The passing of wood through glass is a remarkable feat. There are those who believe that royalty can perform miracles – there is a well developed cult around the vain and vicious Charles I, for example. It now appears that the presence of the future Charles III also has the ability to suspend the laws of physics.
The police have now issued extensive CCTV footage of the attack on the vehicle of Charles and Camilla on the fringes of the anti-tuition fee demonstrations, and the media have been replete with more nonsense about Camilla being poked with a stick. Yet of all the CCTV footage and numerous photographs, there is no evidence at all of this attack and all the images show the car windows to be closed – as they would be. One gets cracked but not holed.
There is in fact no evidence at all of any intent to harm the persons of the expensive royal layabouts, as opposed to discomfiting them and damaging their vehicle. It is fascinating that the media continually repeats the “Camilla attacked with a stick” line when it is so blatantly untrue. There appears to be a closing of ranks by the whole Establishment to perpetuate the myth – both the Home Office and St James Palace have deliberately fostered the myth by refusing to confirm or deny.
Personally I would not touch Camilla with a bargepole. I dislike violence at demonstrations. Demonstrations, good, riots, bad is my basic mantra. Attacks on people in a civil demonstration are always wrong, including attacks on the police unless in self defence. I did not join in the outrage at the prosecutions of violent demonstrators after the big Lebanon demonstration in London, because I personally witnessed the group hurling dangerous missiles at police who were neither attacking, threatening nor kettling them. That is absolutely unacceptable.
But a policy as appalling as the withdrawal of state funding from university teaching, carried out by Nick Clegg by one of the most blatant political breaches of fatih with the public in history, , is bound to provoke huge anger. The government reaps what it sows. Demonstrators should not set out to hurt people. But all the evidence shows they had no intention of hurting Charles and Camilla.
I have personally worked closely with the royal family’s close protection officers in organising two state visits abroad, and plainly they too could see there was no intent to injure – that is why weapons were not drawn. They deserve commendation rather than the crap spouted out by Sky News, who seem to think they should have gunned down the odd student.
All of which serves to take the focus off vicious police attacks on students and the use of kettling to detain people who were seeking peacefully to express their views. Kettling people in extreme cold and with no access to toilet facilities raises questions on illegal detention which genuine liberals in government would wish to address. What is it? Is it a form of arrest? What is the status of the fenced pens into which people are herded? Should they not be formalised as places of police detention, and individuals booked in and given access to lawyers? If that is not possible, this detention – which can be for many hours – is not lawful.