The Mid-Atlantic Blog

February 05, 2006

Finally... A Response From The Conservatives On The London Demonstrations

After slightly too much silence, David Davis finally shows the Conservatives' hand on the recent demonstrations against the Danish cartoons.

At the height of the protests on Friday demonstrators chanted slogans threatening more London bombings, praising the "magnificent" 9/11 hijackers and waving placards saying "Massacre those who insult Islam", "Europe you will pay" and "Europe you'll come crawling when Mujahideen come roaring".

Mr Davis said last night: "Clearly some of these placards are incitement to violence and, indeed, incitement to murder - an extremely serious offence which the police must deal with and deal with quickly.

"Whatever your views on these cartoons, we have a tradition of freedom of speech in this country which has to be protected. Certainly there can be no tolerance of incitement to murder."

It's good to see proper pressure begin to be put on these thugs, who give a bad name to both Islam and their fellow Muslims.

Even more important is the pressure being put on the police. Unbelievably (or rather these days inevitably), the only arrests that were made were of two counter-protestors carrying cartoons of Mohammed, because of the threat to the peace. The crowd were apparently too likely to cause problems if arrests were made of those inciting to violence.

Rather ironic, really. Threaten to massacre those who insult your religion and you don't get arrested for potential breach of the peace... because if you do get arrested you might successfully create a breach of the peace. Carry a picture of Mohammed and you get arrested for potential breach of the peace... because the police know that you won't in fact breach the peace at all.

With luck some pressure from the Tories will help to start to reverse this mindset in the police - and if not create enough headwind that changes are made to the police, not by the police.

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