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The knee-jerk fool

Posted by Richard Thursday, August 11, 2011

"David Cameron announced new police powers, offered millions of pounds to help riot victims and declared war on gang culture today as he insisted Britain would recover from the street violence that has swept its major cities. And the Army could yet play a role in helping to beef up the frontline police presence".

That was the "take" of The Times - that failed conveyor of its own jaded opinion - recording the mouthings of a fool who has not the first idea of what he is doing, much less how to achieve it.

By any measure, when it comes to increased lawlessness on the street, the police are part of the problem. Therefore, it can hardly be sound to propose more powers for a system which is already incapable of using effectively the powers it already has.

As for using the Army – in any role at all – is this from the man who is planning to cut down the armed forces to a barely sustainable size? And he proposes that it should have a role in domestic policing?

Then to resort to bellicose language in a situation where sensibilities are already inflamed, egos bruised and antagonisms festering, is to resort to the language of a fool. Only a fool would rely on tired, hackneyed clichés: " ... we have taken decisive action to help ensure more robust and more effective policing", for want even of a decent scriptwriter.

Only a fool could utter the empty, vapid words: "we will address our broken society and restore a sense of stronger morality and responsibility in every town, in every street and in every estate", and keep a straight face. Only a fool would entertain something that cannot be done, and should not be done even if it was possible.

But then Cameron is a fool. A wise man would have bought time, to find out what is really going on – what the real causes of the disturbances were, not just the proximate causes. He would then have taken counsel as to how to develop an integrated package that addressed the real causes, and come out with a draft plan for consultation.

Instead, we get knee-jerk politics – the knee-jerk fool. And when it goes belly-up again, what will the fool do then?

COMMENT:NEW RIOTS THREAD