I hope that some of the sentencing overreactions to the looting will be corrected. But I saw one hilarious overreaction last night as Spurs supporters were herded past our flat here from Tynecastle after their match. There was the kind of massed phalanx of police that I haven’t seen since the miners’ strike, with armoured helmets and horses much in evidence. In the middle of this mass, much outnumbered by police, was a tiny little knot of Tottenham Hotspurs supporters, being herded towards Haymarket station.
Having seen Spurs hammer Hearts 5-0, I suspect the Spurs fans were too ecstatic to be annoyed. But it looked really extraordinary, so on going down to the chippie I asked a policeman why the huge escort – Hearts supporters aren’t known for violence against visitors. He replied very gravely that the looting had started in Tottenham, and they didn’t want that kind of nonsense here. So either the police had no intelligence on how many Spurs fans were expected, or they had decided to escort them three policemen to every fan. Scottish fear of the barbarian English is quite a wry concept.