Like a new beau leaking the embarrassing texts their partner sent to their ex, London Mayor Sadiq Khan has revealed the costs of the three “redundant” water cannon vehicles his predecessor Boris Johnson bought in a fit of pique where he’d promised to “get medieval” on rioters, having failed to get permission from the then Home Secretary Theresa May, who promptly banned them over safety fears.
The obsolete oversized Super Soakers have currently cost the taxpayer an outlay of around £323,000, which includes £19,035 for repainting (because you need your cannons to look the part), £32,004 for low emission zone compliance (because you need your oppressive, aggressive riot-dispersion tanks to be green), £3,109.20 for signage (because you need protestors to know what vehicle they’re coming up against before they’re hit full force in the face by a neck-breaking jet of water) and £970.50 for fitting stereos and CD players (because you need to rock out while you’re brutally suppressing civil disobedience with cool water guns)
Khan plans to sell the cannons, hoping to recoup a little over their scrap value (if he can) and save £175,000 on their maintenance over the next eight years, stating: “We've been left in this position by the previous mayor who rashly purchased them before he even had permission to use them, and now it's my job to claw back as much of London taxpayers' money as I can.”
Essentially the capital’s residents have forked out several hundred thousand on state weapons that won’t even get to be used on them. Thankfully, Boris’ new role as Secretary of State requires very little to no negotiation competency or forward thinking, aside from in trivial matters of international diplomacy, trade agreements and war, so we can all breathe a big sigh of relief.