MP after MP
by Monk 11 August 2011
I am obliged to paint the master bedroom, in order to please Mrs Monk.
As I scraped and splashed paint, I listened to the whole of the emergency debate led by David Cameron who took questions for three hours about the riots. MP after MP spoke condemning the criminal thugs, that have caused so much havoc this week.
Old fart Tories wondered why the thieves and rioters were not rounded up and confined in a football stadium, and not by the police, but by the army.
Most Members of Parliament in turn repeated their disgust and determination that thieves and rioters should meet the, severest penalties. Committed libertarians that were prepared to excuse the behaviour, were rare. The electorate was not about to countenance a soft touch, and Cameron’s task was to abandon the hug-a-hoody rhetoric and to defend the pre-announced cuts in police numbers, to save cash.
Mayor Boris claims to disagree with Cameron on this but he does face mayoral re-election, and Cameron is not about to oblige even a Tory with a humiliating U turn.
The public wants action and every MP spoke in turn to give the electorate the sound bites that they thought would impress. Over time the banal repetition grated. If I did not have a paint brush in my hand, I am sure I would have switched channels.
The common themes were outrage, the heroism of police and fire services, and the necessity for meting out severe punishment to set an example. There was no descent from this mantra in 3 hours of debate. Just one lady MP went off script and dared to suggest that the some of the rioters had “special needs”.
Back on message, the rioters were categorised as sick criminal thieves and hooligans and not in any way politically motivated. And any MP that thought the riots were politically motivated, did not dare say so in the debate.
Accordingly, Magistrates have been working throughout the night, literally. Record numbers of offenders have been arrested and charged and are being processed conveyor-belt-style. Some magistrates are feeling the strain and have responded to taunting. One Magistrates flipped and barked at the journalists who objected to the lenient sentences meted out. They were reminded that the Government provides the sentencing tariffs, the magistrates get the grief for imposing what the members of Parliament voted for when it was good to hug-a-hoody for electoral advantage, or to save money by locking up fewer of them.
The MPs lined up one by one to express themselves, but in fact the hoodys are far more politically astute than the MPs care to admit, and some care to justify their actions, by pointing at the social depravation for which they are not responsible. Nevertheless, they are criminalised and must go to gaol where I hope that they will meet Lord Hanningfield, also a thief and also a thief in denial of any wrongdoing.