Sunday, July 31, 2005
"Half the British Establishment seems to have signed up to the League of Friends of Terrorism.."
Of course, everyone can read Simon Jenkins' article, "Panic in the face of fanatics is making Britain dangerous", for themselves.
All I want to do here is emphasise certain parts of it that seem to be so very important to those of us left aghast by the way the press has either allowed past events to be the gospel according to the Home Office - or else remained pretty silent. (The SUN is far from silent: "We've Got the Bastards!" it bawled on the news of arrests - encouraging by example those instincts that lurk nastily in most of us and that need to be kept reined in by (genuine) education and by civilised behaviour.)
The main points I pick up from Sir Simon Jenkins' article:
"a howling mob has clambered aboard the terrorists’ bandwagon ...roar abuse at all and sundry and cloak prejudice in the dogma of necessity."
"what purpose was served last week by police crying, "They’re still out there and trying to get you"?....Half the British Establishment seems to have signed up to the League of Friends of Terrorism."
"That some London passengers were sadly killed earlier this month does not put the security of the British state at risk..... Britain is not at war just because some Arab says so. No amount of tabloid hysteria — or tabloid government — should make it otherwise"
" Given the resources poured into Britain’s police and security services — more than any other country in Europe — Britons are entitled to ask how this month’s disaster occurred."
" If terrorists want evidence of how easy it is to reduce Britain to a crude police state, they need only study the Stockwell shooting."
"Terrorism’s “useful idiots” have had a field day this past fortnight. They have jumped from “nothing can justify the bombing” (true) to “nothing can explain the bombing” (absurd). They have jumped from “Britain’s war in Iraq is no excuse for killing innocent Londoners” (true) to “Britain’s war in Iraq has nothing to do with the bombing” (palpably absurd). They jump from “we must not be driven to alter our way of life” (true) to demanding that we do just that."
"In 1998 the Blair government signed up to the European convention on human rights. .... I never thought that its most determined foe would be Blair himself. In 2001 he suspended habeas corpus and introduced unlimited detention without trial."
"For Blair to suggest that the London bombs threaten the nation’s life (as opposed to British lives) is plausible only if he accepts the fantasies of the bombers themselves."
"On Tuesday Blair abused the judiciary in terms that would do credit to his friend Vladimir Putin. He implied that he would continue to defy the law lords and the human rights convention on the grounds of national emergency, which he claims the exclusive right to define."
"The government has not even begun to prove that the London bombs resulted from legislative impotence rather than from its own incompetence or some unavoidable evil ....judges....must not let government “cheapen our right to call ourselves a civilised nation."