Out of Their Depth

by Andrew Stuttaford
The Daily Mail has a predictably lurid round-up, but the photos are the photos, and the story is the story. The spectacle is revolting, not revolutionary.
 
As noted by Michael earlier, Theresa May,  Britain’s Home Secretary, has come out with a statement so asinine one can only assume she has drunk too much of her own Kool-Aid. The Daily Telegraph has more on the depressing details:

The Home Secretary appeared to rule out sending water cannon or the Army onto the streets of the capital, despite a third night of violence. Speaking on Sky News, she said that police intelligence and the support of local communities would help quell the disturbances. “The way we police in Britain is not through use of water cannon,” she said. “The way we police in Britain is through consent of communities.”

Good grief. “Consent’ in any real sense was demolished by the UK’s political class decades ago, along with Dock Green (British viewers will understand…). Somehow I suspect that if May took the trouble to consult the people who pay her salary a large majority might have a rather different view than the one she appears to enjoy from her ivory tower.

The Daily Telegraph continues:

With the police appearing to lose control of parts of London overnight, many people used the social network site Twitter to demand that officers be allowed to use the weapon. An early supporter of the tactic was Ken Livingstone, the former London mayor, who said he agreed that police should allowed to start using the cannon to disperse rioters. He said: “The issue of water cannon would be very useful given the level of arson we are seeing here.”

When ‘Red Ken’ talks more sense than David Cameron’s home secretary you know that Britain is in trouble.

Update

Theresa May and London Mayor Boris Johnson meet the voters. It doesn’t go well.

Mr Johnson, who flew back from his summer holiday yesterday as the violence escalated across the capital, said: ‘’I want to say to everybody who runs a shop or owns a business here how very sorry I am for the loss and the damage you have suffered.

’’I also want to say to the people who have been involved in instigating these riots and those who have been robbing and stealing that they will be caught, they will be apprehended and they will face punishments they will bitterly regret. They will.

’’I know there are questions about the police response and police numbers. We are certainly going to be dealing with those.’’

Mrs May was led away by aides as a visibly-stunned Mr Johnson faced the television cameras and public wrath.

One woman told him: ‘’I was in a salon when a brick came through the window and no one was here to defend me.’’

The British state lectures, hectors and micro-manages the law-abiding. When it comes to defending them, it is, all too often,  AWOL.