The riots in England: Bring in the army you say?

Posted: August 9, 2011 in Current affairs, Northern Ireland


I am coming to the conclusion that the minimum force necessary to achieve a restoration of law and order is to shoot selected ring leaders among the [Derry Young Hooligans], after clear warnings have been issued. In other words, we would be reverting to the methods of [internal security] found successful on many occasions overseas.

This was from a Memo entitled,  “The situation in Londonderry as at 7th January 1972”, by General Robert Ford, Commander Land Forces, Northern Ireland, to the General Officer Commanding British Forces, Lt. Gen Sir Harry Tuzo. Three weeks later in Derry, on 30th January, Ford was as good as his word.

It’s unlikely there would be another Bloody Sunday in a British city if the troops were sent in to quell the riots but before frightened citizens, business people and football players (!!!) in London, Birmingham and Liverpool start calling for such action they should think about history and the law of unintended consequences when a government uses military force to quash civil unrest on the streets. Things tend to get worse, not better.


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