Tuesday, 9 August 2011

UK Riots ...

A disaffected populace, out of control youths, kids with not enough to do, benefit cuts, a Tory government, ... all the usual excuses and arguments offered by a biased media for the rioting occurring in the UKs major centres at present. I would certainly suspect that at least some of it is down to the disconnect between the reasonable aspirations of people and what the last government and this one are creating. But that doesn't excuse the rioting, the looting, the destruction of the livelihoods and businesses of those they are attacking.

The Postulant is keeping me up to date on events and has sent me some interesting links. I read with tremendous sympathy a blog post from a policeman at the heart of all this. His sensitive observations of the victims - small businessmen wiped out by these criminal and mindless gangs - is at odds with the usual media presentation of the police as brutish thugs just spoiling for the chance to beat up some "innocent" gansta. I have to say that Insp Winter epitomizes the policemen and women I have had the privilege of working with through my career.

Here is an excerpt from his account of Saturday Night ...

I have never experienced looting of this scale, the wholesale sacking of shops is taking place, we know it is taking place and there is nothing we can do about it, a couple of the more hardcore members of my team want to “blat round and stop it”, we’re outnumbered, we’re encumbered by protective equipment and we’re drained. If we go blundering into this kind of situation we’ll do more harm than good. And that’s when it happens, my moment of terror “MAN DOWN”, two words I never want to hear, we run to form a cordon round the fallen officer, shields up in all directions, everyone alert and scanning for a threat. I can’t see anything but I can feel the impact of stones against my helmet, I can see some glass breaking around us, thankfully the downed officer isn’t baldy hurt and is able to regain his footing, we’re up and we’re mobile, one of my worst fears averted.

But the bit that really got to me was this -

There are so many things I would like to say, so many experiences that have happened over the last 48 hours, experiences of terror, experiences of massive humour and sadness.
Trying to restrain a shop owner who is attempting to run into a burning building to attempt to salvage his stock, and indeed his livelihood. Taking off my helmet so I can hear him better, he sobs as he explains to me about his life, and how he has built up his trade and now does not know what to do. I simply do not know what to say to him, when I survey the streets around us it reminds me of the looting that took place in Iraq in 2003, it’s genuinely heartbreaking. I do something I find myself doing alot over the next few hours, telling him I’m sorry and then giving him a manly hug with a pat on the back. Helmet back on and we’re off somewhere else.

These guys are heroes, right up there with our Armed Forces fighting wars our politicians should never have engaged in and do not even begin to understand. I have, in my own career, had my fair share of being attacked with stones, petrol bombs and even shot at - and I was in the Fire and Emergency Services. Every MP whose "electorate" is currently out destroying the livings, homes and economies of their communities should be out there in Riot Gear learning what it is like to be on the receiving end of this sort of abuse instead of mouthing off about the police from the comfort of the BBC Studios. They, and they alone, have created the situation we are now in. The only problem with my desire to see these worthless parasites in the front line is that the Policemen and women would feel obliged to protect them - and place themselves in even more danger.

The police must now be empowered to put an end to this with whatever means are necessary and the courts must be told in no uncertain terms that the rioters, looters and thieves must be given punitive sentences - not the usual "community service" or "limp wrist" smack for being naughty. It is time to get tough and if the judiciary aren't up to it - sack them and let's have some who are.

1 comment:

  1. It is sad to see how our world is dissolving back to tough times. I am truly sad for all that is happening and how people do not truly see the consequences of their actions. They will be horribly upset when the internet, tv, radio, cell phones and all stop working... wondering what caused it. Then playing the blame game. I see it happening and just pray to God we get through it quickly so my kids don't have to live in such a horrible state.