I love the severity of the sentences being dished out to rioters and those who protect them. I really am. I’m as happy as a right wing pig in poo, which is odd because I’m not right wing. There’s some deliciously swift and severe justice being served up here, and I can only applaud my colleagues within the police and the judicial system for being so robust in responding to this vile social disorder. Whilst some bemoan that sentencing in some cases is too severe, I’m inclined to think that those found guilty made choices and must now face consequences. The nation and the courts are sending an explicit message; you will not be tolerated and your actions dealt with.
Now I recognise that beyond these custodial sentences huge social problems remain unaddressed, and I have some time for those who say we are not attacking the root problem. I agree that more needs to be done, but let’s be sure that we set out our stall to begin with. Punish the guilty and those that conceal them, send the loudest possible message that the rules of the game have changed. I was also encouraged to hear that Police may be given some more robust powers when dealing with disorder of this kind. I don’t have the slightest concern in meeting the mob with the end of a baton or whatever other form of control is required. It’s really very simple; if you do not wish to be subject to Police enforcement, don’t place yourself in a position where you expose yourself to it. For too long we’ve neutered our brave and hard working officers, placing them between the devil and the deep blue sea. If they use force they are brutes, and if they do nothing they are soft. What do you want? You cannot have it both ways. Police are there to ensure law and order is maintained, and whilst any that stray into unnecessary violence must be bought to task they must be afforded the freedom to dish out a little bit of the rough stuff if needed. I don’t know about you, but I want a society in which I feel safe and able to go out any time of the day or night and not be concerned about the mob. For too long we’ve allowed the rise of an under culture that has no fear of crime and punishment, and this needs to change. This is why I feel that the message being sent out this week, whilst severe in and of itself, is the correct one. We cannot give an inch to those who wish to undermine society and adversely negate our freedoms. I’m passionate about individual freedom, but equally clear that with rights come responsibility. Over the last couple of weeks we’ve had the clearest possible wake up call, and our response will do much to define our society for possibly years to come. We surely need to address poverty and broken homes and absent fathers, all of which contribute towards these explosions of unlawfulness. But first let’s ensure that there is no doubt in the minds of the horde that if you want to upset the apple cart you can expect a few of those apples to come crashing down around you.