As today is both the eighth anniversary of the day “7/7” that British born Islamic types murdered 52 people and maimed many others, and the day we waved goodbye to Abu Qatada, it’s worth a review of the circumstances.
Iain Martin, in a basically sound article defends civil servants and blames politicians for creating a society where ‘rights’ trump security:
Yet it is Parliament, and successive governments, that deserves the bulk of the blame for getting Britain into this mess, a mess in which it takes the best part of two decades and cost millions of pounds to get a preacher of hate out of our own country. He even arrived here on a false passport.
The nightmarish modern maze in which this country finds itself trapped was the creation of the political class over many decades. Yes, civil servants assisted, and no doubt sometimes they exceeded their brief or tried to push a minister in a particular direction in a negotiation.
But in the end it was all signed up to, or waved through Parliament, by politicians who were either not paying attention or who were gripped by the dangerous idea that international obligations must trump British law and institutions. Very few elected or unelected members of the political class said stop, or seemed to realise that many centuries of successful constitutional and legal development were being swapped for a very different model, one policed by lawyers according to treaties that turn abstract rights into specific, expensive duties to which a country seemingly must submit, or else. Or else, what? Pariah status. A certain froideur over coffee at the G8. Displeasure at the UN. Oh the horror!
The trouble with this analysis is that it didn’t really happen ‘over many decades’. It happened under Tony Blair. Tone’s response on the day of the bombings included a classic:
I welcome the statement put out by the Muslim Council who know that those people acted in the name of Islam but who also know that the vast and overwhelming majority of Muslims, here and abroad, are decent and law-abiding people who abhor this act of terrorism every bit as much as we do.
Of course Tony, and how wrong you’ve proved to be.
When the UK was previously facing violent terrorism in Ireland, the police, army, courts etc were all very much empowered to do what was needed. Hence the convincing notion that the IRA only went into peace talks because they had been effectively beaten militarily, and through infiltration.
No doubt there is lots of effective espionage going on, beyond ridiculous stunts like Blair sending tanks to Heathrow, but we haven’t really got to grips, until today, with effective, visible, popular deterrent measures for our domestic terrorism problem. On the contrary, for about 10 years we (the government) effectively nurtured it. Until today, we all hope.
To quote Twitter (Jon Ivins): Eight years since 7/7. Never forget the victims, never forgive the perpetrators, their backers and their apologists.
Except that eventually you need to forgive, if not forget. A bunch of mad terrorists however, are one group whose shelf life tends not to be too long, by reason of their employment. It is indeed their ‘backers and apologists’ who are still with us, and still owe us all an apology.
To re-quote the best headline ever, albeit with the blackest humour: “British Muslims Fear Repercussions Over Tomorrow’s Train Bombing.”