Have the British Government deployed the Army against civilian protestors?
His Grace has been sent a link to a very interesting series of photographs taken during the recent student protests against the rise in tuition fees.
They are stark and disturbing. But he was struck by the one featured above, which appears to show the police officer wearing army DPM combat trousers beneath his navy overalls (clearly visible at the top of his boot - click to enlarge).
Have Her Majesty's Government deployed Her Majesty's Armed Forces against civilian protestors?
Are police numbers 'supplemented' by soldiers where there is a threat to the Queen's Peace?
It is known that some police officers occasionally 'forget' to display their identification numbers in public order situations, such that their victims may not identify those officers who may be a little over-zealous with their truncheons.
His Grace wishes to stress that he neither opposes peaceful protest nor the response of Government to deploy all necessary resources to maintain the rule of law.
But if the military have been deployed to maintain order on the streets of London and mobilised to admonish hordes of stroppy children, ought this not to have been a matter of parliamentary debate?
Since the Iraq War, the Government is now bound to consult Parliament before engaging with an enemy. Is that same Government at liberty to invoke the Royal Prerogative to mobilise the Armed Forces against its own people?