Let them handle us robustly
Has any word been more abused this week than “robust”? Politicians, journalists and senior policemen queued up to deploy it before a shell-shocked population. “Our response will be robust,” they announced impressively, while somewhere off-camera, England’s major cities burned. “Our view of what the police should do to the rioters is understandably robust,” they told us: a robust view of a robust response. (A robust view—does such a thing even make sense? Trouble yourself not with sense or reason my friend; what is important now is that we come together under one banner, that of robustness). “Robust policing shown to work”, the newspapers exclaimed. And how!
It is a fortunate thing, is it not, that as well as a method of policing that does not work, our leaders thought to keep in reserve one that does? Such foresight! All deserve badges, at the very least.