IN the world of protests, Bristol seems to be leading the charge. Last year, an unruly mob took it upon themselves to decide which public art was and wasn’t acceptable.

This year, on three nights last week, police were attacked with bricks and scaffolding, their vehicles being set on fire during protests, with an astonishingly low sense of irony, against laws protestors claim limit their right to peaceful protest.

The riots have been organised by the Kill The Bill group, campaigning against the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill.

This bill does a number of things, one of which is a response to the Extinction Rebellion campaigns over the last couple of years, that have brought London (and other cities) to a standstill.

The bill respects people’s rights to peaceful protest, but also respects people rights to go about their daily business unhindered.

Extinction Rebellion felt their cause was so important that it justified trying to stop the economy of the capital function for a week or so whilst they made their point.

Don’t get me wrong. I think climate action is of utmost importance. That is why the government is bringing in any number of measures to tackle climate change and why we are making a very big deal indeed of our chairmanship of COP26 in December – the climate action annual meeting.

But the reality is peaceful, or even aggressive, demonstrations seldom change policy. 450,000 people marched against the hunting ban. The outcome? Hunting was banned. Even more marched against Brexit. We finally left the EU transition period on January 1.

Leaving aside the comical notion of A-list celebrities flying first class across the Atlantic to campaign against air travel, the protestors have a point.

But where it all goes wrong is that they expect everyone to subscribe to their world view.

Within their echo-chamber, it is acceptable that millions would lose their jobs to rapid climate action. But if everyone agreed with them, the Green Party – the principle party of climate action - would be polling higher than its current 6 per cent, or so.

Meanwhile, the two main parties, who both take climate change very seriously, but who both try to find a way of making climate progress whilst still remaining electable, poll together around 80 per cent.

It is the silent majority, who engage in democracy, that are listened to. Despite its many flaws, we have yet to invent a better way of choosing our path. Demonstrations seldom work.