It's a particular irony that those calling most loudly for CONDEMNATION of the weekend's violence in London are, perhaps non-coincidentally, among the country's foremost proponents for the use of violence abroad, on a scale that wholly dwarfs a bunch of angry idiots boxing with policemen.
Like any good citizen, I strongly disapprove of angry idiots boxing with policemen. On the other hand, I'm forced to observe that they aren't using Predator drones or forming kill squads; they aren't destroying buildings with cruise missiles or launching hundreds of airstrikes on a series of nations that they haven't formally declared war upon.
I have only so much outrage to go around, and I notice that no matter how much we all complain about the awful, paint-happy arseholes, it never seems to be quite enough. Perhaps that's because every single hack bitching about the anarchists is aware that, say, the Black Bloc don't represent The Left, and so many are intentionally pretending that they do? It's surely a possibility.
I look down upon rioting and smashing things up, yet - and I'm happy to be corrected here, if possible - the historical success rate of unfocused rioting and smashing things up is arguably much better than that of lunatic attempts to bomb freedom and democracy into nations from high altitude.
Sharp-eyed critics might say, Aha! You're setting up some kind of false equivalence here. There is no connection between angry idiots boxing with policemen and lunatic attempts to bomb freedom into nations.
To which I can only say Oh, really? Because I recall that, when I believed that invading, bombing or occupying all those countries was basically insane, pundits from right across the political spectrum suddenly told me that THE LEFT had gone insane and should be ashamed of itself. When I believed that, say, attempts to bomb antisemitism and support for terrorism out of Beirut and Gaza were doomed to murderous failure, cries from all corners insisted that the real problem was TWO BLOKES AND A DOG who thought terrorism and racism were just fine.
And so on: control orders, Pakistan, the financial disaster and Libya, to pick a few random issues, and now, the Tories' cuts. All somehow revealed that some nebulous LEFT that doesn't appear to possess any political power at all beyond the ability to print articles in low-circulation newspapers was the heart of the problem.
I hate to say it, but it is sort of starting to look like this awful, despicable left is little more than a stick that a bunch of people with a very narrow range of political beliefs beat dissenters with. I throw it out there, for discussion.
So, those angry idiots. I say, come back and ask for fiery denunciations when they're rioting with a multi-billion-dollar armaments budget.
Aha! those sharp-eyed critics might say again - the angry idiots' violence serves absolutely no sane purpose and is in fact extremely counterproductive.
Well, yes. Heaven forfend, that anybody should deploy aimless violence in pursuit of unrealistic political goals.