Today the Metropolitan Police is in disarray. The government is blame-gaming and the government's lockdown policy is in tatters.
Yesterday's vigils across the UK, in honour of Sarah Everard, were peaceful and dignified. It would appear that the vigil in Clapham Common was no different. But, despite that, the operational decision was taken and the police weighed-in to the crowd, arresting attendees, and wrestling some to the ground. This, apparently, was to prevent the spread of Covid-19.
Today, AC Helen Ball, from the Metropolitan Police, issued a statement. Clearly the Met is spooked. Social media is awash with video footage showing young women being pinned to the ground by multiple officers. Several of the video sequences have had millions of views, across the world. Hardly surprising. This is the United Kingdom - until last March one of the world's greatest liberal democracies where the right to protest was sacrosanct.
Last night, in our nation's capital, the Met Police decided to weigh-in to suppress what it deemed to be a protest, not a vigil. In short, its justification for the over-the-top response was based on the claim that it was breaking up a vigil that had turned into an illegal protest - made illegal by the draconian Coronavirus Act.
There is much hypocrisy on display today. From the Mayor of London to MPs and various other lockdown advocates across the political piste, there is much criticism being heaped on the Met Police for excessive use of force. But this all rings rather hollow when, for over a year, there has been barely any dissent in response to lockdown. The Labour Party was clamouring for a national lockdown weeks before the current one came into force. And with the Coronavirus Act comes all the paraphernalia of coercive authoritarianism - much in evidence on Clapham Common last night.
AC Ball's statement, probably without her knowing, is full of dodgy pseudo-science guff. She's merely parroting what she's been told. "Hundreds of people were packed tightly together, posing a very real risk of easily transmitting Covid-19." And, therefore, close-contact violence was deemed necessary to enforce safety. This is policing in the UK 2021 style.
The government is, of course, to blame. The Coronavirus Act must not be renewed. The trappings of totalitarianism contained within it give the police the excuse to use the tactics it did yesterday to enforce rules that most people of right mind consider ridiculous.
The process of dismantling is well overdue. Lockdown is a failed, Chinese-designed, policy. It's not the appropriate means of suppressing a virus. It's killing our nation, our economy and our freedom. It's time that it be locked in the prison of history.