Today’s TV and radio coverage examining police fears of violence at this weekend’s Bulldog Bash event contained an interview with Neil Liversidge, a past-Chairman of the Motorcycle Action Group.
Mr Liversidge made it clear he had agreed to take part in the interview in a personal capacity, he did not consult MAG beforehand. It was his right to speak
based on his personal experience of events that happened a decade ago, those events are a matter of record.
Speaking on Sky News and many local radio stations, Mr Liversidge recounted an episode in 1998 when, as then Chairman of MAG, he was faced with the cancellation of the famous Magna Carta motorcycle rally following threats of violence at the event from individuals not connected with MAG.
In 1998 the police shamefully refused to take any action to safeguard the right of visitors to attend the Magna Carta, even though there was no question that it was anything other than a legitimate and popular annual event. MAG says no one should ever find themselves in that position again.
Yet MAG believes that the police have got it just as wrong over the Bulldog Bash. Spending vast quantities of public money harrassing people who have bought tickets to a public event sanctioned by the local authorities, or who are using the roads around such an event, is not an appropriate alternative to prosecuting those persons or organisations they suspect of criminally exploiting the audience.