After the shabby behaviour in the House of Commons yesterday over water cannon, (the PM backed Boris when he bought the cannon, then did a bunk at the crucial moment) Zac Goldsmith showed on London Tonight, he has a good memory, even if if nobody else has. He has just been revealed as a shoe-in for the Tory nomination for Mayor of London.Boris Johnson has been a magnificent Mayor, said Zac. When the London Tonight interviewer tried to criticise Boris over the purchase of the water cannon, Zac showed his grasp of the bigger picture. “No, I won’t be selling off the water cannon if I win” he said. “I remember how scared people were at the time of the riots he said. They were really frightened.”
In every poll on the cannon for Londoners, the city has been overwhelmingly in favour. 90% wanted them during the riots, also tear gas and live bullets. After that, 78% were in favour, and last year, a stonking 68% said Yes. How can Theresa May then say she refused because water cannon might mean damage to community relations with police?
London was ablaze and the police were caught unprepared. Foreign activists flooded over here and attacked the Met with missiles and iron bars, pulling them from their horses. There was widespread looting and businesses were razed to the ground. The powerful jets from water cannon could have stopped that happening, saving millions of pounds. Worst of all, people were absolutely petrified. They begged for protection and the strongest possible police action.
Empathic Zac Goldsmith has grasped the crucial point that sadly escaped Theresa May yesterday.