‘Pro-liberties’ Coalition wants water cannons


7:23 pm - December 12th 2010

by Newswire    


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Theresa May, the Home Secretary, has opened the way for water cannon to be used on the British mainland for the first time if future demonstrations escalate into uncontrollable violence.

Ministers will not stand in the way if senior officers wanted to use it, she said.

In a sign that the introduction of water cannon to the mainland is being seriously discussed in Whitehall, the Home Secretary, when asked about it, said she did not want to “give the game away about anything that might be done in the future.”

She told Sky News: “Whether or not they choose to use water cannon is an operation issue. I think it is right that we look across the board at all the options that are available.

…more at The Telegraph

Update: The Third Estate blog highlights how bad things can get when people are hit by water cannons.

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Reader comments


I await all the tory trolls shouting “Stalin state, Stalin state” like they did a year ago.

I won’t hold my breath.

@1 Well it’s their guys in charge now isn’t it, now if Labour were still in power they would be dead against it, and giving a shit about Alfie Meadows, but since it was their party the students are challenging, I’m afraid they’ll just nod sagely at this possible use of water cannons.

Was it not that silly cow who said that the tories had to stop being the nasty party?

What’s so bad about water cannons, out of interest?

@2 Agreed. Does Sally “tory butler troll class police state blah blah blah” think that if Labour scraped a majority and had to implement tuition fee rises, they would have thought twice about water cannon? It would have been ‘blast the beggars’ all the way down Millbank before we could blink.

Unless, of course, all those oh-so-principled NUS types would’ve reacted slightly less vociferously if it had been Labour, the party that stitches up safe seats for that type once they graduate, wot dunnit.

Principled Porter for Croydon North 2015!

6. Arthur Thistlewood

4: “What’s so bad about water cannons, out of interest?”

Nothing. Nothing at all. Indeed, using a water cannon on protesters in sub-zero temperatures and then kettling them for a couple of hours should be quite effective. I expect that one or two definitely won’t protest again!

Seriously though, are there rules about when water cannon can be used?

“Ministers will not stand in the way if senior officers wanted to use it, she said.”

Now that would be a gesture of solidarity, though I can’t think of many serving politicians who’d have the courage to do it.

Arthur T; well, I’d assume it’d be intended as an alternative to kettling, and that they wouldn’t use it sub-zero temperatures (if only because of the risk of ice!).

I assume the rules are the same as on any other kind of force – has to be necessary and proportionate and so on.

And if water cannon don’t instill greater respect for government, what’s next?

Rubber bullets?

The fact is that Sunny and sally are positively salivating for the government to become more forthright in “crushing this glorious uprising”. It will give them all the more cover when the student protesters start bringing knives to slash the legs of the police horses. But who got violent first etc. I wouldn’t be surprised if sally has been praying to whatever demented god she believes in for another Ian Tomlinson. we all know you need the public opinion to shift in your favour after a disastrous week.

I wouldn’t be surprised if sally has been praying to whatever demented god she believes in for another Ian Tomlinson.

That’s low – even for an obvious troll like you. I didn’t see you write anything about the young boy Alfie Meadows who ended up in hospital either. People like you don’t really care for hurt protesters – you only use for political point-scoring.

12. margin4error

Parasite

“labour would do the same” isn’t compatible with the other troll line of “Labour had 13 years to do it if they wanted”

Well in 13 years they never used them. Through the may-day riots they didn’t use them. Through fees protests they didn’t use them. The anti-war marches or the fox-hunting protests and even the fuel barricades.

13. margin4error

Jason

I’ve been hit by a water cannon. Only a glancing blow and fortunately the weather was good.

I’m not allowed to swear on LC but it was …. awful. Knocked the wind right out of me and knocked me off my feet.

That was (apparently) football related, though I wasn’t at a game and was just in a square having a drink on the night of a game when some police turned up to “break up a crowd” which was mostly a bunch of local people chanting and drinking with a bunch of away fans. (never did work out what the police thought they were stopping or why)

Anyway – it is a dangerous practice – it can lead to serious injury – and it would, I imagine, be a serious threat to one’s health in a cold climate.

Frankly quite why it is even used is beyond me. No copper has died in a “riot” in this country for a generation so far as I can find online. So it seems we handle these things fairly well as it is.

14. Chaise Guevara

@ 10 dmob

Ah, so you’re not only making ad hom attacks based on conjecture, but now you’re doing it in every thread? There’s a word to describe people like that, can’t quite remember it. Rhymes with “roll”.

“Knocked the wind right out of me and knocked me off my feet. ”

Oh, they definitely need to be brought in.

A previous coalition government in 1919 sent 10,000 troops armed with machine guns, tanks and a howitzer onto the streets of Glasgow so who knows what this one will do.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1919_Battle_of_George_Square

http://www.theglasgowstory.com/image.php?inum=TGSE00437&t=2&urltp=search.php%3Fstart%3D20%26end%3D40%26what%3Dtram%26where%3D%26who%3D%26period%3D5%26collection%3D0%26search%3D99

@Richard oh come off it, a previous Coalition Government helped the nation win World War II, by your logic that means this one might just help us win a world war.

My logic? I am just pointing out how a previous coalition dealt with dissent. I doubt whether the coalition during WW2 much cared for civil liberties either. Maybe it is just a coalition thing.

Because Labour or the Tories of the 1980s really loved dissent! Lets face it, all governments love to crush a bit of dissent. The only question is if this one will fall to the temptation to do so, as the protesters want it to, in order to fuel the cycle of violence and cede public opinion to the protesters.

“Knocked the wind right out of me and knocked me off my feet. ”

Looks like you were rather lucky:

http://thethirdestate.net/2010/12/the-truth-about-water-cannons/

Have any followed the escalation in media reports about what exactly transpired when the RR carrying his HRH the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall became emeshed with demonstrators in Regent St.?

There was “contact with the Duchess of Cornwall” somehow evolved to “the Duchess of Cornwall was poked”, which has recently been magnified to, “Duchess of Cornwall was hit”.

I’m wondering about the next transformation . .

@12. In the 13 years of Labour Government no-one decided to spray “racist warmonger” on Churchill’s statue. From 1997-May 2010 no Cambridge history undergraduate decided to swing off the Cenotaph and claim they didn’t know what the Cenotaph was, despite being the son of Gary Bloke and having the best education daddy’s money can buy.

The New Labour Government never had anything to contend with like this, because no-one thought new Labour were evil (and right enough, they weren’t). The Coalition on the other hand has enough sanctimonious turds who think Tories are evil Nazi scum de facto, Lib Dems by association, and that any means to bring down the Government is therefore legitimate.

dmob at 10. has it right to what these malevolents have in mind to justify their actions, not because they care what Government does but who it is that’s in to Government to do it.

@18 And maybe you’re talking out of your so-and-so trying to draw some historical parallels between Lloyd George’s coalition government, Churchill’s National Government and the current Government. And as for Churchill’s Government not caring for civil liberties, while defeating fascism, **** off.

Especially as no civil liberties are encroached by Tarquin and Jemima being impeded in the process of smashing up stuff in the name of “sticking it to the man, yah, **** fees, right on, I’m so street, and up the SWP yah!”

24. Roger Mexico

In the 13 years of Labour Government no-one decided to spray “racist warmonger” on Churchill’s statue. In 2000 another Cambridge student gave it a rather fetching mohican and blood dribbling from its mouth, while there was so much graffiti on the pedestal that anything could be there:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/740524.stm

The Coalition on the other hand has enough sanctimonious turds…

Well you said it. (If you’re not going to make sense, at least try to say what you mean).

@22 Technically speaking, “racist warmonger” is not an inaccurate description for Mr Churchill.

It really winds me up how people who want to change things constantly get distracted by Policemen. What does becoming part of a live police training exercise do to help your cause?

Especially as no civil liberties are encroached by Tarquin and Jemima being impeded in the process of smashing up stuff in the name of “sticking it to the man, yah, **** fees, right on, I’m so street, and up the SWP yah!”

Do you think the reason the students don’t deserve civil liberties is because they’re posh or because they’re left wing? Exactly how working class and right wing do people have to be to deserve civil liberties, in your book?

25. Cylux

” Technically speaking, “racist warmonger” is not an inaccurate description for Mr Churchill.”

“I do not admit…that a great wrong has been done to the Red Indians of America, or the black people of Australia…by the fact that a stronger race, a higher grade race… has come in and taken its place.”

“I hate Indians. They are a beastly people with a beastly religion.”

Mahatma Gandhi was described as “a half-naked fakir” who “ought to be laid, bound hand and foot, at the gates of Delhi and then trampled on by an enormous elephant with the new viceroy seated on its back”

” With his lack of principles and scruples, Churchill was involved in one way or another in nearly every disaster that befell the 20th century. He helped destroy laissez-faire liberalism, he played a role in the Crash of 1929, he helped start WWI, and by bringing in America to help, prolonged the war and created the conditions for the rise of Nazism, prolonged WWII, laid the groundwork for Soviet domination, helped involve America in a cold war with Russia, and pioneered in the development of total war and undermining western civilized standards. ”

Oh my god, must be the ravings of some dastardly left winger. Well no actually it is a quote from those fanatically libertarians at the Mises Institute. They rank him with Karl Marx, Vladimir Lenin, Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin as a destroyer of Western civilization. Reality is just so nuanced compared to talking point land.

http://mises.org/daily/1450

margin4error #13; but is it more, or less, dangerous than batons-shields-horses?

I look forward to the IPCC investigation on Alfie Meadows.

But he is not, at 20, a “young boy”.

31. DisgustedOfTunbridgeWells

Do you think the reason the students don’t deserve civil liberties is because they’re posh or because they’re left wing? Exactly how working class and right wing do people have to be to deserve civil liberties, in your book?

Well, unless you’re this pensioner that lives across the road from me who is too scared to leave the house because of feral youths or my auntie the asset rich, cash poor widow who bought a seven bedroom house in Belgravia for a bag of broken biscuits in 1951 or Dave, my builder mate who’s being forced out of business by eastern Europeans.

You don’t deserve anything, obviously.

@28 That Mises link is a bit weird. Are they really credible?

I think the strategy actually went like this. Torygraph diehards call for the use of water cannons. The police put up someone to say they wouldn’t be seen dead using them on British citizens on the mainland. Middle England sits back reassured that the police are “for” them and only against those naughty immature rioters who upset Prince Charles. Kettling instantly becomes a “moderate and proportionate” response and policemen continue to batter children round the head with their truncheons. Job done.

If you could point to any battered “children”…?

Modern water cannons operate at a sufficiently high pressure to break bones and take out eyeballs, some manufacturers are experimenting with adding salt to create a denser stream (others are attempting to chill the water for use in cold weather and others are attempting to electrify the water). Apart from their danger the big problem is that they are indiscriminate and punish those who may simply be near any violence. They aren’t really suitable for use in narrow streets or confined spaces because of the damage they cause to property – vehicles and shops don’t respond well to high pressure water, especially if dye or salt is added.

Here’s a radical idea, have politicians that are democratically accountable, honour pledges and respond to public opinion, then there wouldn’t be the sense of powerless frustration that fuels violence

@32 Credible? I’m unsure. The quotes they attribute to Churchill are accurate and can be found elsewhere (hence my sarky post about “racist warmonger” being a glove that fits), but whether their conclusions are equally solid, is another matter entirely.

‘Well in 13 years they never used them. Through the may-day riots they didn’t use them. Through fees protests they didn’t use them. The anti-war marches or the fox-hunting protests and even the fuel barricades.’

No, but they did allow the police to operate a shoot to kill policy for terrorist ‘suspects’.

So now lefty trolls like sally are justifying the damage done to the statue of Churchill by pointing out he may have been a bit racist. Never mind the fact that he led this nation to defeat the most racist political force in history.

I wouldn’t be surprised if, at all their sit-ins and “occupations”, plans are being made to send lots of wheelchair-bound students to the front of the line at the next protest, to ensure you can get lots of footage of policemen hitting those students. I’m sure the entire student/anti-cuts movement is praying Alfie Meadows doesn’t make it, so he can become 2010’s Ian Tomlinson. You lot disgust me.

@38 dmob

You’re not really up on what trolls are, are you?

@38: “You lot disgust me.”

A stark finding by the latest British Social Attitudes Survey as reported today by mainstream media:

“Meanwhile, the level of distrust in politicians has soared. Some 40 per cent ‘almost never’ trust government to put the national interest first, compared with 11 per cent in 1987. And in 1983, 90 per cent believed banks to be well run. Now only 19 per cent do, their reputation below that of even the press.”
http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/cfc8eba6-0610-11e0-976b-00144feabdc0.html#axzz17zKiA0FI

“A major report published today found four in 10 people no longer trusted politicians to put the national interest first and the majority of voters believed MPs never told the truth.”
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/8197672/British-Social-Attitudes-survey-trust-in-politics-hits-new-low-over-MPs-expenses-scandal.html

That is probably none too surprising in the light of this news from last February:

More than half of MPs guilty of over-claiming expenses
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/mps-expenses/7161198/More-than-half-of-MPs-guilty-of-over-claiming-expenses.html

41. Margin4error

29 Jason

I would say more dangerous – partly because I never accidentally ended up on the wrong end of a batton charge – but also because at its core, a baton charge is a bunch of individuals making decisions according to a commander’s aim to tackle violent offenders. They make bad decisions in some cases – but that is about poor training before the event, and poor discipline procedure after the event.

A water cannon is unweidly, violent, and utterly impossible to target accurately enough to impact only on the violent alone. In other words – it is a concious decision by a commander to call for an attack on innocent and law-abiding people, along with trouble makers.

And that makes it a terrible move.

“The fact is that Sunny and sally are positively salivating for the government to become more forthright in “crushing this glorious uprising”

Oh look the little brownsirt is projecting.

I see the trolls still haven’t addressed that “Truth About Water Cannons” link. I presume they didn’t read it.

It contains a photo of a man who took a water cannon blast in the face at a protest in Germany. Both his eyes were ripped out. Still think they should be used here?

This Coalition is not just The Nasty Party it is The Evil Party, it will be Water Cannon first and then it will be Plastic Bullets next.

Well it’s going to be a while before we see water cannon being deployed on the mainland IMO, as the mainland forces don’t have any and they would need to lease them from the Police Service of Northern Ireland, and at a time of budget cuts that just wouldn’t make sense.

Plus the police view the problem as small violent groups contained within the general protest that egg the crowd on but run off as soon as the police zero in on them. Sir Hugh Orde speaking in the daily mail said:

‘The tactics used over the last week have been that small groups of very violent people have embedded themselves in large groups of very peaceful people and to try to use water cannon in that situation would be very difficult and would upset an awful lot of people.’

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1337954/Tuition-fees-riots-Police-use-water-cannon-disperse-protester.html#ixzz180Nu7OQU

Plus having water cannon available doesn’t mean that it would be used. It would be up to the Gold commander in charge of the operation to decide and defend the use of water cannon as he/she would have to do if baton rounds where used, not a mediocre knee-jerking Home Secretary.

46. sinead connolly

some points….

1–labour werent contemplating raising fees
2–HRH’s security should be sacked
3– pre emptive kettling is probably illegal,as if nothing other than the legal right to free assembly is being exercised then pre emptive kettling infringes this, I wonder if “liberty” are prepared to challenge this (or so they prefer their own “libertarian” agenda?)?
4—where were the calls for water cannon when the countryside alliance rioted — for all things–the right to engage in bloodsport with hounds(quite apart from the fact that they wont even get out of bed to save rural schools, post offices and pubs etc)? Oh yes- labour were in power then.

OH AND A FINAL POINT…. all you lot engaging in insulting each other.. your all trolls.

We should not be using water cannon to police protests. Have blogged about it here:

http://www.platform10.org/2010/12/water-cannons-should-not-be-used-to-police-protests/

@4 – Jason, you ask “What’s so bad about water cannons, out of interest?”

Have a look at the photo here of someone hit in the face by one in Germany:
http://reallyopenuniversity.wordpress.com/2010/12/13/the-truth-about-water-cannons/

They don’t just make you wet & cold.

pre emptive kettling is probably illegal,

It depends on the circumstances.

It really winds me up how people who want to change things constantly get distracted by Policemen. What does becoming part of a live police training exercise do to help your cause?
That’s dave bones @ 26. Good point i think.

Anyway, there’s going to be no water cannon anytime soon, so this is really a thread about something that was said in the Daily Mail reader’s comments section.

If you want to see places where water cannon might be needed, just look up ”Ardoyne riots” on youtube. Not these soft student demos.


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    RT @leedsucu: RT @AdamBienkov Theresa May "won't stand in the way" of water canons. I bet she won't. http://bit.ly/h4LV5E << We wi …

  68. Ira

    RT @AdamBienkov: Theresa May "won't stand in the way" of water canons. I bet she won't. http://bit.ly/h4LV5E

  69. Jay Stringer

    RT @AdamBienkov: Theresa May "won't stand in the way" of water canons. I bet she won't. http://bit.ly/h4LV5E

  70. Lauren G

    RT @Ceilidhann: Hey Theresa May, water cannons? That #torypolicestate hashtag isn't ironic, y'know? http://bit.ly/h4LV5E #fuckyoucoalition

  71. jongoodbun

    RT @leedsucu: RT @AdamBienkov Theresa May "won't stand in the way" of water canons. I bet she won't. http://bit.ly/h4LV5E << We wi …

  72. SSP Campsie

    RT @Ceilidhann: Hey Theresa May, water cannons? That #torypolicestate hashtag isn't ironic, y'know? http://bit.ly/h4LV5E #fuckyoucoalition

  73. Kerry Jenkins

    RT @AdamBienkov: Theresa May "won't stand in the way" of water canons. I bet she won't. http://bit.ly/h4LV5E

  74. Catherine Jamieson

    RT @AdamBienkov: Theresa May "won't stand in the way" of water canons. I bet she won't. http://bit.ly/h4LV5E

  75. Samuel

    RT @AdamBienkov: Theresa May "won't stand in the way" of water canons. I bet she won't. http://bit.ly/h4LV5E

  76. Mike Ranscombe

    RT @AdamBienkov: Theresa May "won't stand in the way" of water canons. I bet she won't. http://bit.ly/h4LV5E

  77. Jacob Richardson

    RT @AdamBienkov: Theresa May "won't stand in the way" of water canons. I bet she won't. http://bit.ly/h4LV5E

  78. Edward Clarke

    RT @AdamBienkov: Theresa May "won't stand in the way" of water canons. I bet she won't. http://bit.ly/h4LV5E

  79. RichardHaro

    RT @libcon: Civil liberties friendly Coalition wants water cannons for protesters http://bit.ly/h4LV5E

  80. Loose Cannons « Paperback Rioter

    […] on the left are rightly shocked that a government could even consider such tactics against peaceful protesters. There are a number […]

  81. Loose Cannons….. « Broad Left Blogging

    […] on the left are rightly shocked that a government could even consider such tactics against peaceful protesters. There are a number […]

  82. Emilee Torres

    'Pro-liberties' Coalition wants water cannons | Liberal Conspiracy http://bit.ly/iPEJKY





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