The recall of parliament to pay tribute to Margret Thatcher might have turned into the predictable “She was lucky to know me” Tory love-in had it not been for Glenda Jackson. So awesome is Glenda’s speech that no comment is needed from me!
If you ask me whether I think there is a case for cutting police budgets in the light of these events then my answer would be no. I think that case was always pretty frail and it has been substantially weakened.
Borris Johnson 10 August 2011
The mayor of London, Boris Johnson has placed himself in opposition to the government by saying that the government should re-think policing cuts. The comments were made on Radio 4’s Today programme where Boris told listens, “This is not a time to think about making substantial cuts in police numbers.”
Last nigh London’s streets remained relatively calm after the Met almost tripled police numbers following three nights of riots. Other cities were not so lucky with Birmingham, Liverpool, Manchester, Nottingham and Salford all seeing significant acts of violence.
Somewhat predictably the government has shown no sign of altering its plans for police reform.
It is rare that I agree with a Tory and even rarer that The Chimera Papers gives one the last word but on this occasion Boris Johnson had the right of to with this pearl of wisdom:
“Let’s face it, what’s happened in our city and in our country in the last three or four days has been a massive own goal.
“Here in London you had people behaving with a complete lack of restraint and a complete lack of respect for the police. It was chilling.
“The lesson is that over 20, 30 years we’ve got into a situation where we have allowed people an endless sense of entitlement. Give adults and give teachers back the right to impose authority.
“I would like the benefit of the doubt to be in favour of adults and those who are in positions of authority.”
It’s a sad fact but as I watched the coverage on Sky News last night I was struck with the same thought. Looters, wearing bandanas over their faces like two-bit wild west bandits, were left to do pretty much anything they wanted last night.
Now is the time for a proper response! These are not protesting students, they are scumbag criminals! Their behaviour has been extreme and now the police response needs to be equally extreme. Unlike a number of people I do not like the idea of deploying the army, I am always concerned when a country uses its military against its own citizens. Others have called for water cannon and whilst I’m not against that idea I doubt if we have any outside of Northern Ireland.
Having said all of that the gloves need to come off. Rioters need to be dealt with quickly and effectively, this is not a time for bleeding hearts.