England was tonight bracing itself for yet another night of civil unrest and rioting. Violence and destruction is no longer confined to London and the London boroughs, and has now spread as far as Manchester and Leeds, Bristol, Wolverhampton and Birmingham.
Trouble flared after the shooting of known gang member Mark Druggan last Saturday, who was gunned down by police for the minor offence of possessing a loaded pistol, on the streets of London in broad daylight.
Druggans fiancé expressed her outrage that police had killed her beloved partner and father of her four children for such a trivial crime, and bewildered as to how the police could act so heinously.
A Police source said:
"Look, people are making out that we go around shooting arseholes as and when we come across them. That's just not true. We do tend to always shoot arseholes with guns though. And sometimes with table legs. And the odd tin opener. Or sandwiches wrapped in foil"
As trouble flairs in many of England's major cities, and buildings are destroyed by arsonists, some local people have taken matters into their own hands. Howard Morris, 89 from Enfield said:
"Were walking the streets, patrolling to catch these little beggars and stop them from what they're doing. I was in the home guard you know, and used to do this kind of thing for king and country. I remember back in 1942, during the spring...."
So is vigilantism the answer as police are so thinly stretched? Met Police Officer Howard Marks spoke to me off the record moments ago. He said:
"The public need to be made aware that they are enemy number fucking one at the moment, and shouldn't go out. If they do, they're likely to get worked over. The lads get a bit over zealous on jobs like this, and sometimes go a bit too far, like that fella we pushed over at that other gig. We can deal with the little bastards in our own way. We just don't want an audience, that's all.
But looters and gang members did not seem in the least bit phased by this development. A youth, who wished to be known as Lil'Bastazd said:
"Its all cuz a' the Feds innit. They din av to get involved innit. They is stopin us taxin the rich people innit, and it got fuck all to do wi dem. Innit. So if they iz gonna get tooled up wi dem BB guns, then let em. We iz packin Mac 10's. Innit. (in response to vigilante gangs..) If the rich people iz gonna try and catch us, then let em try. I iz got new trainers innit, so i iz faster than Linford Christie innit. We aint gona stop until Fifa 12 comes out. Innit."
So as the country unravels, i ask the question:
"Did we really vote another Tory government in?"
No. I didn't think so.