The most unintentionally telling remark I heard on the BBC last night was a reporter saying that where she had been there were 200 police, with horses and dogs but at the other end of the street was a mob of 50 looting.
These are not dense crowds of politically motivated people they are relatively small groups of looters. Total arrests up to last night were 200 but only 36 of them had been charged. Now it is 400 arrests.
London has 32,000 police. The looters probably number little more than a thousand.
My estimate is that a platoon of baton and shield wielding police (about 40) could disperse a thousand such rioters if allowed to.
They are not allowed to. These riots are not the mob showing their power they are the political establishment creating a policing vacuum into which a small group of looters have moved.
The other point that should be mentioned, because it isn't being, is that the rioters are overwhelmingly negro street gangs (despite the fact that the cover photo on several papers is of the sole white, or possibly mixed race, rioter). That is very good news because white or Islamic crowds, with political motivations would be a lot tougher. If this looting isn't stopped they will be next time.
Napoleon came to power because the politicians in charge showed they were scared of the Paris mob, a much more fearsome group, precisely because they were civilised and politically motivated. He dispersed them with a whiff of grapeshot and the people, perhaps rightly, chose competent authoritarian rule to that of incompetent politicians.
The collapse of popular governments into disorder and their replacement with strong authority is one of the repeated cycles of history. If it happens again our political class, whose economic & Luddite incompetence I have repeatedly railed against will have nobody to blame but themselves.
I put the above as a comment on John Redwood
to expand if only 36 out of over 1,000 actually get charged that is not much over 1%. Of those most will probably get non-custodial or short sentences, meanwhile millions of £s worth of goods will have been stolen, 10s of millions worth of material damage done and possibly 10 times that in the intangible effect of driving away tourists and investors. That sort of "punishment" is no sort of deterrent whatsoever.
London is fast turning into Kosovo, where the native population is currently either in a minority or about to be. The only good difference is that the immigrants aren't a homogenous group.
As I said a platoon of police could clear them off the streets and at one time that would have happened. It used to be said of the Canadian Mounties was that with "one riot, one mountie" they could keep order. Our police, while not experiencing such an exuberent population, were of similar standards.
Another historicall example is that in the early days of the Roman Empire Julies Ceaser defeated 350,000 Gauls with 50,000 Romans.When Rome was in decline at the Battle of Adrianople a similar force was wiped out by 60,000 Ostrogoths. When you vear in mind that there are 8 million government workers, of whom about 1 1/2 million are front line ones, equivalent ot police, the 32,000 police in London represent 170,000 government employees yet they can do little against a little over 1,000 disorganised and uncommitted kids.Every society rests on a barbarian base. The people who don't understand civilization & wouldn't like it if they did. The hitchhikers. The people who create nothing and who don't appreciate what others have created for them, and who think civilization is something that just exists and that all they have to do is enjoy what they can understand of it - luxuries, a high living standard, and easy work for high pay. Responsibilities? Phooey! What have they got a government for?..... Space Viking by H Beam Piper
The way to end this would be for police in riot gear to chargev them, break heads, arrest everybody, throw the book at them (rioting itself is a serious offence), with additions for racial aggravation and remove citizenship and deport anybody arrested who has dual citizenship. If the political parasites prevent that be4ing done the blame lies with them.
Media's choice picture
Korea - where rioters really know how to fight