Awards for campaigning are nice, I admit. Having the right to campaign is more important

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I was invited to the Sheila McKechnie Foundation awards ceremony yesterday.

It was great to see David Hillman of Stamp Out Poverty receive the Sheila McKechnie Achievement Award - which was incredibly well deserved for his leadership of the campaign for a financial transaction tax.

I was also flattered to receive a special recognition award for my tax campaigning. I'm grateful to the Foundation for that - and to Titus Alexander for nominating me.

These things do matter to all involved - we are human, after all. But what matters much more is what all present agreed upon, which is the decisions being made in the House of Commons this week which will remove the right of many people in this country to campaign on issues of concern to them.

I never thought I'd say the basic right to free speech in this country removed. But it's happening. And that's a threat to democracy itself.