While the right has launched its rabble-rousing vindictive against those in society it deems responsible for the riots, the labour party has largely remained level-headed in response. This country needs labour to maintain that position.
For the announcements coming thick and fast from the tories should be enough to worry all of us about the long term direction the government may be leading us in relation to the rights and liberties enjoyed by all in our society.
The labour party has without reservation denounced the appalling and seemingly epidemic levels of violence experienced on our streets but has rightly tempered that with thoughtful views on the reasons behind it.
Indeed, Ed Miliband has himself made clear that he accepts that labour should have done more while in government to tackle socio-economic issues that have afflicted certain sections of society for decades, and may have contributed to the present situation.
So I am concerned that some on the right of the labour party, were I myself normally feel most comfortable, are becoming critical of the party’s present position and what it is saying in response to the riots.
Their concern seems to be that we will lose all reason and damage our recent good form by sacrificing everything on a soft, hug-a-hoodie narrative that the electorate would never allow us to recover from.
They shouldn’t worry.
I believe the people are more than willing to try and understand what is happening on their streets and would welcome the sort of discussion that the labour party has been eager to promote. But to indulge those concerns for a moment what stance would those on the right of the party prefer labour to take?
If the rioters, some as young as 10 years of age, get as far as managing to avoid the water cannon, or being shot dead by the plastic baton rounds our Prime Minister, by his own admission, is in favour of using, what next?
Do we then get those kids evicted from their homes along with the completely innocent family who reside there with them? Do we then have those kids named and shamed prior to being forced into orange jump suits and made to work on our streets as a penance?
Would that be enough?
Or do we then proceed to close down social networking sites to stop those rioters, few in number, from organising more attacks and with it access for 99.9% of the population who are minding their own business and bothering no-one?
Would that satisfy our impulse for revenge on the rioters?
Or perhaps we should impose whole town curfews forcing trouble-makers to either stay indoors or face the consequences of walking British streets including that 99.9% of the population whose democratic right it is to walk those streets, who are minding their own business and who are bothering no-one?
Would that be enough to move the labour party into the apparently safe electoral ground of these reactionary, populist policies being arranged for the citizens of this country by David Cameron and the tory government?
The same policies, incidentally, that are in no way designed to resolve the major problems being faced by the communities in riot-affected areas but rather have been cynically designed to fix David Cameron’s broken, incompetent image in the eyes of an electorate disillusioned by the entire political establishment.
The police were caught out by unprecedented events on the streets of several English towns and cities. They have now taken back control of the streets assisted by the vast majority of those people who want to live there in peace.
I believe we should have confidence in their ability to maintain that control and allow them to get on with doing their job. Instead what we have at the moment is truly remarkable, unbelievable commentary from many on the mainland led by the right.
Britain has issues but it is not in crisis. Let us hope that the labour party doesn’t
make the mistake of following the irresponsible and dangerous example of the government in the search for votes as just at the moment we appear to be facing an unprecedented and quite unnecessary
response to recent events.