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Samizdata quote of the day

I’m sorry, but if you didn’t object to the Metropolitan Police’s brutal tactics in dispersing anti-lockdown protestors in Trafalgar Square last September, you cannot condemn their employment of identical tactics last night. Either you defend the right to protest for everyone, or you defend it for no one. You cannot just get worked up about it when it affects those whose cause you approve of.

Toby Young

37 comments to Samizdata quote of the day

  • What ‘protest’? I thought this was a prayer vigil?

    It was, until Rent-A-Mob turned up, taunted the Met to throw them in that briar patch, and the idiots did just that.

    How utterly ironic now if this is what does for Cressida Dick. A bunch of feminist activists deciding that ‘no’ doesn’t mean no after all.

  • John B

    Our cause is just… therefore we may do what we like whereas you, for whose cause we care not, may not.

  • I agree with what Toby Young says…but (and it’s a good but), if this latest incident is the straw that breaks the camel’s back and finally gets Cressida “Scourge of Brazilian electricians” Dick out the door of Scotland Yard then I for one will be happy.

  • decnine

    But the cops already operate officially approved selectivity in law enforcement. Eg: Extinction Rebellion blocking ambulance access to St Thomas Hospital; TakingThe Knee for BLM; the annual Operation Blind Eye for Thu Carnival Init? For any other cause, it’s RentAThug’R’Us. Who are we to dictate their priorities?

  • Once, I might have agreed. But what has this taught a potential successor?

    It’s not going to be ‘have principles and stick to them, no matter what’ is it?

  • Deep Lurker

    “There are no wrong tactics, only wrong targets.”

    For those who have internalized that view, this talk of inconsistency and hypocrisy is so much gibberish.

    Of course those brutal police tactics were laudable and even heroic when deployed against evil protests calling for less government action. Equally of course those identical police tactics are to be condemned when deployed against virtuous centrist [read: Not to the right of Lenin] protests.

    In both cases the police are to be judged solely by who they act against, rather than by how they act. Because (say it again!) “There are no wrong tactics, only wrong targets.” And suggesting otherwise is in no way a legitimate argument, but instead is deploying gibberish as evil extreme-right hate-propaganda.

  • James Strong

    It’s unfortunate that Toby Young starts with ‘I’m sorry.’

    Other than that, he is 100% correct.

  • James Strong

    I have written to my MP today.

    2 major points:

    if it is thought to be wrong to enforce the law then the law itself must be thought to be wrong

    and

    some demonstrations since the first lockdown started in March 2020 have been, in effect, permitted by the police.
    We need ONE law in the UK, we cannot tolerate any situation where demonstrations are permitted or prohibited depending on the authiories’ view of the quality of the demonstrators’ arguments.

    I have asked my MP to pass my email to the Home Secretary and her team of ministers and told him that I expect a reply from one of them.

    We’ll see.

  • Penseivat

    If the females organising that remembrance/commemoration/protest/enter your description here, had invited a shedload of female travellers to attend, then the Police would have taken no action to avoid a mass riot with (allegedly stolen) caravans and 4×4’s parked outside Scotland Yard.

  • Mr Ed

    In the OP there is a link in the words ‘brutal tactics‘ to a ‘Guardian’ report of the same.

    Of course, the police were, in the Left-Wing narrative, meant to let this one run, as with the BLM protests. Quite what led them to be so aggressive is a mystery. I am reminded of something I read about a Soviet MVD General talking about the Soviet Union’s MVD Troops, many of whom were reportedly recruited from the central Asian republics, he was asked why the bias in recruitment, and he reportedly replied (although this may be Ben Trovato reporting of the official view)

    Because they are known for their obedience, stupidity and cruelty. They do everything that they are asked without thinking, and are especially mean towards Russians.’.

    A nod to the Soviets’ major concern, not that the Russians hated the Soviets more than many others (Balts apart), but that the loss of support in Russia would be hardest to cope with, as indeed Yeltsin showed in the end.

    I imagined the recruitment poster that would flow from that General’s assessment, but change ‘Russians’ to ‘English’ and you seem to have a description for what I think is a common perception of the English police forces these days.

  • Carnivorous Bookworm

    The murder in question was terrible. But why is it more terrible & protest worthy than any other?

  • It’s unfortunate that Toby Young starts with ‘I’m sorry.’

    When used like that, “I’m sorry” is not an expression of sorrow, it is actually a snark 😉

  • Of course, the police were, in the Left-Wing narrative, meant to let this one run, as with the BLM protests. Quite what led them to be so aggressive is a mystery. (Mr Ed, March 14, 2021 at 1:41 pm)

    One could speculate various causes. I will discuss one – noting the considerable scope for error in such speculation.

    Here in the UK, (it seems very likely that) a policeman will in due course be tried for a serious crime. In the US, policeman Derek Chauvin (whom I believe is innocent, but ignore that for a moment) is currently being tried for a serious crime. Chauvin’s certainty of getting a fair trial and an unintimidated verdict is in doubt – because rioters were allowed to run amuck and established both a narrative and a fear.

    If the UK policeman is convicted, I would wish him sentenced to harsher punishment than our current namby-pamby laws allow. However I would not wish his trial to be a travesty because a double-standard on protests had been allowed.

    A year ago today, little Emily Jones was slaughtered in front of her parents. Two weeks later, lockdown rules were not waved for her funeral. Whether a guilty policeman murdering an adult should be a bigger story than a guilty nutjob murdering a child in front of her parents is something I’ll let readers decide. I oppose banning a crowd for a funeral and then allowing it for a protest.

  • Stonyground

    I seem to think that, when I was growing up, it was taken as a given that our police and courts had to be objective and impartial, that this was a minimum requirement for a civilised society. Even if it didn’t really happen in practice, the principle was seen as being vitally important. It was self evident that countries that didn’t have such principles were invariably backward dystopian shitholes. Nobody now seems to be aware that a backward dystopian shithole is what we will become if we don’t sort this out.

  • Alan Peakall

    For those whose adherence to the utopian vision is so strong that they are continually outraged by the deficiencies of the real world, it seems the lockdown is welcomed because it provides a qualifying handicap affording extra validation to any act of public protest which secures license to proceed despite the lockdown.

  • Eric

    if it is thought to be wrong to enforce the law then the law itself must be thought to be wrong

    This is my pet peeve. In a democracy the police ought not be in the business of deciding this or that law will not be enforced, except in the context of a discussion on resource constraints. It’s parliament’s job to decide what should be proscribed, not Scotland Yard’s.

  • Mr Ed

    Eric

    It’s parliament’s job to decide what should be proscribed, not Scotland Yard’s.

    Yes, except that Parliament has ‘delegated’ the power to proscribe anything to the government minister (Secretary of State for Health etc.) who makes regulations that come into immediate effect and regulate virtually every aspect of our lives outside our homes and to a great extent, within them, criminalising visiting people in their homes, or the place that they are living, and then seeks retrospective approval on a binary choice basis.

    So Parliament is no use, the Courts are wholly on-board and slow-walk any challenges before disposing of them with cursory reasoning when the challenge is moot.

    The rule of law is dead in the UK, deader than we even thought.

  • Alexander tertius Harvey

    Ah Dick, head of the Metropolitan Police. Yet another gift from Balliol to the public life of this country.

  • Clovis Sangrail

    Dick apparently isn’t worried by murder committed by policemen (qv Juan Carlos de Menezes) but is very concerned about the wrong people assembling.

  • Dick apparently isn’t worried by murder committed by policemen (qv Juan Carlos de Menezes) but is very concerned about the wrong people assembling.

    As any party apparatchik must be, even when it remains “the party that dare not say it’s name”. The truth is though that incompetence and unluckiness aside BoJo agrees more with Cressida “The Electrician Slayer” Dick more than he disagrees with her.

  • Schrodinger's Dog

    What I want to know is, why weren’t the organisers of this protest fined £10,000? After all, people have been for organising much smaller gatherings.

  • JohnK

    I am not sure what the ladies are protesting about.

    If they are against murder, I am with them, but then again so is the law. Murder is illegal.

    If they want women to be able to walk the streets in safety at any time of the day or night, again I am with them, but unlike them I acknowledge the reality of our fallen world. It is futile to will the ends but not the means.

    If they were advocating that women (and men) should be allowed to carry weapons for their defence, their argument would have some coherence, but as far as I know they have not mentioned repeal of the Firearms Act 1920 and the Prevention of Crime Act 1953 and subsequent legislation. Until they do, their protests are futile.

  • Johnathan Pearce

    Toby Young shows a touching faith in the power of human reason among the sort of folk who think it is okay to ignore social distancing,….er, because, er, reasons.

    Okay, forgive my snark. TY is absolutely correct here. Maybe, just maybe, some of this stuff is going to wake people up – to the issue of self-defence and the rights thereof. For example, it’s illegal to possess pepper spray in the UK.

    I have a lady-friend who, when she comes to see me and my wife, will ask me to walk her to a bus-stop or taxi if it is late. Who knows, maybe the idea of male chivalry, without the ideological baggage, is due for a comeback.

  • Paul Marks

    Toby Young is correct. The post is clearly true.

    I have nothing to add.

  • Sigivald

    People certainly think they can do exactly that.

    And their allies go along with it.

  • llamas

    Perhaps OT, but I lived for 2 years less than a mile from where this young lady set off on her last journey. This was 40 years ago, now.

    I wouldn’t have set out to walk alone from the West side of Clapham Common to Tulse Hill at 9.00 pm, by myself, back then. And I was a big, strapping yoot, back then. And I somehow doubt that that part of the world has gotten much safer in the intervening 40 years. Maybe I’m wrong – but I don’t think I am. I see where Lambeth as a whole (still) has one of the highest crime rates, and the highest murder rate, in the whole of London. And so the question inevitably springs to my mind – how in the world did this young lady get the idea that this was a prudent thing to do? Even more so, who are her ‘friends’, that allowed her to set out on this journey? I understand that she was speaking on the phone to her ‘boyfriend’ while she was actually taking this trek into the heart of darkness – and he simply let this go on?

    It seems like an extraordinarily-bad life choice that she made, compounded by the complete inability of anyone else involved to suggest a better one to her. Note that I am not ‘blaming’ her for what happened to her, merely musing on how it can be that an apparently-mature adult like her could make such an unwise decision. Maybe I see these things in darker ways than they actually are.

    llater,

    llamas

  • Clovis Sangrail

    @JohnK

    If they were advocating that women (and men) should be allowed to carry weapons for their defence, their argument would have some coherence

    and
    @Jonathan Pearce

    Maybe, just maybe, some of this stuff is going to wake people up – to the issue of self-defence and the rights thereof.

    Absolutely! The best way to protect women is not to deploy extra police (who will immediately turn their attention to online hate-crime and other armchair-based iniquities), but rather to give them the means of their own defence. In particular, access to “an equalizer” and training in its legitimate use.

    My daughters have told me that they would welcome this and deeply resent the state removing access to a major safety-aid.

  • Kevin Jaeger

    That quote sounds nice and would be a laudable principle but it simply isn’t true.

    Not just in Britain but in the modern west in general the police can and do brutally put down protests by the wrong people while indulging riots and violence by leftist mobs.

    Witness the almost nightly rioting by Antifa/BLM in Portland where the rioters routinely all get released if they get arrested or charged at all, and contrast that with the ruthless prosecution of grandmas milling about in the Capitol on January 6th.

    I’m not sure how useful it is to say someone can’t do something when they are openly doing it and will continue to do so.

  • pete

    Clovis, would your daughters feel safe going out at night in a city where everyone, including the criminals, had a gun?

  • Zerren Yeoville

    “would your daughters feel safe going out at night in a city where everyone, including the criminals, had a gun?” (pete, March 15, 2021 at 9:56 pm)

    I imagine they would feel a good bit safer than going out at night in a city where no-one, except the criminals, had a gun. That’s the point.

    In similar vein, I can’t help but notice that the same types of people who would be triggered into a major bout of conniptions should anyone dare to make sweeping statements about a specific group that began ‘All blacks …’ or ‘All Muslims …’ have nevertheless been more than happy in recent days to make sweeping statements about ‘All men …’

  • Phil B

    The calls in the comments for any repeal of the 1920 Firearms Act is laughable. The act was introduced to prevent armed revolution in the UK. The Powers That Be were scared shitless by the Russian Revolution and were determined to prevent anything like that happening in the UK. They lied and sold the restrictions as a crime prevention move. Over 4 million men were in the armed forces during WW1 and all had training in firearms. The government has been lying about this for well over 100 years – the first firearms act was the 1870 Licensing Act intended to raise revenue and price firearms out of the reach of poor people.

    Besides, the vast majority of the population would demand that no relaxation of the rules be allowed and indeed MORE bans and restrictions should be introduced. I have read many, many responses on blogs and discussion boards where British people have passionately denounced the USA and were proud of the fact that British people were not permitted firearms. This, despite the UK having 2,034 violent crimes per 100,000 people to the USA having 466 per 100,000 people. You have only to look at the current Corona “crisis” to see how people behave towards face masks etc. to see how enthusiastically they accept the Governments decrees.

    I hate quoting slogans and other peoples words in a discussion but here are two:

    If violent crime is to be curbed, it is only the intended victim who can do it. The felon does not fear the police, and he fears neither judge nor jury. Therefore, What he must be taught to fear is his victim.

    Lt. Col. Jeff Cooper, USMC

    And:

    All political power comes from the barrel of a gun. The communist party must command all the guns, that way, no guns can ever be used to command the party.

    Mao Zedong

    Which of those two quotes most closely resembles the UK Governments attitude?

    Do you honestly believe that, if people were armed and could take effective action against the government, that the nonsense over Corona would have lasted this long? Or the report on Muslim “grooming” would have been blocked because it was “not in the public interest”? Or any one of hundreds of things that the government has done in the face of opposition from the population?

    The Yes Minister and Yes Prime Minister books and TV series are the Machiavelli for the 20th Century. The Civil Servants are accurately portrayed in those stories and if you believe that they will give up power, then I have a good deal on a bridge in Brooklyn for you.

    Britian in an Anarcho-Tyranny. Criminals are catered to, the slightest transgression from a law abiding person is severely punished. Unless and until this is reversed and criminals fear breaking the law, then it will only get worse. It is a basic law of government – if you want to encourage something, subsidise it. if you want to discourage something tax it. The gevernment is, if not exactly subsidising criminal behaviour, allowing it to flourish. There si no way that they will allow the law abiding to “Take the law into their own hands” which beggars the question, in whose hands IS the law? I think that a moments thoyght will answer that and it is neither parliament or the population.

  • bobby b

    “Do you honestly believe that, if people were armed and could take effective action against the government, that the nonsense over Corona would have lasted this long? Or the report on Muslim “grooming” would have been blocked because it was “not in the public interest”? Or any one of hundreds of things that the government has done in the face of opposition from the population?”

    I have to take issue with this para.

    Some 600 million weapons are scattered throughout US society, along with more ammunition than you can shake a stick at.

    We’ve had the lockdowns and the Russian hoax and the Dem-sponsored riots and holy hell they arguably maybe stole our damned presidential election and the biggest response we managed involved walking into an unlocked government building with absolutely no weapons in sight.

    The minimum threshold of bad government action required to trigger the people’s use of weapons contra the government is obviously something worse than what we’ve seen so far. The threat of an armed citizenry remains a potential promise of a threat – an abstraction more than a concrete line in the sand.

    Perhaps they never actually come out absent a specific individual explicit threat to one’s personal safety, as when the National Guard death squad line is coming up your driveway to take you away and you finally decide there’s nothing left to lose. But we obviously don’t see weapons as merely another way to affect democratic choice or government edict. We don’t look to our (huge) private armory to end lockdowns or even undo corrupt elections.

    Maybe we should. Different argument. But we don’t. So, in the day-to-day government/citizen relationship, bearing those arms gives no routine leverage beyond an ultimate abstract fear. In the meantime, though, they remain very useful to instill fear in skells.

  • Clovis Sangrail

    @Pete

    Clovis, would your daughters feel safe going out at night in a city where everyone, including the criminals, had a gun?

    What @Zerren Yeoville said.
    Many of the criminals do have a gun (they are criminals) or a large knife or are just twice as strong as my daughters. Hence the word “equaliser”.

    I do get sick of this argument.
    If no-one broke the law we’d all be safe. Let’s enact more laws.

    We are already in the situation where I have to justify carrying a pocket knife in public. Would my daughters feel safe if everyone was carrying a pocket knife? I don’t know, but I grew up in such a society and it felt a lot more civilised than what we’ve got now.

  • The PC who are now suggesting a curfew on men (as the only alternative they can think of to their suggesting a woman’s place at night is in the home), or who are virtue-signalling by “refusing to rule it out”, would be loudly “horrified” if it were made legal for a women to carry even a kitchen knife in such circumstances.

    Our society is very down on victim-blaming – not just the justly-despised “she asked for it” kind but the justly-advised “be aware of risk” kind – but it is revoltingly eager to blame the self-defender. In order not to be blamed, you have to avoid avoiding being a victim.

    In short, as usual, the more virtue signalled, the less virtue present. Women must be disabled from taking practical steps and then offered impractical ones.

  • JohnK

    Phil B:

    I am not arguing against you. The British people have been conditioned to be disarmed and not to defend themselves since 1920. My point is that the ladies protesting the death of Sarah Everard have no point. What is their point? That murder is bad? That innocent women should be able to walk home at night without being killed?

    If they opened their minds they would realise that what innocent women, and men, need is the legal ability to defend themselves against predators. But that concept has no meaning for them. Therefore they are wasting their time. I see that Fat Boris has decided to spunk £25 million on more CCTV as a way to appease the ladies. That is the modern British response to everything. Don’t stop crime, just have more video of it. Great.

  • bobby b

    “What is their point?”

    “Come the revolution, there will be no inequities or poverty or hate, and thus people fighting against that revolution are the ones raping and killing women. YOU killed this poor woman, you neanderthals!”

    What’s the point of any prog protest?

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