However the "comedy" aspect of the confrontation belies a more serious point that, as Richard North notes, Iain Dale has taken it upon himself to attack a lawful protester in the street - in essence carry out common assault. An allegation over which Dale is being questioned by Police.
Astonishingly, in a complete lack of self-awareness, he makes light of it on his blog, beginning his piece with the words;
"I knew I shouldn’t have had three weetabix this morning…This describing a situation where a pensioner is assaulted by 6 ft 5, well built bloke nearly 20 years his junior. A pensioner who was exercising his right of free speech, lawfully, peacefully and harmlessly in a public space over an issue that is not without merit. One wonders if Dale would have been so keen to act if the protester was a chap who was younger, fitter and more able to look after himself? One suspects if he had done so he would have needed more than Weetabix. It certainly shows Dale for the bully that he is.
Dale concludes his piece:
Everyone has an inalienable right to protest, but no one has a right to make a continual nuisance of themselves and interrupt interviews like that.Well actually yes they are, if they do so in peaceful and lawful manner which was clearly the case here. Interestingly Dale has a different take when it came to Walter Wolfgang at the 2005 Labour conference or more recently Ian Tomlinson, which had far more serious consequences (my emphasis):
I know in these situations one shouldn't prejudge until the IPPC reports its findings, it is difficult to see how anyone could be anything other than revolted by the pictures. It's not what we expect from the British police force. Mr Tomlinson was not involved in the G20 protest. He was trying to go home after working on his newspaper stand. He wasn't abusing the Police, he wasn't doing anything wrong.It's worth remembering that in 2009 Dale applied to become a Tory Parliamentary candidate (and failed), if this is his reaction to a law-abiding "nuisance" what would he be like when dealing with not always complimentary members of the public when out campaigning knocking on doors?
What is largely being overlooked is that Dale did not respond like this out of "public duty" but instead for commercial reasons - personal profit - protecting an interview by Damien McBride who is plugging his book which happens to be published by Iain Dale's company.
Oh the irony, that a former Labour thug is protected by...a Tory one.