The Blog

Featuring fresh takes and real-time analysis from HuffPost's signature lineup of contributors

Robert Weller Headshot

Bobbies no Match For U.K. Rioters and Looters

Posted: Updated:
Print Article

Britain's police, already embarrassed by its failure to catch News international's snooping on celebrities and survivors of soldiers killed in Iraq and Afghanistan and children and others murdered, has proven itself unable to stand riots and looting throughout the U.K.

As is happening in many nations, most major cities have suffered major damage that police blame on criminals. At least two deaths were reported, the first was by police and it is being blamed for the spread of riots elsewhere. More than 500 people have been arrested in London alone.

Prime Minister David Cameron returned yesterday from vacation and met with senior ministers. He has called Parliament back into session Thursday. The police and Cameron's clan are trying to blame it all on criminals. Yet how can cuts in medical care and other social care, other spending cuts and the Murdoch case not being playing a part. The BBC is serving as a mouthpiece for the government, defending its refusal to use the gear this situation calls for. It is never good to use police for political purposes, in the end they can lose their professionalism. But there are times when strong action must be taken, even if the protesters have some legitimate grievances.

Homeland Secretary Theresa, in a live interview on the BBC, said the government would not call the Army into the cities. She said governance in the U.K. is by consent and the police can handle it.

Videos by Russian TV and others showed the contrary was true. Rioters pushed police back like they were dolls. Le Monde noted England has no water cannons. Bobbies have always had a reputation for restrained behavior. In the U.S., the military is not allowed to take part in law enforcement, but each state has a National Guard trained the same way the Army is and with the same equipment. The State Governor can send them as needed, and there would be no hesitation if looting was occurring.

England did create a home guard of people intheir 50s and 60s for World War II; perhaps they should do it again.