It's like the Battle of Algiers out there. I counted no fewer than 41 police vans on, or just off of, Parliament Square. Actually, to be clear, the 41 I counted were merely on these segments:
For all I know there were more on the western side of the square.
If you're on this side of the world, you will be aware of all the recent student protests protesting the necessity that they pay for a bit more of the cost of their underwater basket-weaving degrees which on one occasion devolved into a full-on riot.
As long as I'm writing about it now: I was seriously shocked. I didn't think the British had that kind of bullshit in them. Violently protesting reality is all fine and good for the Greeks, or even the French, who all seem to want to retire on full pensions at 54, regardless of there being any way, or anyone, to pay for it. But I always imagined the Brits to be much more reality-based; not to mention stoic, phlegmatic and orderly! Trashing buildings and battering lovely police officers, in defence of their welfare entitlements, is really not the British style. So that was disappointing.
Though, happily, and entirely suitably, the Prime Minister has promised to put these people in prison where one ardently hopes they'll be violated by cellmates who never had the opportunity of an education. And, amusingly, the Telegraph published a whole series of photos of individual malefactors tools who were too stupid even to cover their faces while being photographed smashing things inviting the public to identify them. Ha ha ha.
Anyway, they've been back twice since then with a great police presence each time. Today was just amazing. Ranks (and I mean hundreds) of really lovely, stolid, friendly Met officers, who cheerfully let me slip through their battle lines on my run. And a sad gaggle of student "protestors" who I would really think should be in class right about now.
I ardently hope student fees are raised exactly as much as was planned plus the full cost of the damages from the other week, and the police operations since. With exemptions for anyone studying science, engineering, computer science, or medicine (or anything else useful to society) and who can prove they were in class during the protests/riots.
On the upside, I got to run in the snow, which is always fun.
And as I type this from my desk right now, the snow has been whipped up into a frenzy, big fat flakes blown nearly horizontal. I hope they're freezing their bits off.