A Peaceful Protest In our beautiful capital.
Our Commissioner says he is 'embarrassed' and that it was all unexpected.
Not unexpected by the troops on the ground, obviously. But I'm sure that penny pinching had nothing to do with parading the bare minimum of officers to try and cope with the thuggery that we suspected would happen. I actually have sympathy with the ideology of the 'real' protestors today, but not the mindless idiots that spoilt it. Or the mindless idiots that supported the violence when they should have been rejecting the actions of the thugs who have done a disservice to the genuine fears many currently in education have.
As one of my mates said whilst we tooled around in a public order carrier last night: "Lack of an overtime budget isn't going to stop them kicking off tomorrow. I mean, we can't just tell them there's no overtime available so they have to go home now. That's not the bosses plan. Is it?"
Gadget can probably put it better than me, and possibly with a hint more objectivity.
I do suspect that this is just a taste of things to come, and that we may well be about to experience a winter of discontent. I know I'm not alone in thinking that, most of my colleagues are also resigned to more protests, and more violence evident in them.
Canteen gossip today is suggesting that the havoc today was planned by our senior management. That we have been hammered in the press so much recently when it comes to public order policing, and the bosses have finally said "sod it, let them get on with it without our interference and see how it works out."
I of course have risen above this level of cynicism - but it'll be interesting to see our future approaches to public order incidents/demonstrations.