Iron Horse | Pierce Penniless
The recently deployed portable steel barricades now used by police in London are called by their inventors the ‘Iron Horse‘. Nothing particularly surprising about that: the lexis of armament-builders is replete with cod-medievalism, presumably in the pursuit of some chivalric burnish for the grim and impersonal tasks of securitisation, sterilisation and repression. It gives one some pause to consider what squalid private fantasies about nobility in the service of the state sustain those behind the barriers.
Yes, Total Policing has arrived in the metropolis, and with it the sense that sundering the link between political conviction and effective action is at the heart of the strategy. In a veritable triumph for democracy, it is now permissible to hold any stripe of opinion within the private walls of one’s skull, but to act on that conviction is to act under the threat of discovering precisely how thin those walls are.