THE surprise is that we are surprised. The scenes last Saturday of Metropolitan Police officers using to the limit the draconian powers they were handed via the illiberal Public Order Act were entirely predictable.

Only this Conservative government would think it sensible to give widespread powers of discretion and exercise of judgement to the officers of an institution that for decades has been criticised repeatedly for its culture and conduct.

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And the response of the politicians in London? The mayor’s office has asked for a report. A committee of MPs will investigate. Any reports they produce will no doubt join the others on the shelf that includes the Macpherson Report and the particularly damning report produced by Dame Louise Casey only a few weeks ago to shock-horror headlines and now, it seems, forgotten. We should not be surprised.

Gavin Brown