... and whilst the situation that provokes this thought is not precisely that, it is broadly analagous. Apparently Kent Police have seized the entire print run of the September issue of 'The Voice of Freedom', the journal of the odious British National Party (BNP). Whilst I have no truck at all with anything to do with that bunch of scumbags and what they stand for, it is not entirely clear, from this article, that Kent Police had any specific grounds for seizing all copies of this publication. I will be watching carefully to see whether the copies are quitely released later, without any charges being filed against the BNP, or not. Just because I abhor the BNP and all its works does not mean that I will not comment when what looks as if it might, just possibly might, be an abuse of power that is taking place - if so it would be interesting to know precisely why Kent Police have acted in this way 'on spec'. If the content of the publication does justify its seizure, fair enough - I want to know that, too.
UPDATE: (Tuesday 13SEP05 14.45 BST) The above linked story has been updated to say that Kent Police are now handing back almost all the seized magazines, presumably because there are no grounds in law for laying charges against the BNP. Kent Police say they are continuing to hold a few copies in case there are grounds for a prosecution - I think this is just for face-saving purposes. What this foolish knee-jerk action has done, in seizing the magazines in the first place, is hand the odious BNP a propaganda coup; they are likely now trumpet the seeming fact of police harassment. What nincompoops and political ignoramuses the police, and whoever was behind their action, have shown themselves to be!