To put this into context all other matches including Premiership ones in Liverpool, Leeds and London are going ahead as normal with the sole exception of Tottenham vs Everton. So there you have it, Police in Gloucestershire were worried about a relatively low key game between two teams that have no history of trouble, taking place in a spa Town that has largely escaped the recent violence:
"Following recent events in Gloucester, there is requirement for us to focus police resources to deter and deal with any potential disruption which may take place."Anyway in a farcical and embarrassing u-turn that is completely unprecedented in my 30 years of watching football, the game is now back on, the Police excuse being (my emphasis):
"As a result, it will not be possible to deploy officers alongside stewards in the ground or additional resources in the town centre on this occasion."
"This presents a safety risk for and we have therefore advised the club to postpone the match in the interests of ensuring the safety of everyone involved."
"We have an excellent relationship with the club and are grateful for their support in this matter."
Gloucestershire Police had originally withdrawn their support for the game due to the recent civil unrest in Gloucester and other parts of the country. However, a re-assessment of the situation has now resulted in the police being able to provide the required resources for Saturday's match.The re-assessment being not only clear anger and frustration from the Swindon chairman (link now removed) but that Gloucestershire Police were inundated, via twitter and emails from fans with full and frank assessments that they were a bunch of...how do I put this politely...Jeremy Hunts.
Talking of Jeremy Hunts, Cameron continues his mastery of doing everything apart from being good at his job. Lots of sound-bites today on getting tough with rioters; such as claims that anyone convicted should go to jail - well yes Dave under Section 2 of the Public Order Act they usually do. Apparently also Police will be given powers to unmask thugs - well yes Dave under the 1994 Criminal Justice and Public Order (Section 60), ooh passed by a Tory Government, the Police already have those powers:
In addition, the police may require you to remove any item which they reasonably believe you are wearing wholly or mainly for the purpose of concealing your identity. They can seize such items and any you were intending to wear wholly or mainly for that purpose. This clearly includes removal of head and face coverings. Where the covering is worn for religious reasons the police have to be sensitive about the removal and it should not be removed in public and, if possible, not in the presence of anyone of the opposite sex.And he proposes the shutting down of social networking sites. Quite how Dave thinks he can close down non-UK social sites, stop new ones emerging or anyone accessing the internet without ceasing mobile networks completely is beyond me. Jon Worth, a chap I usually fundamentally disagree with on many issues, has two cracking posts on this today. Not that it stops Tory 'A-lister' Louise Mensch agreeing with Dave and arguing for censoring twitter on...wait for it...twitter.
Despite Mrs Mensch's protestations, the Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Police Peter Fahy defends the medium as on balance useful:
It's beyond parody, and my head hurts, then I see this post from Witterings From Witney:
The "Poisoned Dwarf", as I named [Hazel Blears MP] approximately 12 months ago, compounded her inability to engage brain once again today when, in respect of looters and rioters, she said on Sky "People need to ask, why are they not at school?". Err Hazel, possibly due to three factors: it was the weekend, its was night time and it was school holidays........?White riot, I wanna riot...