Taylor, who started the petition, has since made clear that he was not really referring to Government action or legislation. His main concern appears to be that photographic societies and other organisations may introduce voluntary ID cards for members to help them explain why they are taking photographs. Again, any such scheme would not involve the Government.
We hope this re-assures you and clears up the confusion.


david said...

It's a frog.

Councillor Paul Farmer said...

Thank you David. Do you think anyone but you reads this blog?

Mary said...

I read it!

Ruby in Bury said...

I read it too.

I'm glad the photography isn't going to be restricted in public places. It'd be very hard to enforce anyway, especially since the advent of camera phones.

As you know, I am always taking pictures in public places. My own ethos on this one with what I post on my blog is "do as you would be done by." Same with the picture taking.

I know that two situations where it is illegal to take photographs currently is if you trespass to do so and also if your taking of photographs can be said to constitute harrasment.

The only time I have felt uncomfortable taking photos- as though it was indeed harrasment - was at the protest against the Cattle Market Development last year. I didn't go as a protester, but as an observer, and was interested in taking pictures to record the event as a piece of Bury's history. I took a few shots of people through the window of ASK (including yourself) but afterwards, felt quite uncomfortable with it.

On this day, the photography was clearly being used by the group as a tool of protest, with a "look we are recording who's here to show who is guilty" objective, and although that wasn't my objective, I was there as well, seemingly adding to it.

I also got some shots of the protestors banging on the window, etc. And the bell ringing man in action, and the police trying to sort out the crowd. So I did achieve my own objective of taking photos to record the day.

But all in all it was an unpleasant experience, and I chose not to blog any of my photos.

Babs D said...

Just a thought..Why is it, you dismiss Steve's comment about his animals as "silly", yet you photograph a frog and think people will be interested in it?

Anonymous said...

So do I! But I might stop as its getting dull.

Councillor Paul Farmer said...

I do not expect people to be interested in the frog in my garden - but at least it is real, unlike half the people who comment on my blog, or their pets (although I didn't see it over the weekend, so who knows...?)

Ruby, I am very interested in your comment. The occasion showed how a small number of people can get a great deal of attention. Considering how widely it was advertised (by fly-posting)there were very few representatives of the 30,000 or so who live in the town.

Running the gauntlet at the entrance to ASK I was poked harshly on the shoulder by an otherwise respectable lady from Whiting Street who shouted "Shame on you Mr Farmer..." When I tackled her about it some weeks later she had no recollection of it but apologised profusely.

Despite the opposition throwing the Cattle market issue in the voters faces recently, the results were not exactly a ringing endorsement of the protestors opinions.

I would be interested to see your photos - maybe others would too?

david said...

Frogs are amphibians not animals.

Ruby in Bury said...

Paul, I shall look out my pics.

They are all on a computer I don't use any more since I got my laptop, and Mr Ruby has now taken the the best bits out of said computer to use in his own. A bit like a townsperson, pillaging the Abbey ruins for building materials.

However, my photos are still on it somewhere and I shall try to get them sorted - and maybe do a post. I feel like seeing them again now too - haven't looked at them since not long after the event.

Anonymous said...

I have just seen your frog! Don`t get fed up with it - there`s an old country belief that a frog in your garden brings good luck. I can`t remember the saying exactly but I think it`s:

One frog in your garden brings something funny.

Two frogs in your garden bring news sweet as honey.

Three frogs in your garden and you`ll come into money!

Be grateful it`s a frog and not a toad - I wouldn`t want to depress you with the associated superstition!

Anonymous said...

You`re looking thin and hungry Mr Farmer. Dare I say it, but you could eat your frog`s legs!