I tweeted the following tonight:
Disappointed by how many of my fellow Liberal Democrats are calling for the Army and water cannon. Property can be replaced: lives cannot.
It got a fair amount of reaction(!). So here are my reasons in a fuller form:
The army is not the police. They are trained to kill and not to use non-fatal force with due restraint.
The vast majority of the rioting is criminal and not political but there are political elements who would delight to see blood flowing in the streets of London due to the over-reaction of the State. They should not be given another Peterloo or Bloody Sunday.
The army on the streets of Northern
Ireland did not deter rioting nor succeed in keeping the peace.
The deployment of the army would increase the the chance of deaths and not decrease it.
Mobilise the police on a national basis to ensure that the Met has the manpower and resources necessary to regain control of the capital.