The decision by the Speaker of the House of Commons to shut the stable door after the protestors who invaded the Chamber of the House of Commons, by ringing the Chamber with armed Police and clearing the Public Galleries is a strange one.
If unarmed protestors attempted a similar publicity stunt again, would the Police really shoot them ? What sort of a hysterical frenzy would the media whip up if there was bloodshed within Parliament ?
What exactly are the clear cut rules of engagement which these armed Police officiers operate under ? Presumably they are there to counter life threatening terrorists or madmen, but against unarmed publicity seekers, their Heckler & Koch MP5 machine carbines are as useless as nuclear weapons.
If they are not going to shoot them, then they will be encumbered by body armour and weapons, which they will be reluctant to let fall into the hands of demonstrators during a struggle, so they will, in fact be even less effective than the nimble "men in tights", who, did succeed in capturing the intruders within about 10 seconds of their appearance in the Chamber.
One Liberal Democrat MP Paul Keetch, is reporting that one his contituents tried to warn the Police three times about the suspiciously disguised protestors before the incident, but his warnings were ignored.
Perhaps there needs to be, in addition to the armed Police, some physically imposing, properly trained doormen or "bouncers", who are used to anticpitaing trouble, as employed by various London nightclubs. Perhaps there should also be more visible police dog patrols.
Are the authorities going to sanction the use of sometimes "non lethal" weapons like stun guns or pepper spray ? Or would the risk of these being captured and used to create a disturbance be too great ?
Any increase in the use of CCTV cameras within the Palace of Westminster will be of no use in preventing similar incidents, only in providing an idea of what happened after an incident has already happened. Like in many other situations, CCTV spy cameras failed to have any deterrent effect whatsoever.