Friday, December 10, 2010

Students: Uncover Their Faces

Here's a suggestion. On the next student riot, the Police should make clear that anyone covering their face with a mask or balaclava will be removed from the area. It's clear that they are the ones largely responsible for the violence and attacks on the Police, and I suspect most of them aren't even students.

When the English Defence League holds its demos they are not, I am told, allowed to cover their faces.

What we saw yesterday was wanton hooliganism. If that had happened outside a football ground there would have been mass arrests. Yesterday, there were only 22. Why? I believe the Police showed remarkable restraint in the circumstances.

I have defended the students in the past, and will continue to defence the overwhelming majority who wanted a peaceful protest. But it is not possible to defend anyone who throws a snooker ball at the police, smashes windows, pulls a policewoman off a horse, hurls concrete blocks at police, sets light to the Trafalgar Square Christmas tree, defaces the Churchill statue, hangs off a flag on the Cenotaph. Yesterday, it was not just the odd person who behaved like a hooligan. Hundreds did.

This morning we should question the NUS about why they allowed the march to be diverted from the route agreed with the Metropolitan Police. Perhaps they have forfeited the right to hold further demonstrations if they are unable to control their own members. Aaron Porter, now known as the smuggest man in Britain, did himself little favours yesterday. This Labour stooge was found out on Question Time. Londoners have lost patience with students now and will not stand for a repeat performance. If the NUS announces it intends to hold another demo, the authorities should tell them they have outstayed their welcome and it won't be permitted. This isn't me turning into an authoritarian. The right to protest should be protected - but when it is abused, society has to turn around and say 'no longer'.

Yesterday on my programme, I received an email from an American listener, whose brother has a flight to London today. He wanted to know if he thought it was safe for him to come.

And then listen to this interview I did towards the end of my LBC programme last night with a lady called Shanai from Barnes. She had taken her two young children on their first trip into central London. They got caught up in the mob which attacked Prince Charles. Her kids were totally freaked out and now don't want to go into central London again.

Listen HERE (4 mins).

UPDATE: The Daily Mail has some shocking pictures from yesterday HERE.


Lady Finchley said...

I was watching it from somebody's office which overlooks Parliament Square - the police behaved with remarkable restraint. And I don't believe for a moment that it was all anarchists who behaved appallingly - I bet plenty of spoiled, middle class darlings were at it too - particularly the little bitch who was pulling the flag from the Cenotaph - she looked pretty Home Counties to me.

P. Stable said...

"When the English Defence League holds its demos they are not, I am told, allowed to cover their faces."

What, like these lovely chaps?

Or these ones?

Unknown said...

Our Police Force is expected to act with restraint by the media and society in general.
This is all very well when they are dealing with peaceful protest. When things get out of hand like they did yesterday the Police must have the option of dealing with the problem with the maximum force including water cannon and tear gas etc.

DespairingLiberal said...

Not sure the NUS could have done much if they'd wanted to - clearly a substantial portion of demonstrators were determined to avoid being "kettled" and so ran from street to street. A lot of the reports on alternative sources like IndyMedia describe students who wanted to protest peacefully and were treated harshly and assaulted by police for doing nothing. This then got people riled up, understanably. Doubtless there is a segment of the usual anarchist hardcore there making trouble, but there was also a lot of genuine anger as you can see from interviews.

I do wonder though about the attack on Charles & Camilla - that's such a great headline for the government, it's almost too perfect. Was there a special action team out and about last night? I wouldn't put it past them.

Fubar Saunders said...

This is the person allegedly swinging on the flag. Apparently a known SWP/UAF "player"...

Fubar Saunders said...

Does this help?

Fubar Saunders said...

Think this may be the person involved in the picture... already a known player.

Nick said...

From what I understand, the NUS organised a lobby of MPs by students in Parliament, and a (poorly-attended) candle-lit vigil. The march was not organised by the NUS, and it was not their responsibility. Indeed, the march organisers have strongly criticised the NUS, so conspiracy theorists couldn't even claim the NUS were behind the scenes pulling the strings.

If I'm wrong, I stand corrected. If I'm right, you're guilty of some incredibly sloppy and lazy journalism Iain, and you should correct this Blogpost and apologise to the NUS. Sloppiness and laziness such as this is exactly the reason why you are completely wrong to suggest marches should be banned.

Unknown said...

I think this twat is actually a man: and this raises the whole debate about whether people should wear full face coverings in public.

The footage was sickening and however much I would fight to protect their right to protest (which is ironic considering they attacked the Cenotaph and the Churchill statue), any future request from the NUS should be put in the "3 strikes and you're out" bin.

JuliaM said...

"I do wonder though about the attack on Charles & Camilla - that's such a great headline for the government, it's almost too perfect. Was there a special action team out and about last night? I wouldn't put it past them."

Hah! I said on Twitter it wouldn't be long before some conspiraloon advanced this theory! Take a bow, DesperateLiberal...

DespairingLiberal said...

She doesn't look like your typical "spoiled middle class darling" as Lady Finchley puts it. More like your typical Trot street fighter - SWP?

I think we can assume the People's Regiments were fully engaged last night - SWP in particular will have been out in force.

All a bit depressing if you are actually concerned about student financing as it detracts from the arguments. The new "system" seems to me to work in quite a classist way as presumably it will become even more the case that arts & humanities courses will be the preserve of kids from wealthy backgrounds. This seems to me the worst side-effect of the policy change. Some effects seem good to me though, not least the seperation of university finances from government, always a good thing.

tory boys never grow up said...

I have no time for thugs, student or otherwise, but wearing a mask or balaclava should not be sufficient grounds for stopping anyone demonstrating peacefully - whatever next threatening looks on their faces/dumb insolence.

As for not permitting the NUS to hold demonstrations good to see obviously long held authoritarian views coming through at last. The thing about the freedom to demonstrate is that "society" should never have the right to turn around and say no longer. To have such a test would just be a recipe for abuse of every minority with a grievance and is remarkably similar to the argument used by totalitarians everywhere that they do what they do so a to protect society as a whole.

If demonstrators wish to behave as criminals then they should be dealt with by criminal rather than political law. And regarding yesterday's behaviour I can see no problems in the current criminal law that would stop its application.

Thorpe said...

I agree with your sentiments, but I suspect that it is better for the police / authorities to continue to allow protests, and try to control them. The likely outcome of banning them would be flashmobs organised by Twitter etc appearing at no notice and being effectively unpoliced.

Unknown said...

Iain, I couldn't agree more. Peaceful protesting is a hallmark of a decent democracy and it should be defended. However I'm sick and tired of these yobs wrecking the centre of a beautiful city like London. The time has come for whomever has the power to ban any further student protests.

As you say, only 22 arrests? The yobs now know that it is a complete free for all and you can come to London, vandelise whatever you choose with virtually no chance of being arrested.

And sadly, I think the students have a genuine grievance but I've lost any sympathy I may have had. Sod 'em. Put the bill for the clean-up onto next years tuition fee bill.

Unknown said...

Hah! - not guilty. Just checked with my spoilt, home counties, middle-class student daughter about attending any demos. She said: "Nah, couldn't be bothered..."

DespairingLiberal said...

Ah, but whose Special Action was underway @JuliaM? I didn't neccessarily mean MI5 sub-contractors, although we know from the revelations of previous MI5 personnel that that is a possibility. They can and do engage in politics for the government of the day.

Unknown said...

"and I suspect most of them aren't even students."

Didn't realise you had to be a student to protest the trebling of tuition fees. It affects nearly everybody.

"This morning we should question the NUS about why they allowed the march to be diverted from the route agreed with the Metropolitan Police" Lack of organisation etc etc. Besides the Lib Dems diverted from their designated route.

"But it is not possible to defend anyone who throws a snooker ball at the police, smashes windows, pulls a policewoman off a horse, hurls concrete blocks at police, sets light to the Trafalgar Square Christmas tree, defaces the Churchill statue, hangs off a flag on the Cenotaph"

It is also not possible to defend a police force who beat defenceless children asking to go home. It is also not possible to defend police who chase and trample innocent civilians or illegally detain the peaceful majority with no basic provisions for hours on end.

Penfold said...

Pour encourager les autres, let CO19 loose with an open mandate, i.e. shoot to kill, any individual undertaking riotous acts.

Clearly if demonstrators are being allowed to protest with hoodies and masked to prevent recognition then that is an abject failure of leadership by Silver Stick or Gold Control at the MET. Once again our so-called guardians have dismally failed when faced with some attitude. If the students had been grandma's and pro-countryside and hunting then I'm sure we would have seen a different attitude from the rozzers of the MET.

Following on from the outrageous failure to provide adequate security at Millbank during the first demo, the subsequent failures really do demand someone's head be sacrificed at the MET to atone for the massive failures of policing. It is not enough that mealy mouthed words are spoken. Boris and Theresa May must seize the issue and have bodies sacked for gross incompetence, with appropiate termination of pension rights and no good bye pay-off.

This inadequate policing and laissez faire attitude is being done with my bloody subventions via council taxes/rates, and i'm not happy.

Anonymous said...

Why don't the British Police use water cannon and CS Gas? Surely they would be effective in this situation not least keeping the protestors away form the hand to hand aspect with the Police.

Unknown said...

The NUS has allowed these demonstrations to be highjacked by far left elements and anarchists. The NUS has lacked the organisation, desire and leadership required to hold a mass peaceful demonstration.

I am not usually a defender of the police. However, I do think they are doing a challenging job well, balancing the right to demonstrate with the need to uphold order without resorting to getting out the gas cannisters and the water cannons. Watching the pictures on Sky, if anything, the police seemed to be very soft handed in their approach, only moving in when it looked like demonstrators were going to get into buildings.

I lack sympathy for students who watch and cheer as buildings and statues are vandalised, and then wonder why they are then caught up in a battle between police and vandals. The vast majority of students may not have smashed a window or thrown a missle, but their eagerness to watch, jeer the police and cheer on the vandals, made them equally responsible.

Unsworth said...

What gives these parasitical scum the right to destroy and deface our public buildings and amenities, attack the police, attack the Royal car and its occupants who were going about their normal business and disrupt the lives of thousands of law-abiding citizens? Why has there been complete refusal on the part of the student 'leaders' to condemn such actions? Why do they believe it is right that we should all pay for this - and for their education?

The NUS, and students in general, have been entirely discredited by recent events. They have lost all public support - except from such people as the hard left Marxists buried within NuLab and the Trades Unions.

This confrontation will get worse. There's a clear intention on the part of the Left to damage and destroy. Since when has violence created harmony or achieved very much at all? Do these dangerous idiots believe that by waging war on our society they'll actually gain anything?

If they enjoy violence, let them try Helmand.

Unsworth said...

@ ed.jefferies

"it affects nearly everyone" Total bollocks - any evidence for this?

'defenceless children' should not have been there in the first place. Who was so irresponsible as to encourage them to be present when there was every likelihood of violence? Indeed, who encouraged these 'defenceless children' to attack the police, damage public property (which everyone pays for) etc?

You seem to believe that a failure to assume the worst - that extremely violent behaviour will occur - somehow exonerates the perpetrators. Why? And which of these 'defenceless children' will now be offering their eye-witness accounts of such action to the police as evidence to be used in prosecutions?

So you'd have preferred it if the 'defenceles children' were merely sent on their way, leaving behind the many others who are over the age of majority to be dealt with by the police? Excellent thinking there, Sherlock.

Anonymous said...

The Met do not need water cannon or CS Gas - as with the tools at their disposal they can already kill newspaper sellers and Brazilians with relative impunity.
On well organised group, with good communications, discipline, weapons, tactics and a chain of command was very noticeable in central London yesterday - The Metropolitan police force (sorry, service).
Bad tactics and incompetence have allowed a very small minority to cause damage and violence and have, in their minds at least, legitimised them. When was the last time any of the posters here were held in the open air in December for up to nine hours? any possibility that this might provoke some reaction from them? However wrong?

Anonymous said...

The police told demonstrators to leave via a certain exit, then kettled that exit.

They then charged with horses.

The NUS is not responsible for students - they are a pressure group, they are not employers, parents, etc. The NUS is a loose affiliation, not a tight knit group.

I find it quite sickening how you can suggest they have 'forfeited' their right to protest. Who has? The individuals involved? Perhaps. But 'students' as a group?

It worries me you can even think that a section of citizens should be denied the right (not the privilege, the right) to protest because of the actions of a few. There is a balance to be found, but not blanket banning.

As for covering faces, I'd accept that more if we didn't know that police routinely remove their badge numbers and cover their own faces. It's clear the tactics used last night made the situation worse - who wouldn't be angry at being charged by horses? That's not crowd control, that's military tactics.

Quite often you write thoughtfully from a point of view I disagree with, but am grateful to hear from. Quite often it makes me reconsider my opinion.

Recently though, you have written with venom and bile. Written from such a blinkered point of view that seems so frighteningly desperate to blame others, to treat whoever disagrees with such contempt that I've lost most of the respect I had for you. Unfortunately, this has also influenced by view of the Conservative party as there have been occasions that you have provided a calm, clear rationale for what has otherwise appeared as rich boys helping other rich boys get richer.

-1 subscriber to your feed.

moorlandhunter said...

After the last two demos I would have had CS gas in the sidelines ready to use on the ‘dear little ones’ and now as a matter of urgency would be buying some heavy weight armoured South Korean water cannon vehicles to wash the street clear of this filth if they decide to turn violent gain.
I’ve just listened to the London Student News conference and could not believe what they were saying and I wonder if they have been receiving information back dated from Argentinean street demos of the 1970’s rather than what was happening yesterday. Talk about being out of touch and devoid of any knowledge of the events. Send the NUS the bill for ALL the damage and the Police overtime..

P. Stable said...

The link to the Daily Mail site shows lots of people wearing balaclavas that disguise their faces.

However, most of them are also wearing police uniforms...

moorlandhunter said...

It seems that the protestors have the full support of the Fire Brigade Union. I liked the last bit of his message which could, just be a hint of incitement to violence. No wonder the FBU is losing big time in the PR stakes over their issues.

Bill Quango MP said...

Tory Boys is absolubtely correct.

But unlikely to agree that the police should be allowed water canon or even just be able to Tazer the front rank of agitators and hoick the troublemakers away.

The right to protest must be maintained.
The right to police, also.

P. Stable said...

And while I'm on, here are
some more EDL scumbags wearing masks.

Are you ready to correct your earlier claim that the police have banned EDL members from covering their faces during demos? And are you ready to admit that the NUS didn't organise the march that went off-course yesterday?

Salmondnet said...

Off topic, but congrats on raising the issue of an English Parliament on The Daily Politics today.

Michael Fowke said...

I don't approve of what the students are doing, but it's not illegal to cover your face up in public, is it?

Anonymous said...

Corret unsworth ... total bollocks from Ed Jeffries.
How does it affect everybody when graduates pay off their loans from earnings and then only after 21k?

What would affect everybody would be if the education budget was maintained and or increased and the savings taken from the NHS or indeed no savings were made and we just borrowed more.

Interesting that this 'education' topic should uncover how thick some people are.

The girl climbing the cenotaph should be sent to jail and sent down from whatever so called university she is attending.

tory boys never grow up said...

Bill Quango

You are right that I disagree - the right to protest does take precedence over the rights of the state in a free country. Giving absolute powers to the state is a very slippery slope indeed. The police have to use reasonable force - thugs and criminals by definition do not, but that is not an argument for descending to their level by for example Tazering agitators.

Lexander said...

Poll tax protesters managed it by sheer numbers and lots of supporters within the police! I still regard it as a wonderful tax proposal - almost as good as putting up fees for university education.

Lexander said...

Why have the comments stopped?

Lexander said...

Come on Ian. Reply please.

Janner said...

Personally I think it is all going splendidly

The chances of any of the general public now wanting to support these yobs through higher education is approaching zero


NB The lefties always seem keen to spend other people's money or sponge off the state in political non-jobs or deface public buildings/monuments yet seem strangely ill-equipped to earn any money themselves.

Dave said...

I sypathise with those covering faces, especially when police are try to take everyone's picture.

"If that had happened outside a football ground there would have been mass arrests. Yesterday, there were only 22. Why?"

See the thing is, you can only arrest people if you have evidence of wrongdoing. You don't just arrest people to make up the numbers, in order to satisfy armchair politicians.

"Yesterday, it was not just the odd person who behaved like a hooligan. Hundreds did."

Prove it.

"If the NUS announces it intends to hold another demo, the authorities should tell them they have outstayed their welcome and it won't be permitted. This isn't me turning into an authoritarian. The right to protest should be protected - but when it is abused, society has to turn around and say 'no longer'."

You can ban the student marches if you want, but only if you ban the orange walks aswell. I think we can all agree orange walks are far more disreputable (although I suspect there's a good chance you don't even know what they are).

As for the visitors - gimme peace. I think the future of millions of British livelihoods is more important than their bloody holiday.

Liz said...

The Times has just published an article saying that the flag-swinger is none other than Dave Gilmour's son Charlie, who is a 21 year old history undergrad "and occasional music critic" at Girton college Cambridge.

He says in a statement he's *awfully* sorry, but that he was caught up in the moment and anyway, he didn't know what he was swinging on. So that's all right, then.

haddock said...

she turned out to be male... looking like a big girl.....

Gilmour, whose father is worth £80million.............

poor student, my arse.

Bill Quango MP said...


Maybe take a leaf from his dad's book.

"We don't need no..."

Victor, NW Kent said...

Well Girton used to be a womens college so young Gilmour was in obligatory drag, perhaps. You can perhaps excuse him for acting like a mentally deficient thug since his education has not reached as far as respect for those who have fallen in defence of liberty and freedom of speech nor even as far as being able to recognise the mational flag.

Unknown said...

Yes the police behaved with impeccable restraint...

The whole point of policing yesterday was so to be so heavy handed and terrifying they scared people off coming out for any further protests. that's not democracy.

JuliaM said...

"When was the last time any of the posters here were held in the open air in December for up to nine hours.."

The last time I went on a riot with my pockets stuffed with snooker balls, flares and paintbombs, actually.

Oh. Wait. I don't do that.

Lady Finchley said...

Dave Gilmour's son?! That is priceless. A poor little rich kid out for a lark. Hahaha - this brightened up my day no end!

Maverick Ways said...

Royal Protection Officer's excuse for taking that route: "Tom-tom doesn't show up riots".

Unknown said...

It's just student high jinx. Ask Dave 'Bullingdon' Cameron.

Professor Pizzle said...

I'm all in favour of protesters being allowed to use violence. With one caveat.

Members of the public are allowed to use violence back. After all, it's our country too, and there are a lot more of us than there are of them.

Brian said...

"Gilmour, whose father is worth £80million............."

Make that £2 million after a "voluntary" £78 million donation to endow scholarships for Headley Court Old Boys and Girls and Gilmour junior might just stay out of chokey when he is rusticated. Action this day Clarkey.
A history undergrad who doesn't recognise the Cenotaph or Union flag! FFS.

DespairingLiberal said...

I'm puzzled. Some of you seem to be knocking David Gilmour's son because his father is rich. I thought you were tories, in which case, isn't it actually fine for him to (a) have a rich father and (b) behave as he wants? After all, the whole point of Toryism is to entrench pre-existing privilege and what greater privelege is there than to be above the law?

I suspect your real beef is that Gilmour Snr has committed the crime of being rich and yet not obviously frothingly right-wing.

As to the general debate, it's clear that the usual suspects from the anarchist/SWP element were in action causing some fairly brainless havoc and that on the other side the usual heavy-handed thuggishness was directed against some peaceful protestors from elements in the police. Presumably the SPG or whatever they call themselves these days.

Also very striking that the Met Police spokeswoman has repeatedly attacked the behaviour of "students" when there is no evidence that it was students conducting the more extreme actions - in fact, a number of media interviews have already indicated that non-student elements were involved. This type of statement is surely politically instigated, presumably from the Home Office.

As for rich, spoiled kids in general - if some of them have decided to take an interest in the prospects of their less well-off fellow students, what's wrong with that?

DespairingLiberal said...

According to this Varsity magazine article, Charlie Gilmour is "beautiful, like a porcelain doll". We can only hope that the society pages feature his post-riot "look" shortly. It will be interesting to see if class plays a part in his sentencing.

DespairingLiberal said...

Thank goodness! Now Mr Coulson can heave a sigh of relief and get back to the serious business of telling lies for Dave as opposed to lying about his past activities.

JMB said...

In the recent CH4 Coppers series, one police officer said that it was a Public Order offence to cover the face (presumably after being told to remove the mask, scarf etc. I think he said Section 60AA or something like that.

Powers to require removal of disguises
(1) Where—
an authorisation under section 60 is for the time being in force in relation to any locality for any period, or
an authorisation under subsection (3) that the powers conferred by subsection (2) shall be exercisable at any place in a locality is in force for any period,
those powers shall be exercisable at any place in that locality at any time in that period.
(2) This subsection confers power on any constable in uniform—
to require any person to remove any item which the constable reasonably believes that person is wearing wholly or mainly for the purpose of concealing his identity;
to seize any item which the constable reasonably believes any person intends to wear wholly or mainly for that purpose.


Sabretache said...

Requiring demonstrators to remove face coverings is a non-starter I'm afraid. Not least because it would pose a serious problem for the police themselves by making it both difficult and extremely dangerous for their Agent provocateurs to continue operating

I know I know, Our fine upstanding police forces would not stoop to deliberately provoking violence, much less staging the odd bit of spectacular criminal damage for the cameras themselves now would they? The Chief Constable himself ridicules the idea, so perish the very thought.

But hang on a mo - as the effects of peak just-about-everything and the consequent end to that sine-qua-non of capitalism, economic-growth, become increasingly in-your-face bloody obvious to those with half a brain (and those not quarantined in the Westminster goldfish bowl); in turn dictating the ever more draconian policing/surveillance powers clearly needed to maintain a bankrupt system, on which those in (or aspiring to) power currently depend - ask yourself this one simple question: QUI BONO?

Then take a look at the many 'balance of probability' and several 'beyond reasonable doubt' cases of recent police agent-provocateuring. A simple Google search should do the trick.

Though I guess it's less intellectually challenging to simply go with the flow, join the Daily Mail in its apoplectic outrage and indulge that age old urge to simply kill the messenger eh?

Dingdongalistic said...

"This morning we should question the NUS about why they allowed the march to be diverted from the route agreed with the Metropolitan Police."

I think that says it all -- the difficulty in being able to protest in Parliament square strikes me as problematic.

I agree that the protesters who behaved violently should be identified and prosecuted -- but I also think that police officers who abused their power should also be identified and prosecuted.

Eddy Anderson said...

Your initial point uncovering faces is spot on--as indeed is the rest of the post. I support the protests, but yesterday's antics were indefensible.

Anonymous said...

Nice going. Nothing like ripping things down over graves to win the support of most of your neighbours.
You can't make up anti-student propaganda like this; what a gift for those who want to claim that students are irresponsible and hate their own country.

JMB said...

The hooligans appear to be using mobile phones to control their movements etc. I wonder if the police will invoke ACCOLC next time or are they getting more useful intelligence from monitoring the mobile phone traffic.

Unknown said...

When the Police uncover their faces, or when the Police ensure that their numbers, ranks etc are visible at all times as they should be, then you may have a point.

Anonymous said...

Sabretache - I urge you to get back on the medication without delay.

And thank you Uber a diatribe straight from page 9 of the anarchists handbook. Rearrange these words into a ell known phrase or saying 'sod you off'.
I thought the lead banner of the protesters was most pertinent - 'Gobshites of the world Unite'

On the other hand 'Ian' talks eminent sense.
The NUS and their subscribers are just useful idiots for the rabble rousers.

But still, every now and then events come along to remind me why I vote Tory. Many thanks to the great unwashed one and all.

Bill Quango MP said...

Now I've read some of the left wing blogs I have a better understanding of the protests.

The police done it.
All the violent protesters were police undercover operatives. All the students were well behaved, only Tory agitators mixed in and caused some trouble.

Prince Charles was put up to being attacked by the coalition government to gain sympathy for something that isn't being very well defined, but you wouldn't put it past them, would you?
No evidence but there's conjecture and rumour which is as good fact.

And somewhere, not surprisingly, behind it all is Thatcher.

Anonymous said...

Organisers of marches should have to post a "bond" against damage caused by the participants. Alternatively, it should be made easy for the owners of damaged property to sue the organisers.

privatefrazer said...

You are a reasonable man Iain, far too reasonable. We should accord these people some unreasonable treatment, problem solved.

Any chance of you persuading the bbc to reflect the views of the majority of the British people Iain?

Jimmy said...

I wonder how many commentators have ever participated in a demo. What usually happens is you'll find the trots skulking at the back lobbing missiles at Babylon over the heads of the main body. When the cops have had enough they take it out on whoever is nearest, invariably hitting some poor peaceful soul who had nothing to do with it. Most of the helpful suggestions here seem to involve hitting uninvolved bystanders even harder.

Of course most of us predicted that the tories brief and rather rather unconvincing flirtation with civil liberties would not survive an election win, still I'm impressed with how quickly you have all come to the position that demonstrators disguising their identities is more sinister than police officers doing it.

Simon Harley said...

DespairingLiberal, I for one am not knocking Charlie Gilmour for his background. I'm knocking him for his crass stupidity. He claimed he didn't know he was swinging on the Union flag draped on the Cenotaph - I don't recall there being many other Union flags draped on other Cenotaph-shaped objects in Central London, specifically the Westminster area.

I wouldn't be too harsh on Charlie's background - surely it's a Tory message to "not" break up families, as David Gilmour did when he adopted his wife's son (if Wikipedia is correct ...)

thespecialone said...

Depairing Liberal - not particularly interested in who the father is of the twat. What I do detest is that he has the nerve to claim that he didnt know what the Cenotaph was. If he didnt know what the Cenotaph was (unlikely for a supposed highly intelligent individual).
Also, what evidence have you that police were assaulting peaceful protestors. In that kind of environment, how exactly do you propose to spot the 'peaceful' ones stood next to the 'unpeaceful' ones? Been in many riot control situations lately whereby you have had barriers thrown at you? Maybe called you all the names under the sun? Being told that your kids are going to die? Been spat at? No. Thought not. Have I? Yes I have and I do it for nothing. If you have a better idea on how to control a mob than I suggest you become a special to at least give it a go. But you wont because you prefer to have your say from your computer desk.

Dingdongalistic - Do you have evidence of police overstepping the mark? Im sure that in this day and age there are 100s of photos/videos on the internet of police officers allegedly 'overstepping the mark'. Believe it or not police officers are human too and dont like snooker balls being thrown at them.

As for the young lad hit over the head: It hasn't been explained exactly what he was doing to get that. I see that his mummy was with him. They must have been somewhere near the front. Why did mummy take her little boy to a protest that was certainly going to turn violent?

Battersea Boy said...

Having tried to express my feelings of outrage at the actions of these young people, I find myself lost for words that adequately describe how I feel.

Twig said...

And all because they want to reduce their future tax liability.

Don't we all?

Anonymous said...

The berk on Radio 4 Evening News programme could only say that the surprised look on Charles' and Camilla's faces undid two centuries of Royal sang froid. What a numpty, how would he fee if someone smashed his car window and piked him with a stick.

The fact that the BBC can take opportunity to yet again smear the royal family speaks volumes.

He then went on to interview the photographer and hope the event had made him his fortune. Crassness knows no bounds.

The tinpot NUS (for who this all started off as a little game)are just useful cover for Labour's rabid underclass. Brown's Frankenstein Monster is running riot. The thicko NUS just gave it an excuse. It does not need any more encouragement.

DespairingLiberal said...

I'm interested in Charlie Gilmore's background because the Tory press are interested in it - also because it puzzles me that the same press who believe in tax evasion for the rich and massive cuts to services for the poor get in a fine old lather when one of the children of the rich behave badly. It's all very strange.

Clearly the overarching issue is how on earth those who want to peacefully protest can stop their demos being used by Trots keen to grab media attention and at the same time how they can get the police to stop treating them like shit. The demonstrators need to be better organised. A determined effort for example to keep the media away from the unpleasant element would be a start. That AP photographer who got the distressed royal couple shot simply followed the most aggressive pack around. One wonders why the police did not simply pick them up. Can it be that cuts to the police are already biting?

Lady Finchley said...

Oh, here we go, Despairing Liberal. No, we think it rich that a billionaire's son is getting jiggy with the proles. A spolit little brat who was just there for the beer. And if he is so damn smart how come he didn't know it was the Cenotaph. Either he is a total moron and daddy bought his entry into Cambridge or a total liar. We don't hate millionaires - we hate champagne socialist hypocrites.

As for the usual suspects who are denigrating the police I suppose it was a-ok when they roughed up Countryside Alliance marchers but not little wanker students.

Phil101 said...

Too right

Matt said...

@ Michael

I don't approve of what the students are doing, but it's not illegal to cover your face up in public, is it?

Actually, Michael, it might be, under certain circumstances. Going equipped to commit a crime is an offence.

Whilst it is not illegal for an electrician to be found carrying a large screwdriver, it would be illegal for someone to carry said screwdriver for purposes of breaking into homes.

Likewise, there could be an argument that if someone was attending a demonstration and was wearing a mask in order to disguise him or herself so that he or she could perform illegal acts without being identified, that wearing said mask would be illegal.

Matt said...

@ DespairingLiberal:

I thought you were tories,

Then you may well have thought wrongly. If, indeed, your thought processes were more than tribal posturing and idle pretence? I mean, are you really a Liberal? Or do you just play the part of one on Internet fora?

Phil101 said...

I am a Student and what I see is that on the ground most students are against the protesters. The ones that jump on the band wagon off to London are only freshers who go to cause trouble, they are the type that drop out in the first year most of them.

They are just the militant type that would wear a t-shirt of Castro and use any excuse to cause anarchy. People like Aaron porter are just surrounding themselves with under graduate opportunists who will never make it to graduation anyway. Before I get flamed I am not generalising at all I am simply telling you the facts. I see these students everyday, they have no interest in politics they have no understanding of how the rise REALLY works. Labours worst nightmare is that these protesters might actually find out what it really means.

This blog post is about the cowards of the crowd but the trouble makers are much wider spread than those who hide their face. They are just thugs living off student loans for 1 year before they quit.

20% of students dropped out at Stafford last year on 1 course alone. I bet the % 3rd year students at these demonstrations is way low. This demo happened last night its week 11 and hand in's are due next week so any proper student would have been hard at work studying like I was. Not out in the cold causing the tax payer no end of extra bills.

Lossie Beachcomber said...

I want that person... whoever she is to be destroyed. I want her to be singled out for special treatment. I want her to be labelled as unemployable.

She has chosen to make a stand. Let her be brave, let her show her face. Let her make a stand. Let her be rejected from every interview. Let every interview start with " sorry you have proven yourself unfit to represent out corporate values"

Lossie Beachcomber said...

That "person" swinging from the flag on the Cenotaph. She is unemployable in my opinion.

I don't mean just now, or later, or after she has finished her studies, I mean she's unemployable. FOR EVER.

Call me unreasonable, call me nasty, call me narrow minded. I served 22 years in the RAF and I would happily sacrifice my good conduct medal for a shot ( swing, punch) at "that" person. I'm annoyed. I apologise if I seem angry. I am though.

JuliaM said...

"I wonder how many commentators have ever participated in a demo. What usually happens is you'll find the trots skulking at the back lobbing missiles at Babylon over the heads of the main body. When the cops have had enough they take it out on whoever is nearest, invariably hitting some poor peaceful soul who had nothing to do with it. "

If this is so 'well known', isn't it time those 'poor peaceful souls' did something about it?

Arranged better stewarding, policed their own demo, perhaps?

Nah, easier to go along with the mob then whine when you are treated as if you are 'with' the mob.

Can't see why the left are complaining about this, they just adore collective punishment when it suits them.

A handful of Muslim terrorists? Search and x-ray and inconvenience EVERYBODY.

A few paedophiles in schools? Take EVERYONE'S details in triplicate.

A few racists? Make EVERYBODY hear about the benefits of 'diversity' over and over and over...

Neil Ward said...

My first comment and I completely agree with Iain. A good start !

Unsworth said...

@ Euan

"you can only arrest people if you have evidence of wrongdoing."

You're an idiot. Suspicion is adequate legal justification.

Are you studying before the Bar?

wild said...

"Of course most of us predicted that the Tories brief and rather rather unconvincing flirtation with civil liberties"

A free society (which is liberty sustained by the disciplines of tolerance and truth seeking) is precisely what the Left is against, hence their fondness for lies, intimidation, and the revolutionary violence of crowds.

You fantasize about a world without "cops" because the world is an affront to your narcissism.

All you have is your hated. I bet you do not know the slightest thing about the debate how to fund universities, not even the tiniest amount of knowledge. What a complete waste of existence you are Jimmy.

wild said...

"Requiring demonstrators to remove face coverings is a non-starter...because it would pose a serious problem for the police...making it...difficult...for their Agent provocateurs ...deliberately provoking violence...staging the odd bit of spectacular criminal damage for the cameras"

Yes, revolutionary socialists going on a wrecking spree is shockingly out of character, so it must be policemen dressed up as anarchists who were waving banners saying they want to end capitalism and bring down the government. I see your logic.

As for your boast about having half a brain, I suggest that pea brained is more accurate. Try focusing the massive cognitive capacity of your pea brain on an answer to your own question. Who benefits from a collapse in law and order and the truimph of mob rule? You think about that for as long as it takes and come back when you have an answer.

Jockdownsouth said...

I was at home that day and after switching on the news for what I thought would be a brief update ended up watching it for several hours. From what I saw on various channels the police, in general, had to put up with massive provocation. One guy in particular was using what looked like a piece of scaffolding (or perhaps a metal bar from fencing) like a lance against the police lines.

I liked this piece from another blog -
"Recent events remind me of California in the days when Ronald Reagan first ran for office in the late 1960s determined to stop the endless student riots in UC Berkeley. He said, "Higher education is a privilege and not a right so these hoodlums should be thrown out. They are spoiled brats who do not deserve to be at a great state university." Nobody much cared when the ineffectual principal was fired but he got their attention when he proposed slashing the university budget and upping student fees to compensate. When mayhem once again broke out on campus he sent in the National Guard who arrested over a thousand rioters most of whom landed up in the Santa Rita jail. Around the same time at Cambridge University, Mr Justice Melford Stevenson sent rioting students to Borstal for three years. If 21st century students are resorting to the street violence of the 1960s perhaps we need some of that era's policing and sentencing."

David said...

Aaron Porter NUS President graduated in 2006! He's spent 4 yrs on sabbatical! Wonder if he's started paying off his student loan like me?

Joe Public said...

"....the Police should make clear that anyone covering their face with a mask...."

What? & discriminate against certain female Muslims?? That's not very PC, is it, Mr Dale.

Joe Public said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...

In general, the police are far from angelic, as the Countryside Alliance can testify. Having said that, are they supposed to stand there and just take it?

I am not a big fan of peaceful protest simply because it can so easily turn to King Mob. I fail to see why the student case cannot be made through political parties, through the media and through personal debate.

Yesterday may yet turn out to have had one tragic consequence, and could have had more. Royal protection officers were close,we are told, to drawing weapons. In those circumstances, once drawn, they are likely to be fired.

My worry is that the hard left scents blood and that is dangerous.

Matt said...

I can't believe I am typing this. (Yes, just checked, it IS me!) but I feel that the time is coming when armed police will have to patrol these riots, when water cannons and other non-lethal methods of control will have to be introduced.

Any any lecturer who encourages their students to attend these riots should be sacked for gross misconduct.

the crooked brief said...

On the last page of the Wealth of Nations Adam Smith warns against "protected interests". All policy from this and the last govt, and from the BoE, has had one purpose, to maintain bubble house prices.
The result is unemployment, de-industrialisation, govt deficit, 1/5 of potential owner occupier households unable to form, a dearth of safe reliable MBS, and student debt accelerating to a level unsustainable at current tax and real house price levels.
The students are right. Govt policy is wrong.
As disclosure I'm a middle aged professional, a successful equity trader, a homeowner, a tory voter and entrepreneur.
I agree with addressing the deficit, but savings are one side of the coin. The other side is facilitating new business'. There is no realistic policy to address the barriers and costs for business created by existing legislation. We can't save our way out of this deficit, we have to work our way out of it. We need to take the legislative shackles off business. We need the chance to dig our selves out of this mess.

Unsworth said...

@ Phil101

Well said. You're probably right about the nature of these rioters but what concerns me is the attitudes commonly displayed by the parasitical lecturers and teachers, many of whom seem to actively encourage such behaviour.

They, too, must bear responsibility for their charges - those who have been entrusted to their care for learning. Seems to me that some of these tutors are in the business of Marxist political indoctrination. One might argue that this is a form of grooming, but whatever it may be, it is a very long way indeed from honourable academic integrity.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps the Cenotaph needs a more appropriate inscription?

Phil101 said...

@Joe Public

Keep on subject Ian's suggestion has nothing to do with the Burka. I recommend you read it properly next time before trying that cheap little spin.

Joe Public said...

@ Phil101 6:23

Nothing to do with a 'cheap little spin' as you put it.

If citizens with 'covered faces' are to have certain sanctions applied, fine. But don't then discriminate.

Richard SM said...

"...police officers being dragged off police horses and beaten, it is not acceptable."
David Cameron

"...pulls a policewoman off a horse..."
Iain Dale

Oh really? When was that?

Here's the video footage.

The policewoman falls off her own horse.

The policewoman is not beaten.

Anonymous said...

@ Julia M
I can't trace what you're quoting but the answer is 'last time my club had a "home" cross-country match' when I helped to set out the course and then "marshalled" i.e stood at a place where the runners in each of the six races had to turn a corner and showed them which way to go, and afterwards helped to take down the course markers after the last race. Bit more exposed than central London. The next occasion is next week. Oh, our Club Secretary, who is older than I, does all* this and runs in the Senior Men's race as well.
*except marshalling his own race before any pedant points this out

Anonymous said...

@Tory boys...

What a pillock you are. Red Ed's crony Aaron Poster should get the cleaning bill and the parents of those arrasted should be hit those bills too. As for the imbicile who urinated on Winston Churchill's statue, if he had done that say in China, he would have been reduced into an eunach and shipped to Saudi harem. As for that Pink Floyd swinging monkey, give him 100 days of cleaning the stables of police horses. I would use water cannon quirte early on to drench these thugs so that they stand shivering in the cold. As for that lad who had the brain surgery, we should be asking the surgeons which part of the body they found the brain.

Anonymous said...

@ DespairingLiberal
Has someone hacked into your account? You are usually a sensible dissenting opinion, which is valuable lest Iain say something outrageously silly.
(i) lots of students got assaulted by the police for doing nothing - so the police had nothing better to do? Pull the other leg!
(ii) An MI5 stunt would have hit Charles not Camilla, less pain, better headlines
(iii) He (not she) looks to be dressed more expensively than me, and I admit to being middle-class
(iv) "Some of you seem to be knocking David Gilmour's son because his father is rich. I thought you were tories, in which case, isn't it actually fine for him to (a) have a rich father and (b) behave as he wants? After all, the whole point of Toryism is to entrench pre-existing privilege and what greater privelege is there than to be above the law?"
NO NO NO - Tories belive that the rich have responsibilities. Laissez faire is the province of Liberals
PLEASE learn some history, read some of Disraeli's novels, learn how to spell privilege, and THINK
(v) again think the Met Police spokeswoman was told that the protesters were students - why blame her for using that term - what do you think the reaction would have been from Will Straw, Grauniad etc if she had described the trouble-makers as SWP without total,CCTV coverage to support that?

(vi) "As for rich, spoiled kids in general - if some of them have decided to take an interest in the prospects of their less well-off fellow students, what's wrong with that?" There is nothing wrong with taking an interest. My sons, who may just possibly* be spoiled but are not rich (because I am not) has lobbied peacefully (including ranting at me when I wanted to go to bed) against the introduction/rise in tuition fees but avoided any violence

*but the three of us don't think so

Phil101 said...

@Joe Public

It is a cheap spin, what your on about has nothing to do with Ian dales suggestion. You seem to be pulling the race card out of no where.

JuliaM said...

"The demonstrators need to be better organised. A determined effort for example to keep the media away from the unpleasant element would be a start..."

You think the press should be prevented from doing their job because it's showing left-wing rabble in a poor light?!? Extraordinary, even from you.

DespairingLiberal said...

You make some good points as always longrun2 - it is obviously true that those who are born to privelege should behave respectfully to others and in a way that lives up to it and that is associated with traditional Toryism, a set of views I have far more sympathy for than you might think. My point is that these traditional Tory views have essentially decayed and the modern replacement is hard-boiled superiority and exclusionism by the wealthy, of which young Gilmour's antics are but a typical symptom. The entrenched privilege of Oxbridge entry for the children of the rich is still there (would Charlie with his glaring stupidity really have made it in to Girton without a great deal of financial assistance along the way and a Cambridge Uni family background?) but not the noblesse oblige. The Tory press and some of you here seem to know that - hence all the fuss - but not to acknowledge that the collapse of traditional values is near-total and the Toryism you now support is simply aimed at maintaining the power of the bankers, the hedge funders, the super-wealthy, etc. We live in a genuine moral vacuam as regards class structure now. We are not in Downton Abbey, more like, as the Eye puts it so well, Downturn Abbey.

On a more up to the minute story, can anyone with half a brain now seriously claim that it was "students" who held up the royal car now that the photos are out? Clearly this is an urban street gang running amok, more Hackney Marshes than Dreaming Spires.

Unsworth said...

@ Despairing Liberal

Define 'student'. Oh and this might help:

Foxgoose said...

I did some research on the organisations behind the "student protests" , just out of interest.

Some of he results were scary, some tragic and some quite comic - so I posted them on the Graun CIF thread.

I'm taking the liberty of cross posting here because I think people might be interested:-

In deciding who was responsible for the violence, it's instructive to look at the origins of the organising body "National Campaign Against Cuts & Fees".

A recent Guardian piece :-

said of them:-
The National Campaign against Fees and Cuts (NCAFC) was formed on 6 February this year after a conference in London of 170 university students who were engaged in activism on their campuses. "At that point anti-cuts movements hadn't really been founded because it was before the election," said Simon Hardy, 21, a student at the University of Westminster and a prominent figure within Ncafc.
What the Guardian coyly didn't say however (although the poster in the photo gives a clue) is that Simon has long been a prime mover in an altogether less cuddly organisation called "Revolution Socialist Youth Movement"

Which states its aims as:-
We want to bring down Cam and Clegg's millionaire coalition and replace it with socialism. The rich and powerful clique responsible for breaking up our public services, slashing benefits and leaving millions of us on the dole will not give up their wealth and property by being voted out. They are launching a class war to make youth and workers pay the cost of capitalism's crisis. We want to seize their assets and abolish class society with a socialist revolution.
Another prime mover in NAAFC is the head of Revolution Socialst Youth Movement - one John Bowman.
John Bowman, a member of Workers Power and Revolution Socialist Youth, has been a leading member of the Campaign Against Fees and Cuts, the main organisers of the 10th November student protest. Workers Power and Revolution Socialist Youth have been in the forefront of the recent student movement.
John's main organisation is "Workers Power"

and describes itself thus:-
Workers Power is a revolutionary communist organisation. We fight to:
• Abolish capitalism and create a world without exploitation, class divisions and oppression
• Break the resistance of the exploiters by the force of millions acting together in a social revolution smashing the repressive capitalist state
and announces proudly that it is part of the "5th Communist World International"

Is John a student or a full time international communist agitator - who knows?

I think all the dewy eyed Mums 'n Dads who sent their little darlings off to protest should realise they were simply pawns in premeditated, organised violence by the usual anti-capitalist / anti-globalisation / anti-government/ anti-police anti-anything but a good punch up mob.

Andy said...

Nobody dragged a policeman off a horse you idiot, he lost control and fell off by himself.

The horse was probably spooked by a copper beating two women over the head directly in front of it.

As for the violence the overwhelming majority was caused by the police, as demonstrated by the disproportionately higher injuries among protesters and worse injuries.

As for police attempting to kettle the protesters from the start, dragging a disabled person from his wheelchair and dragging him across the road, pressuring hospital staff not to accept a protester (Alfie Meadows who had a life threatening brain injury), not to mention masses of footage of police beating protesters, rather proves that it was the police who went in with the intention of violence and thuggery.

The most generous assessment of police conduct is that they made no attempt to distinguish between those who they claimed were initiating violence and those who were, say forced forwards by the crowd or even merely standing around.

Still the police can rely on people like you and David Cameron peddling the lie about a policeman being pulled off a horse. Rather says it all that the only footage the police apologists can find doesn't show what they claim it does.

Phil101 said...


Its rich for you to call people an idiot when your acting like one who thinks the police won't fight back. The police are not the government they are the public sector law enFORCEment. Don't bore us with your wet lefty spin because its exactly the kind of irresponsible attitude that holds no place in the real world. If the protesters have more injuries its only because they are picking a fight they will never win. You need a reality check seriously.

If you want to live in a country where the police can't get the upper hand on a mob of idiots then go else where.