It had been suggested by the London police chief, Paul Stephenson, that his officers, specially attached to the royal personage, had only one duty, and that was to get their “principle” to where he was supposed to be going. Nothing else mattered. I remember listening to him and his mate Boris Johnston spluttering on about the outrage of the heir to the throne having to be delayed getting to the theatre, and Mrs Parker-Bowles frightened out of her life by ordinary but angry people. He was adamant that his men had behaved with restraint because they had the right to shoot people. ...And not one single soul had been shot! Goodness. Copngratualtions to the police for that excellent piece of work. And not a passing newspaper vendor killed either. Magical.
The argument then opened up beyond shooting peasants to the use of various and sundry other crowd control methods, such as tazers, tear gas and water cannon. Boris Johnston chuntered on in buffoonish fashion that we British peasants were lucky that, unlike these Europeans, OUR lovely rozers didn’t use these methods of crowd control. (Although that’s not entirely true, and they do in any, case kettle people for up to 12 hours without toilet facilities, charge at them on horseback, turn them out of their wheel chairs and drag them across the road, and of course kill the odd passerby on his way home from work (although clearly not if he is on his way to the theatrein a dinner jacket).
As they were talking, I was imagining what would have happened had the royal protection officers decided to kill a few people as examples to the rest, obviously in order that they complete successfully their mission of getting this "principle" to his night out. I had my ideas as to what would have followed, but I was interested to see how people, from a fairly wide political spectrum and an extremely wide geographical area, who read this blog, felt.
So, here we have the results:
83% felt that shooting the protesters would provoke much more severe problems including civil disobedience. (Personally I would be surprised if someone didn’t burn down Clarence House and then Scotland Yard and then the Houses of Parliament.)
14% felt that it would escalate crowd trouble.
I was actually quite surprised that only 5% thought it would be reasonable to use water cannon, tazers or tear gas, I’d have thought more might have been happy to see control brought back to the streets by these methods, used commonly elsewhere in Europe.
That 8% thought that the police should have shot people who were threatening a late arrival at the theatre of their Hallowednesses, was I thought, quite shocking.
But I suppose we should know that in this country, the value that is put on the life of a newspaper salesman is not necessarily the same as the value of the life of a son of the Queen.
Grateful thanks once again to all who took part.
(*PS: It seems to me like Charles Philip Arthur George has around 15 jobs there. Does the government not think that in these times of economic depression it is unreasonable that one man hole down 15 government funded jobs? Should he not lose 14 of them to other people about to be made redundant?)