I may have to revise my old line about the British police being “the most monumentally useless in the developed world“. For the G20 summit, the Toronto coppers ordered up a ton of new body armor, weaponry, gas masks, etc – and then stood around in their state-of-the-art riot gear watching as a bunch of middle-class “anarchists” trashed the city. Streetcars were left abandoned, and even police cruisers were seized, vandalized and burned. But hey, it’s the taxpayers who pay for ‘em, right? And I’m sure they’ll have replacements ready when Constable Plod needs to drive over to Tim Hortons for his mid-morning Boston Creme.
As it happens, I wrote about the increasing indifference of the northern constabulary to the Queen’s peace at the time of the Ann Coulter riot a few weeks ago:
As for Ottawa’s coppers, they certainly demonstrated that famously Canadian “restraint.” Faced with a law-abiding group engaging in legal activity and a bunch of thugs trying to prevent it, the police declined to maintain order. As George Jonas wrote, “Ottawa’s finest exemplified Canada’s definition of moral leadership by observing neutrality between lawful and lawless…”
There’s a lot of that about. I referenced the bizarre incident in which the Finance Minister of Ontario was attacked during a public television taping:
As in Ottawa, law enforcement declined to enforce the law, the OPP remaining in the wings as thugs rushed the stage. “The police, I’m told, were urged not to intervene,” Paikin explained, “lest pictures of demonstrators being hauled off by the cops show up all over YouTube.”
True. You might haul off a Muslim or a lesbian and find yourself in “human rights” hell. Better just to linger nonchalantly by the side until it’s all over: O Canada, we stand around for thee. Her Majesty’s Constabulary seem to be sending the message that violence pays—at least for approved identity groups. That doesn’t seem a prudent strategy.
This isn’t our Toronto.
Er, actually, it is. Try looking out the window. This wasn’t quite as hilarious as his response to NPR’s Renee Montagne after 18 Toronto Muslims were arrested for plotting to behead the Prime Minister and blow up Parliament:
“More than half of the people who live in Toronto, including myself, were not born in Canada. And I think that’s why Canada works.”
“Although it didn’t work in this case,” Ms. Montagne pointed out, somewhat maliciously.
And now it hasn’t worked again. This comment seems more relevant than any of Hizzoner’s:
Any city that stands aside to photograph itself burning – deserves to.