Here we go again. Yesterday, a bunch of ecomaniacs drove a dirty, diesel-powered, decommissioned fire engine into Central London.
They hosed down the Treasury — and themselves — with fake blood and then sat back and waited for the Old Bill to turn up.
And why wouldn’t they? Very little is likely to happen to them. Even when these lunatics are caught, the punishments handed out are derisory. They’re soon back on the streets, up to their same old tricks.
Extinction Rebellion hosed the Treasury with fake blood (pictured) and because they say they were doing it to save the planet, it appears to make it alright. If Al Qaeda claimed responsibility, there would be a full-scale alert and tanks on the perimeter
It turns out that one of the ringleaders was also involved in the plot a couple of months ago to ground planes at Heathrow.
Why isn’t he in jail?
Targeting planes flying in and out of a major international airport should be classed as an act of terrorism.
Last Christmas, 150,000 people due to fly out of Gatwick had their travel plans ruined by reports of a drone in the vicinity.
If Al Qaeda claimed responsibility, there would be a full-scale alert and tanks on the perimeter.
But because Extinction Rebellion say they’re doing it to save the planet, that’s all right then.
Yesterday’s daft stunt was just the start of a planned two weeks of demonstrations, aimed at bringing London to a standstill — again.
In April, 11 days of protests closed bridges and main roads, causing disruption to the daily lives of millions of people trying to go about their lawful business.
Scotland Yard has announced that it is bringing in specialist units to deal with the climate protesters which have been responsible for the blood-pouring (pictured) and setting up a pink sailing boat in the centre of Oxford Circus
The police simply stood aside and let them get on with it. Some even joined in. Remember the skateboarding Plod who became a social media sensation?
Who can forget that ridiculous pink sailing boat bolted down centre stage in Oxford Circus, one of London’s busiest junctions, for days on end.
At long last, the police seem to be taking the threat seriously. Or, at least, more seriously than they have up until now. Which isn’t saying much.
Scotland Yard has announced that it is bringing in specialist units to deal with the climate protesters.
But we’re not talking the Special Patrol Group here. The Yard is deploying officers trained in humanely releasing demonstrators who have chained or superglued themselves to buildings, railings or Tarmac.
The group quickly lost control of the hose and the red liquid sprayed into the road and themselves instead of the building
Can’t have the poor lambs hurting themselves, can we? When Extinction Rebellion first turned London into one big traffic jam last November, I wrote: ‘The right to protest peacefully is an essential freedom in any democratic society. The right to make the lives of your fellow citizens a misery is not.’
Like most of these demos, though, disruption is not an unfortunate consequence, it’s the whole point.
But, for some reason, this Extinction Rebellion rabble is indulged.
I’ve previously contrasted the handling of the eco-protesters with the brutal treatment meted out to Countryside Marchers in the past. The authorities seem to base their approach to demonstrations on what is judged to be the righteousness of their cause.
Thus, saving the polar bears: Good. Kid gloves all round. Pro-foxhunting: Bad. Let’s crack some skulls, lads. Labour’s unlovely shadow chancellor John McDonnell was on Radio 2’s Jeremy Vine show yesterday giving unequivocal support to the Extinction Rebellion cause.
Workers clean outside the Treasury building in central London yesterday. The daft stunt was just the start of a planned two weeks of demonstrations, aimed at bringing London to a standstill — again
If we don’t get behind them ‘we won’t be here’, he declared with all the piety befitting his training as a Jesuit priest.
He had particular praise for the children bunking off school. Of course he did.
What was it the Jesuits have always said? Oh yes: Give me the child and I’ll give you the man.
Make no mistake, eco-fascism is the new religion. Not for the first time, I find myself quoting Chesterton: When people stop believing in God they don’t believe in nothing, they believe in anything.
I can understand union members picketing in support of a pay rise, or to fight factory closures. I can even see the point of the Stop The War demos. At least they’re trying to do something tangible.
But Extinction Rebellion? What is it they hope to achieve? Yesterday they draped a banner over the fire engine reading: ‘STOP FUNDING CLIMATE DEATH’.
What does that even mean?
The Government has already gone beyond the call of duty, pledging unrealistic targets for decarbonising the economy.
What do they expect ministers to do in response to another two weeks of disruption — close all fossil-fuel power stations and ban all cars tomorrow?
No, although I’m sure the deluded hardline tree-huggers who turned out at the Treasury really do believe they can change the world.
Then again, so did the Baader-Meinhof gang.
But for the majority of those planning to cause chaos over the next couple of weeks, it’s simply a New Age version of a Jolly Boys’ Outing.
They’re demonstrating for the sake of it. Look at me, Mum, I’m on Sky News!
And to hell with the misery it brings to millions.
Of course, in light of yesterday’s stunt at the Treasury, the great irony is that ever since Boris, as London mayor, was forced by Mother Theresa to get rid of his water cannon, we can’t even turn the fire hoses on them.
Makes you proud to be British.
Play it again, Boaby!
Still Game! Troy The Gardener
Funniest story of the week came from New Zealand, where a high street sports shop in Auckland played pornography on a big screen above the front door for nine hours.
Apparently, someone had hacked the system, much to the amusement of passers-by.
I was reminded of the episode of the BBC Scotland comedy Still Game, in which the regulars of The Clansman discover an old porn tape featuring Boaby the barman as ‘Troy the gardener’.
They lend it to department store security guard Shug, who takes it to work to watch on the CCTV system.
Unfortunately, he presses the wrong button and the movie is beamed into Buchanan Street, to the delight of late-night shoppers — and the horror of Boaby who arrives too late to retrieve it.
Hellooooo, big man!
You may have missed it, but this is supposed to be Sober October. It’s another of those crass gimmicks, like growing moustaches in ‘Mo-vember’ — geddit? — supposed to ‘raise awareness’ of something or other.
One group who clearly didn’t get the memo was that bunch of City bankers who managed to set their heads on fire during a bizarre drinking game involving flaming sambucas. Call me old-fashioned, but we’re not talking Cardinal Puff here.
Speaking as someone who can do abstinence better than moderation, I see the point of taking a break from the gargle. The danger is that if you stay sober the whole of October, you may end up going on a bender in November and — with the Christmas party season looming — you won’t remember December.
Former Newsround presenter John Craven, 79, is lamenting the fact that children’s TV no longer has room for older presenters.
‘It’s become very youth orientated. We don’t have the Tony Hart figures, the Johnny Morris figures, the John Craven figures . . .’
They don’t have the Rolf Harris figures, either.
And, meanwhile, Jimmy Savile remains dead.