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Byline: Newton Emerson

IF Napoleon had won the battle of Waterloo, here's how the authorities might have dealt with September's loyalist rioting:

The government would have declared a state of emergency and introduced special powers.

The Home Secretary would have described the rioters as "scum" and called for Protestant housing estates to be "cleaned with a power hose".

All under-16s would have been placed on night-time curfew.

Further curfews would have been applied as required.

Stormont ministers would have issued house-arrest warrants against suspected ring-leaders.

All public meetings would have been forcibly broken up.

Special courts would have sat around the clock passing lengthy custodial sentences on every rioter snatched by the police.

Unfortunately we aren't ruled by the French, so instead of a kick up the derriere our rioters were lavished with cash, compassion and understanding.

Ministers described them as "disadvantaged" and called for Protestant housing estates to be rebuilt with bricks of solid gold. All under-16s were referred to the Children's Commissioner for extra hugs.

Ring-leaders were not detained at home or anywhere else and the courts let everybody go - except the police, who will all be charged with human rights violations.

But what's really unfortunate about this is that while rioting continues in France, loyalist rioting here died down fairly quickly. What a shame.

As usual it's the British approach that gets the job done - but the French approach is just so much more satisfying.


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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Nov 11, 2005
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