Britain Requests Iranian Help To Stop Rioters
LONDON – British Prime Minister David Cameron, struggling to control riots as they spread through several neighborhoods around London, has sent a message to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad requesting help to control the rioters.
The riots began several days ago in the Tottenham neighborhood during a protest staged after a controversial police shooting. The protest quickly degraded into a violent confrontation with police that grew by the hour. The violence initially targeted the police, but is now unfocused. Widespread vandalism and looting have been reported in several other neighborhoods and police have so far been unable to restore law and order on the streets.
Cameron, who returned early from vacation to handle the escalating crisis, told Mr. Ahmadinejad that, “Your nation has proven itself to be the global experts in getting impassioned youth off the street.” Mr. Cameron seemed to be alluding to the Iranian crackdown against protests following their 2009 presidential election, which many said was fraudulent. “We kindly request that you send a few dozen of your Basij militiamen with motor scooters and some baseball bats to aide us,” added Cameron.
The move has been interpreted by British commentators as a confirmation of the public’s loss of confidence in Scotland Yard in the midst of the ongoing News of the World scandal, which forced the resignation of Britain’s top policeman.
“This is Cameron’s way of saying that the Iranians are just better at policing than we are. They just get right down to business, none of this tea and crumpets and asking nicely to get off the street poppycock,” said political columnist Stanley Featherstoneaugh Ukridge.
President Ahmadinejad has yet to agree, though his assistants have said that they are very seriously considering the offer. They have suggested that they would accept in exchange for the address of Salman Rushdie and a year long supply of ties. A high ranking Iranian official said, “You think us not wearing ties is a fashion choice? We just don’t have any, we haven’t mastered that technology yet.”
By David Epstein