Police arrest photographer for displaying Cameron “wanker” poster

12 May 2010 — The Evening Standard

cameron-wanker.jpgA freelance photographer was arrested and handcuffed by police after displaying a poster in his home window describing David Cameron as a “wanker”.

David Hoffman said five police burst into his terrace home in Bow after a neighbour complained about the Class War poster in his ground-floor window. He said the officers told him he had broken the Public Order Act and threatened to return and arrest him if he displayed it again.

He told me: “I asked what was going on and they said the poster caused alarm, disorder and distress. One of them went over and pulled the poster down off the window.

“They held me for about 10 minutes in handcuffs. I produced my press card for ID and at that point they slowed down slightly. I don’t think it’s an offence. It’s a word you see in newspapers frequently. ‘Wanker’ is not just masturbator – the Oxford English Dictionary says it also means a contemptible person. It seems fair political comment to me.”

Mr Hoffman, who has covered politics for more than 25 years, said he rotated the Cameron poster with a similar version featuring Lib-Dem leader Nick Clegg. He also has Gordon Brown and Nick Griffin versions but says there is no need to use the latter as it is “self-explanatory”. He was arrested on polling day last Thursday.

He said: “I think it’s a perfectly reasonable bit of free speech I’m entitled to make. They [the police] were very stroppy, very heavy. It’s political policing.”

Creative-i Comment: So you don’t think we live in a police state? Today, it’s no longer the Metropolitan Police but the Political Police! This is how low the ‘mother of democracies’ has sunk. Inquiring minds want to know where can we get the poster?

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