It all kicked off again but what did it achieve?

This (R)evolution is For Display Purposes Only
Image by dannybirchall via Flickr

As the Borough hygiene operatives continue their clearing up after Saturday’s anarchical unrest in the capital, did the day actually achieve anything? Apart from a massive clear-up bill running into “tens of thousands” of pounds, that is…

It might have been indicative of the public concern about government austerity measures however, even that is open to debate. Given the level of support quoted was anything between 250,000 and 500,000 on the day, is it really possible to say how many were actually there? For obvious reasons, the TUC are bound to claim the higher estimates as the correct figures!

And, what percentage of whichever number were actually there to protest about the cuts, as opposed to having a fun day out kicking a copper, or maybe even defacing another piece of our National heritage?

One of the people caught up in the trouble in Trafalgar Square, named Sophie ???, gave an account of events…

BBC News | TUC Condemn violence: “I have never seen such a fast escalation of violence in my life. Everything just kicked off, glass everywhere, police hitting people, people being dragged across the floor. I just can’t believe it…” (Read more)

I’m always sceptical of quotes such as the one above, especially when for all intents and purpose, they are made anonymously. It’s also interesting that when you look at reports from differing media outlets, you can often find a totally different slant on the same set of circumstances.

Was Sophie a genuine ‘innocent’ bystander fearing for her safety or, was she the ‘planted’ voice of some activist group or other? Did the reporter truly reflect what was actually happening or, was the quote chosen and/or subjected to emotive manipulation to suggest some heavy-handed policing methods or, intentionally taken out of context to further the mistaken belief that; we live in a police state?

Inspector Gadget: The great thing about today is that everyone can now see for themselves the great lie that is the ‘police state’ claim in this country… (Read more)

Ask yourself this, if you truly believe we live in a police state; would the Metropolitan Police really allow observers from Liberty in their control rooms to watch the CCTV coverage during the protests? I think not.

See The Guardian video – ‘Behind Police Lines’

I also have to wonder, is there’s some sort of journalistic sweepstake going on… How many times can you actually get the word kettling (or a derivative of it), into a news item involving the police?

The public spent years nurturing a friendly and comfortable vision of policing by consent in our country. Perhaps that original vision of British policing has disappeared for ever and the public find that uncomfortable however, it is our society and the politicians who are responsible for that change in policing.

Our inherent social and political liberalism has created freedoms without setting boundaries of acceptable behaviour. We have failed to equip our children with the required skills, knowledge and ethics to enjoy those freedoms responsibly and, without impacting adversely upon others. Could it be that society doesn’t actually like what it has created?

At least the lowly paid street cleaners might have earned some overtime!