Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 30 August 2014

Since when is it a crime to hand out leaflets?

Belfast City Council now requires a £75 fee (per day) to be paid for the privilege of handing out leaflets, unless one is canvassing for religion, or politics.

Clearly, leafleting is not illegal, otherwise it would be verboten for all.

Apart from the fact that a leaflet is not litter (unless and until the recipient drops it onto the ground), the fact that society apparently consists of good leafleteers and bad ones is laughable.

A small businessman, who depends on such advertising to feed his family and pay his employees, is now unable to advertise his business, unless he pays politicians who can do exactly the same thing for free.

I would like to remind Belfast City Council that it does not own Belfast; it is a paid servant of the people and its job is to clean up after its masters.

I would also suggest that any leafleteer might wish to decline to give their name to any council official; they are not committing a criminal offence (otherwise politicians and the religious would not have free rein) and that, if a council official doesn't know their name, it's because it is none of their business.

RICHARD SPENCER

Belfast

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