The Knife has already praised Michael Burleigh, specifically his outstanding history of terrorism, Blood and Rage. It really does lift the lid on the whole gamut of modern terrorism, from 19th century America, through Ireland, Algeria, Italy and so on , all the way to today’s genuinely evil cult of Islamic fundamentalist killers. Burleigh is accurate, clearsighted, and puts the boot in where appropriate, backed up by the facts.
For example, the current pantomime villain, Abu Qatada, is specifically described as a provider of fighters to the Bosnian war, a mouthpiece for the
extremely brutal Algerian jihadi Armed Islamic Group (GIA), a serial welfare benefits abuser, an aggressive media influence on the 9/11 bombers, and a European al Qaeda linkman, with particularly shady connections to the Madrid bombings. Plenty of evidence, whether or not he’s been put before a British court.
So, great writer, great book, and great reviews.
In fact, I should quote one of these lavish encomia:
“A brilliant book I would urge you all to read”.
Who was so impressed? None other than Dave himself, albeit as a lowly Rt Hon Member, rather than the PM. Which highlights the problem really.
Even the bloody Daily Mirror thinks that Qatada should be punted back to Jordan, forthwith: we should just stick him on the next jumbo to Jordan and let Strasbourg squeal. Well, quite.
Is it really beyond Dave’s wit to craft a brief statement that allows him to put the national interest above the European Human Rights Act, without formally setting a precedent? Does being the Prime Minister not oblige him to consider the principles that lay behind the Defence of the Realm Act of 1914, or the Treachery Act of 1940, when currently confronting domestic terrorism of such magnitude? The Lord Chancellor’s comments back in 1940 are still pertinent:
It is a very doubtful question indeed whether under the existing law of treason you could proceed against an alien who has come here suddenly, surreptitiously by air or otherwise, for the purposes of wreaking clandestine destruction or doing other acts against the safety of the realm. In as much as treason is a crime committed by someone who owes allegiance, it might be well argued that such a person does not owe allegiance to the British Crown. For these reasons it is urgently necessary that this Bill should be passed
In fact the 1914 Act was re-enacted for “peacetime emergencies” when it suited, with regard to the earlier bout of Irish terrorism in the 1920’s. Perhaps there’s a precedent Dave could chew on.
The increasingly nutty Peter Oborne recently claimed, with respect to Qatada:
If he is guilty of the charges laid at his door, he is not, at bottom, guilty of terrorism. He is a common criminal, and should be treated as such. If this alleged hate preacher is such a menace, he should be brought to trial, asked to confront the evidence, and sent to jail.
All true, except, he does appear to be “guilty of terrorism”, where Oborne seems to be implying that other rules might well apply, such as sticking him on a plane. Which brings me back to Dave.
If you’re going to urge everyone to read a brilliant book, presumably you’re endorsing its contents. Perhaps, seeing how he’s “completely fed up” he should try reading it again.