Thursday, August 10, 2006

Don't Mix Your Drinks

With all the chaos involving our airports this morning, I had a rush of Déjà vu.

At the end of last year I started writing a fictional terrorist plot which is almost identical to what we are seeing today. I haven’t added to it recently but it involves a Bank Holiday flight from Frankfurt to London with the terrorist carrying a liquid binary explosive.

I had the idea when I came back with two bottles of wine from Dublin last year. They weren’t given a second glance and with a little knowledge of chemistry and a simple detonator, it all adds up to a very nasty plot which has swiftly moved from fiction to reality.

Meanwhile, I see that Home Secretary, John Reid, refuses to be pressed on which members of our community were arrested and may have been responsible for this alleged plot. It could be the fairies at the bottom of the garden for all I know but political correctness means that any speculation is strictly out of the question.

The last time I was at Heathrow, I watched a mother and her three young children in front of me, "pulled" at the X-ray machine for special attention. Even her buggy was searched and the child removed. And guess what, she was young, blonde and middle class in a Laura Ashley frock. I guess she was the quota search, which illustrates how b***y ridiculous the whole thing is at times.

54 comments:

Anonymous said...

Is Irish wine that dangerous then?

Anonymous said...

I have just returned from Stansted after Easyjet cancelled my flight to Munich. I am one of hundreds of thousands whose holiday plans are now scuppered and at what will be personal financial loss. Why should this be?
The threat to aircraft safety by terrorists in one form or another goes back 40 years and there is plenty of up to date knowledge about liquid explosives that Islamic terrorists have been experimenting with for 5 years.
I am flabbergasted that our airport security is such a shambles that an alert like today's should result in paralysis at all our major airports. The measures to make flights as secure as possible have clearly not been implemented as a general standard operating procedure. Full search of all baggage, no hand baggage, body scans, no liquids, a long list of banned items, and selected body searches should be the norm and well trained security staff and facilities would make this a longer but NORMAL routine.
It is interesting to speculate if the alleged plot would have been successful if our security services had had no clue about it because our air travel security is so poor.

So instead of a business as normal, because our security measures are good, we have chaos and a hysterical response.

The IRA managed to disrupt Central London and our railways in a similar way a few years ago without a bomb being placed but of course if you listen to Bush, Blair and Mr Reid the IRAs campaign never happened as they weren't terrorsists.

Am I cynical in thinking that our current Home Secretary unleashed mayhem today with his leader away on holiday as he has leadership aspirations? Silence from 'Two Sh**s' has been deafening.

tony flaig said...

Your anger is understandable anon 7:06 Our security services should be praised they appear to have acted in a timely fashion to save hundreds of lives endangered once again by What George Bush has called Islamic Fascists.

Suggest you vent your anger in the direction of bin laden and his fellow cowards.

Anonymous said...

7.06 answers his own observations, he wants full implementation of total security and admits it will take longer but then slates security for the 'shambles'. I guess he was in a position where it was taking longer and he didn't want it to effect him. The reason he didn't fly was because of a very serious threat, so okay lets from now on make check in 5 times longer with the additional checks required, let's have security scan everyone going airside and boarding aircraft and I mean a total scan, let's also stop everyone at Immigration entering and leaving the UK. Once that has happened let's have customs stop everyone entering and leaving the UK. Let's also have every passenger processed by Special Branch. Let's then build our airport terminals to five times their current size to accomodate the crowds that will build up as a result of lengthy checks as doubtless the airlines will still want to fly as many flights. If you want total security make everyone travel naked once they have had all their bodily cavities examined strapped into perspex boxes and put to sleep for the journey. If you want total security cancel all flights.

James Maskell said...

Im afraid that Im on the side of airports here. The situation wasnt of their choosing. They simply had to deal with the large amounts of people. Heathrow was absolutely packed and they couldnt go elsewhere. News was slow to come through and I know a lot of people were complaining about that, but telling people that there was an anti-terrorism operation in effect might have frightened passengers unnecessarily.

Scotland Yard and the Met sem to have done a great job in stopping this plot. They obviously had to act because they came across something that told them it was soon. Well done to them and lets hope they go down.

Anonymous said...

Good to see that muslem bashing is alive and well on Thanet Life!

DrMoores said...

Thank you for supplying the list of suspects but I'm afraid several of your comments breached our acceptable use policy - but we would welcome your thoughts again with a little editing.

Anonymous said...

Assume for a moment that, as in the July bombings last year,our security services were not on the case of these british born citizens of pakistani origin and had not received information from the Pakistan Govt about its arrests earlier in the week and that attempts were made to bring down aircraft.

The 'normal' security measures at our airports would probably have failed to prevent a disaster.

Wether we like it or not we cannot rely on 'intelligence'to prevent successful terrorist acts and we must assume that the threat is constant and tighten up security at our airports. Yesterday's chaos was avoidable and sadly typical of the modern hysterical hype that has become a feature of British life.

We can learn a lesson about security from El Al who have managed a constant threat to their aircraft for 40 years;if your security is thorough your planes and passengers will be safe and will leave on time. Most importantly, they will cease to be a terrorist target because they are a HARD target and not worth trying to attack.

Anonymous said...

Umm...........what concerns me greatly is that a good proportion of the airport employees at Gatwick and Heathrow are of the right ethnicity to include some covert radical terrorists.
What can be done about that?
I would be more specific but it might go against site policy, I also would not want to upset any of our Muslim readers, I strongly believe it is a tiny tiny proportion of Muslims who are the (in George W's words) Islamic Fascists causing the problems and we must not class everyone Muslim the same .

Mr Friday said...

Based on the lies and half-truths that come out of this Government on a regular basis, I couldn't help but start thinking about an article in the newspapers very recently where John Reid was making a plea for more powers to deal with suspected terrorists.

Let's just say it will be very interesting to see whether anyone actually ends up getting found guilty of these plots.....

Cynical ? Yes. But it is only this Government who have made me this way.

Anonymous said...

Mr Friday, I think it is a warped mentality that supports and fosters your cynicism rather than the actions of a Government which cannot possibly meet the varying, wavering, and conflicting demands and aspirations of the "great British public". Other commentators here have ably demonstrated the challenge!

If you doubt the reality of the threat we face, and believe this is all part of the much trumpeted Bush/Blair axis in place since 2001, then sit down and present your views to the relatives and friends of those who died in Bali, Madrid, and London. That might cause you to rethink.

Mr Friday said...

I do acknowledge the threat that faces us (although maybe not the scale of it). The fact remains that this Government have used this "threat" to justify taking us to war on false pretences, to try and pass draconian terror laws, supporting America's blatant abuse of human rights at Guantanomo Bay and to justify such appalling mistakes such as Forest Gate, Stockwell tube etc.

As I say, it will be interesting to see if anyone ends up getting found guilty in a court of law.

Anonymous said...

Ah those pesky Mormons again. Anon 8:10 when will people like you "get it?" The people carrying out these activities are not Christians, Jews, Sikhs etc. They are followers of Islam. I believe when they polled British Muslims they found something like 14% were in favour of terrorism. My maths isn't great but I make that a ballpark figure of 420,000.
People like you remind me of fools like Neville Chamberlain. Oh don't worry about Herr Hitler that funny little man with a toothbrush moustache. Nothing to worry about.

We are facing an existentialist threat from Islamic fascists who despise us and our culture. If we carry on trying to brush it under the carpet we will be dragged back to the seventh century. Maybe you want to live under sharia law with a bit of stoning adulterers and hanging the odd homosexual?

As for the lunatics who think this is a conspiracy. Go back to watching your Oliver Stone and of course the US never really landed on the moon!

Anonymous said...

Mr Reid does seem to be enjoying his "war-leader" role and his speeches earlier this week set the scene nicely for him to announce "critical" early yesterday and unleash mayhem on the air travelling public.

He together with his Govt seem to have forgotten 30 years of misery and mayhem caused by a bunch of terrorists within the UK called the IRA. Have the rest of us such short memories that Omagh Bomb only 8 years ago has no meaning?
Can't help feeling that a lot of hype exists in Govt and media.

James Maskell said...

What was the methodology of the poll? How many were polled, when were the polled and what were the questions? Was there any weighting for particular demographics? What was the margin of error? Unless those questions are answered, you cant take the poll as accurate.

Dane Valley Ted said...

I know it might not be o.k,but go to http://www.strangepersons.com/content/item/117804.html

read it and think about it

Pedagogue said...

Could tou help me with "existentialist" threat 3:50pm.

Where has this mis-use of the word come from? Existent or at a push existential but existentialist sounds like Bush or Blairite NEW-SPEAK. An existentialist is one who believes in the philosophy of the individual person acting as a free and responsible agent, capable of determining his or her own development.

Or is this just another example of hyping up a threat and murdering the English language to do it?

Anonymous said...

Ted, its a tempting concept - like it or leave, but I can't see our government going along with it.
If Enoch Powell had become Prime Minister I doubt we would be in the mess we find ourselves in today.
I echo the Australian sentiment, England is a Christian country, founded and developed by mainly Christian people over the last 1000 years.
We liked it that way, don't come here and have kids who get radical and then try to change our country and lifestyle.
Speak English, be British in everything you do and adopt our values, then it won't be a problem.
If you don't want to do that - well, yes, you are free to leave.
Go and see how you like living in a 3rd world country with bad water, earning a dollar a day in the fields, living under Sharia law and a life expectancy of about 38 years.
Does it still sound better than Britain?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 612, if you think fundamentalist christians are any better, any less frightening and fascist in their views than fundamentalist muslims you have a very shallow understanding of religion. There is as much evil in the extreme christian world; they are just a bit less "obvious" and yes, so far they haven't actually wielded any bombs or guns. I wouldn't be surprised to see their time come. Thankfully the UK is now more secular than religious.

And with that vague thought in mind, yes it is PERFECTLY in order to see an apparently middle class white woman being stopped and searched at airport security, or in the street or anywhere else. It may suit most commentators on this frequently and heinously racist and xenophobic site to believe only blacks, browns, muslims, non-UK (especially eastern european) whites and other "unattractive types" commit crimes and should be held as suspects, but it is fundamental nonsense. Fortunately, most thinking people agree. And yes I know that will be branded as "liberalism", with a few insults attached, and be linked to the present Government whom most contributors here detest, but so be it. The alternative to your little englander mentality is worthy of screen time.

As for life under the evil Enoch Powell, yes it would have been different. Undoubtedly brown-shirted stormtroopers and all the trappings of the extreme right he so loyally served. Probably just what many of you would love.

Anonymous said...

Just a point about DVT's comment of 5.58pm, John Howard, despite being the Prime Minister of Australia, is about as representative of Australian views as the majority of you lot seem to think Tony Blair is of yours. He's regarded as bordering on the fascist by many Australians, and panders to the minority view that Australia is going to be swamped by Muslims, perhaps even invaded by Indonesia. Or the Japs (again).

So before any of you xenophobes (and I don't think DVT was being xenophobic, merely pointing out an alternative view) start thinking Australia is your promised land, think again. Besides, they're more likely to accept a young Muslim with a degree in software science or whatever for immigration than some dried up old Pom from Thanet. You lot wouldn't stand a chance.

James Maskell said...

Why was Enoch Powell evil? Because of his strong right wing views regarding immigration and the British position in the world? Yes, some of his comments were harsh (some of the more acidic parts of the infamous "Rivers of Blood" speech for example), but I think a lot of people appreciate the fact that he had the guts to speak his mind, even if it caused him trouble later on. He wasnt a simple foaming-at-the-mouth far right winger. He supported relaxed divorce laws and relaxed abortion laws, which are certainly not far right wing positions.

Theres more to Enoch Powell than the "Rivers of Blood" speech, which in itself wasnt completely wide of the mark. Look at the first line in that speech: "The supreme function of statesmanship is to provide against preventable evils". He has a point bearing in mind the events of this week...

Anonymous said...

Anon 10.46 - please don't be so insulting.
We are not necessarily dried up old Poms on here.
I am a plump Irishman in the prime of life, well qualified and wealthy through my own efforts.
I know James is a young hardworking and articulate man, Simon is neither dried up nor old.
There is also nothing wrong with Thanet which is not also true of the rest of the country, it is in fact better than some parts which is why we choose to live here.
Most of us probaby don't even want to go and live in Australia, a country founded on immigration, just to escape the growing Islamicisation of england.

Remarks like yours are gratuitously insulting and may lead to a resumption of moderation which we have only just come out of.

Anonymous said...

Mr Maskell, it is called opinion. There was far more to Powell than one speech. He peddled racism in various speeches and actions around the country, and for many he was indeed the "foaming...right-winger" to which you refer. Although undoubtedly very popular on this site, very many of us have an equally deep and well-founded loathing of Thatcher, who on several occasions identified with his views. Incidentally, the current speculation that she may get a state funeral when she finally turns her toes up fills me with utter disgust.

James Maskell said...

What is racist for one person isnt necessarily racist for another, so its really a matter of degree. Some people who arent really racists might see some sense in what Powell said about immigration, if you link it to terrorism.

Its fine if someone holds a differing opinion. Im not criticising the poster for that. What I dont like is when people go round with posts like the one at 9:24, without backing it up. Was Enoch Powell ever a member of the National Socialists? Why was he evil?

Powell and Thatcher did seem to be on good terms, though he did resign his seat in 1985 over the Anglo-Irish Agreement.

Pedagogue said...

Enoch Powell was a highly intelligent and articulate statesman whose "Rivers of Blood" speech was based on his wide knowledge of history. What he was talking about was the dangers of mass immigration of peoples from different religions and cultures and the potential for future conflict within a society for many years to come.
The present terrorist threat in this country is posed by radical islamist zealots who are british born and now includes converts. If you had seen the road and pavement by the bombed bus in London last July you would have seen Enoch Powell's "rivers of blood". If you had been in Belfast's Bus Station in July 1972 you would have also seen "rivers of blood" caused by Christian zealots carrying on a cause that began 300 years earlier.

Enoch Powell by taking a historical perspective was warning this country about what was likely to be the consequences of mass immigration. Every Govt for the last 40 years has expended great efforts to improve community relations and promote the concept of a multi-racial society to avoid what Powell was talking about. He was listened to, thank goodness, and except for a crazed minority of racists and bigots who support Al Queda, incidents likely to produce rivers of blood have so far been thankfully few and far between.

Pedagogue said...

Enoch Powell was a highly intelligent and articulate statesman whose "Rivers of Blood" speech was based on his wide knowledge of history. What he was talking about was the dangers of mass immigration of peoples from different religions and cultures and the potential for future conflict within a society for many years to come.
The present terrorist threat in this country is posed by radical islamist zealots who are british born and now includes converts. If you had seen the road and pavement by the bombed bus in London last July you would have seen Enoch Powell's "rivers of blood". If you had been in Belfast's Bus Station in July 1972 you would have also seen "rivers of blood" caused by Christian zealots carrying on a cause that began 300 years earlier.

Enoch Powell by taking a historical perspective was warning this country about what was likely to be the consequences of mass immigration. Every Govt for the last 40 years has expended great efforts to improve community relations and promote the concept of a multi-racial society to avoid what Powell was talking about. He was listened to, thank goodness, and except for a crazed minority of racists and bigots who support Al Queda, incidents likely to produce rivers of blood have so far been thankfully few and far between.

Anonymous said...

Anon 5:36am - Aussie humour can sometimes be misunderstood by dried up old Poms as insulting. In fact it's a tried and tested method of discerning who the dried up old Poms are!

Anonymous said...

Anon 9.08, you really can't stop the insults can you. I would respectfully suggest you stick to Aussie websites in future, and anyway why are you living here with us saddos rather than in the land of sunshine and ice cold neck oil?
I have visited relations in Australia, its a great place but I would rather live here, rain and all, but each to his own.

Anonymous said...

Mate, you're just proving my point! As for living here, well fortunately it's only temporary until I've amassed enough of your British pounds to ensure that I can l buy some prime acres when I get back, and give the other half to the republican cause, of course.

Your relatives in Perth, are they?

Anonymous said...

You are perfectly entitled to your opinion, Pedagogue, of course. But it IS only opinion. In the view of many, Powell was a fundamental racist. He is rightly remembered, by many, as a narrow-minded bigot. If he did have the intelligence which you claim, he could and should have used it to the benefit of society. He didn't. He chose to inflame racial hatred and successfully did so. The efforts others have made since to encourage positive community relations have been needed to COUNTER what Powell and his like created. He is not a person to be feted.

What saddens me is the Powellite tone of this site - the constant references to immigrants, with the suggestion that only they (especially if they are non-white) are the cause of all of Thanet's ills. One only has to look at today (Saturday's) storyline, seeking information about police activity at the Nayland Rock Hotel. At best it is sick "ambulance-chasing". At worst it is exploiting a story behind which there are probably non-Thanet born individuals. No doubt many of you will be outside later with white hoods and burning crosses.

James Maskell said...

Ive just got a coat and an MP3 player...does that count?

Anonymous said...

I am confident you have something more suitable in the back of your closet, Mr Maskell/

James Maskell said...

Im wearing jeans and a T-shirt underneath!

Anonymous said...

Anon 10.08, not Perth,never been there.They are in Cairns and have been for a long time.
Great place, I've been going there for 30 years,even a member of the Bowls Club. Never played bowls though, just drank the Bundy and took part in the meat raffle.
I am not keen on being called a Pom as I'm Irish.
Give your dough to the republican cause? Sounds good to me mate! At least you don't have the Brits occupying part of your country with their army and the Butcher's Apron flying over some of it.

Anonymous said...

You can't get a post on here without a mention of hoodies!

In all seriousness though I was pleased to see the last NF or BNP march along the seafront they could only muster about 200 or so from all over GB, and only a handful were from this area.

I think we are concerned that we don't lose our identity and culture through allowing immigrants to express theirs, and that we seen as a soft target for different sorts of crime by a minority of those immigrants.

DrMoores said...

Are we saying then that the local paper or radio wouldn't be seeking the same information in regard to what may or may not have happened at the Nayland Rock? Does that make them "Powellite" to or simply interested to discover what attracted so much apparent police attention this morning at a location of local interest?

Anonymous said...

You normally heap bucketloads of scorn on the local newspaper, Dr Moores. I am suprised to see you now using them to support your position and the activities of this site.

Pedagogue said...

12.10 pm, you may have a distorted view of Enoch Powell, regarded as the arch enemy by all bigoted socialists I have ever met.
Its easy to hurl the slur "RACIST" at any-one who fails to share the nice dream that we human beings will all get along in tolerance and understanding and happy integration.
Enoch Powell served this country bravely in the greatest fight against facism and racism ever seen and was the youngest serving Brigadier in the British Army during the Second World War. His speech of April 1968 reflected concerns brought to him by his constituents and events in the Uk and USA. Common terms and usage in his language would now be labled racist but in 1968 were acceptable for the time. What was he actualling drawing attention to? The problems of uncontrolled immigration leading to lack of integration, ghetto style enclaves and the real concern that the tolerance of the native community would be severely tested. His perspective as an historian led him to the conclusion that this was not necessarily good for this country. A paragraph from his speech may have some resonance today in view of this week's events:

" Now we are seeing the growth of positive forces acting against integration, of vested interests in the preservation and sharpening of racial and religious differences, with a view to the exercise of actual domination, first over fellow-immigrants and then over the rest of the population."

In 1968, this "racist" as you like to label Enoch Powell, seems to have described the openly stated aims of our dangerous muslim extremists quite well. Like many prophets before him, he was cast out into the wilderness.

Dane Valley Ted said...

I am not and have never been a rascist.
I was looking for information on Shariah Law to try and understand
the views and ideas of Muslims in general and those with extremist views in particular.
I came across the the Australian story and thought it was well observed and written and decided to share it with the rest of you.
--------------------
It makes sense to me that if we can all get on then the world might be a safer and happier place for all our children and at the end of the day is that not the one thing we all want?

Anonymous said...

Sounds good Ted but then you come across nations saying they will not rest until every Israeli is driven into the sea...........................these countries such as Iran are fanatical, there is no reasoning with them unfortunately.
Much kudos to Pakistan for blowing the whistle on the "British" extremists.
Pakistan is of course a Muslim country but seems to be more moderate than many others and professes to be vehemently anti-terrorist, and so it seems to be from this weeks happenings.

James Maskell said...

"saying they will not rest until every Israeli is driven into the sea"

It was worse than that. Ahmedhinejad (sp?) talked about wiping Israel off the map. It was his first speech as President. He had a couple of other similarly hardline speeches, one if I recall in front of the UN General Assembly. He seems to have disappeared from view after his pledge for a standoff with the UN over nuclear power. Its also said that he has annoyed the religious leaders, who are more powerful than him. Wouldnt suprize me if that were the case sadly. God knows how the international community is going to be able to deal with Iran when the going gets tough...

Anonymous said...

and you deleted my comments saying that they "breached our acceptable use policy". Herumpf, read all these others very carefully, you will see that there are more insulting comments than I made.

Anonymous said...

Mr Pedagogue can you explain the following? "What was he actualling" is this an example of Newspeak you refer to or do you need a spell checker?

As for fundamentalist Christians being as fascist in their views as the islamic fundamentalists. Anon 9:24 Hmm let me see, when was the last time we read about Christians flying aircraft into buildings, blowing up trains/schools/pubs? I admit there are some Christian terrorists in the US blowing up abortion clinics but I can't recall any of them going around beheading people. Maybe they just need a cash injection from our Saudi "friends"

Anonymous said...

Pedagogue, rather than assign anti-Powell views to "bigoted socialists", perhaps you should research a little more thoroughly and consider the views of ethnic minority groups and individuals. They suffered years of prejudice and bigoted behaviour, including physical brutality at the hands of the police and the wider community in this country. Powell and his kind inspired much of that.

I realise it is a Thanet Life trait, when the going gets tough in debate, or someone is daring to express a view contrary to the right-wing majority here, to use the "S" word (Socialist) as an insult. But wake up and realise that there are many who are not necessarily Socialists, but who still don't drool with delight (and dust off the Thatcher portrait on the wall) at the latest story involving a non-white and crime in Thanet.

Anonymous 451, you seem to be suggesting that unless there is a complete match between TYPES of killings, then the activities of the right-wing christians in the USA are somehow not quite as bad as those being perpetrated by extremist muslims. That is an astonishing argument, and, frankly, beggars belief. There is absolutely NO difference between them. Further, the Northern Ireland situation has been referred to quite a bit on this site of late, in the context mostly of ill-informed and frankly ludicrous suggestions that the present Government has sought to ignore the terrorist past there in order to magnify the PRESENT security threat. I believe those involved in the Northern Ireland troubles who have killed and injured innocent civilians have done so in support of, and in the name of, their version of christianity. Ample proof that christianity has sat behind a pretty significant list of death and destruction. And that's without digging further into history!

Pedagogue said...

Mea culpa 4.51am! Arthritis in fingers, failing eyesight and complete ignorance about spell checking, all combine to make unforced errors. Word was meant to be "actually". I have asked my great grandson to explain the delights of spell checking to me!

To return to another strand.... It is interesting that Government is now insisting that airlines maintain the improved security measures at airports as earlier contributors were arguing for above. This will of course require more trained staff to be employed at greater cost and it is not surprising that some airlines are bleating that it is not sustainable. Their profits seem to be more important than providing a safe terrorist free flying experience for their passengers.
The BBC is now talking about airlines adopting EL AL security measures that includes threat profiling. It may not be PC but this means having a very close look indeed at selected passengers such as single travelling men of a certain age and ethnic origin. I can imagine this will cause some angst but it makes sense. If we had a spate of bank hold-ups by male pensioners in mobility carts in Northdown Road, I am sure I would be stopped and searched by Kent Police on a regular basis!
I do find it hilarious that for PC reasons we require a mother with infant in arms and her other children in tow to prove that her baby milk is not of an explosive mixture. Perhaps PC is causing the ongoing chaos at our airports?

Anonymous said...

Pedagogue, there have been female suicide bombers. And there is ample evidence that Hezbollah cynically use children and non combattant individuals as "human shields". Just make sure you don't use milk in your scooter.

DrMoores said...

I really don't like having to delete comments but there's a difference between a low level exchange of "insults" and more direct insults likely to offend one religious group or another and that's why I deleted an earlier comment. My judgement call as teh referee I'm afraid.

Pedagogue said...

Dear 7.44 am, it is easy to hurl the abusive term "racist" as our present Home Secretary was implying last week when he talked about a sensible debate about immigration needing to be held in this country. Powell was arguing for this in 1968. Please accept my apologies if you felt my term "bigoted socialist" was offensive.

On the subject of hype by this Government concerning terrorism, surely, to describe the present threat as being "the worst since the Second World War"(John Reid)is just that. Before this country was led into Bush's War on Terror by Tony Blair, the US tolerated fund raising for IRA funds in the US and actively impeded extradition of known IRA terrorists from the UK. The effects of car bombs on people and property over many years in Northern Ireland was as equally devestating in cumulative effect as the Twin Towers atrocity. I must admit to feelings at the time that were uncharitable when I saw the New York Police ( a major source of IRA funding)on the receiving end of what the Royal Ulster Constabulary had been putting up with for almost 30 years. I think it is fair to say that this Government is hyping up the present threat as a justification of its foolhardy and cavalier involvement with the US in Iraq and Afghanistan. British servicemen and women and the UK public are paying and will continuing paying the price for this with their lives.

Chris Wells said...

Christianity, or more accurately, what has been done throughout history in its name has a pretty awful roll call of violence. We start today, however, from where we are, not where we would like to be. Similarly, we start from where the threat to civilian safety is, not where we would like it to be. It may be true that the twisting of Moslem faith by a minority is to blame now as much as the twisting of the christian creed has been to blame before. But it is, therefore, the duty of the Moslem community to deliver extremist behaviour to the authorities, as much as it is our duty to condemn the behaviour of those falsely justifying their behaviour with the christian creed.

Most people interact with the Moslem community on two levels only - on television and radio reporting and when they are in contact personally for whatever reason. On television we tend not to hear from the contented parts of settled community, only those demanding we shape our traditions and community to their law, for example; personal inter ethnic contact is less than many of the commentators would pretend, as Trevor Phillips of the CRE pointed out quite bravely recently.

What grates for many is to hear well paid professional class individuals who happen to be linked to the Moslem world condemning all the decisions and actions of the society that they have chosen to live in and taking full advantage of all the wealth and comfortable living this society offers. Using the freedom of our laws to call for the introduction of more restrictive laws to their cultural advantage. In such circumstance, the indigenous population is often suspicious of the motives of those who have entered the country for what appear to be the economic and social advantages we offer, and then condemn our culture and way of life.

This easily translates into suspicion that ethnic minority culture has loyalties outside the country they claim to have adopted - underscored by the actions of home grown terrorists, which should not be a shock given the nature of encouragement given to promoting cultures and ways of conduct from other parts of the world above our own.

Any action taken for security reasons is open to translation and assignment of motive in such an environment. The liberal element of our society is in crisis between the wish to be secure and the wish to promote the values of multi culturism above those of the country as it stands. Every stop and search becomes an issue, but if the terrorists mainly come from a particular ethnic group, then stop and search is rather more likely in practical terms. The Irish question does have some relevance, in that at the height of the bombings in London many peaceful Irish were stopped, searched, and imprisoned for the wrong reasons. There were miscarriages of justice as well as people who were guilty of terrible crimes who now walk the streets following the political deal. A political deal which many felt, to a degree, rewarded terrorism. It took 35 plus years to bring peace, of a sort, to the streets of Ulster. We have not been able to deliver it for nigh on 60 years in the Middle East, though have reduced it from countries at war to terrorist factions against countries. Historically, no one has ever been able to deal with Afghanistan....

This is going to be a long haul. Many mistakes will be made, many lives lost on all sides. The more we conclude this is a fight for the manner in which we live, the longer it will go on. Are we prepared to compromise the concept of western civilisation and democracy for peace? If not, we must be prepared to defend our way of life and its freedoms, both from external violence and internal subversion: which is the first duty of any government. The ultimate goal of western liberalism was once descibed as promoting everyone else culture and ideas as more important than your own...the whole concept of nation states rests on the principle that one country has citizens with more in common with each other than with other countries. Are we promoting a society here with that as a guiding principle? If not, it is no wonder confusion reigns, and suspicion stalks the land. I have over the last 20 years, worked with pretty much every culture that lives on these shores. The irony is the ethnic minority groups themselves feel the degradation of our culture more than most. Those who made the positive choice to live and stay here chose the values they observe being degraded. What could give further succour to those who wish to promote revolution than visible hesitancy and weakness?

The leaders of the British Moslem world chose The Times to openly link domestic and foreign policy considerations this week. It is a link they may have cause to regret, and may have to answer questions themselves about loyalty to the country they have chosen, and continue to choose to live in.

Governments have to prioritise what they do. Their first priority is the safety of the homeland, without which no other priority can be enacted. After that is secure, we can deal with other issues, but only after. Our support for safety to go about our daily business must be total - and the government must show how and why it helps. Then comes the rest of the issues. If we are at war, and many believe we are, within and outside the country, restriction on freedoms must be accepted by all..all, on aircraft, in airports, on the streets, and in the mosques, should it prove necessary.

Anonymous said...

I've just read all the posts here about Australia and I can't believe the word Aborigine does not appear once!
Or should I use the Australian term "Abbo". What can you expect from a country that still calls Police vans "Paddy wagons"?
Aussie humour?
I'll stay here and laugh thanks.

Anonymous said...

The Irish Question is "When are the English going to stop crapping on us" presumably

Anonymous said...

Chris Wells, you have said pretty much what I feel although more eloquently and at greater length.

I am Irish, brought up a Catholic,yet I despised the terrorism which the IRA brought to the North of Ireland and England. At the same time I could sympathise with the objectives of that terrorism - to get the illegal British forces out of Ireland and reunite the country.
It hasn't happened, and now does not need to happen, thank goodness everyone irrespective of their religion gets a fair deal in the North now.

Therefore I can understand the Muslims who are against the bombings yet have some sympathy with the aims of the criminal extremists.

Its a difficult situation which each individual has to think about and come down on one side or the other - like I did. I joined the British army and served Queen and country, at times against my countrymen who I thought were criminals and terrorists.

Painful but necessary.

Anonymous said...

Great post Chris.

Pedagogue said...

What a surprise to hear this morning that the terror threat has now slipped back to severe as opposed to critical. Seeing Mr Reid and our Transport Secretary saying that this is due to the advice they have received from the Inrtelligence Agencies and distancing themselves from the chaos is interesting. Ever since the Intelligence Agencies were hung out to dry over WMD and Blair's decision to join in the invasion of IRAQ, this Government has happily abrogated responsibility by saying "It's our advisers". Sorry guys, have you ever heard the principle of the "BUCK STOPS HERE" that statesmen of stature followed?

So because our airports are not geared up properly to enforce very tight security(lack of space, lack of staff, muddled advice to passengers) they can now relax standards of security because the threat is now "severe" and thus sort out the last 4 days chaos. Of course this has nothing to do with Mondays traditionally being the busiest day at most major airports.
If I were a regular flier(my age now precludes it) I would seriously consider flying only El Al until BAA and airlines can sort out tighter security measures that work.
The need for very tight security has been highlighted for us by the events of last week; to not deliver it because, administratively, its too much trouble is foolhardy in the extreme and all John Reid's posturing will not convince me otherwise.