...a blog by Richard Flowers

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Day 2113: One of Our Mad Bombers is Missing (err, or two)


The government has slightly misplaced a couple of people that they supposedly had under CONTROL ORDERS.

Sadly for that nice Mr Dr John Reid this does not even save him any places in prison because it turned out it was illegal to lock them up without trial anyway.

Lord Blairimort has hit back, saying: "Ooooo, scary, I warned you! Control orders are only second best. You should have let me lock them up forever without trial!"

Actually, what you should have done was made sure that MFI, the Security Service, were keeping a proper watch on them. Instead of – as Liberal Democrat Mr Nick Clogg points out – looking for loopholes to short-circuit the criminal justice system.

Obviously this involves paying actual people to do actual work and is a whole lot more actual effort than marching up to the House of Commons and passing ANOTHER LAW.

When is Lord Blairimort going to learn? Making something against the law does NOT stop it happening – you need to go out into the real world (that's the place OUTSIDE the iron gates at the end of Downing Street, Lord B) and actually DO something about it.

Things that you might consider doing about TERRORISM:

First – get some PROOF that when you say people are scary baddies they actually ARE scary baddies. For quite some time, the Liberal Democrats have been suggesting that you could use their TELEPHONE CONVERSATIONS. You know, if you actually catch them on the phone planning to explode someone's granny or fire off a machine gun in a prison (oh, maybe NOT that one) then you can play the tape in court and GOLLY people might actually believe you.

Second – stop trying to score cheap headlines by picking on Muslims. You are only polarising opinion and pushing away the very people you want to represent. It is no wonder that there are now people wanting to set up their own faith schools when the government is always playing on the fears of both non-Muslim AND Muslim communities. Faith schools make the problem WORSE, not better. People shouldn't go burying their children in their own religion – children should be out there playing and learning together, making friends and GETTING ALONG.

Third – just ignore the terrorists for a bit. Publicity is the OXYGEN of these people: they can hardly terrorise anyone if the public is paying them no attention. No, that does NOT mean ignore the problem: we all know how hard the police and the spies have to work and they should be given the resources to DO that work and the rewards that they earn for doing it. You could start by recruiting more officers to help out, paid for by cancelling the I.D.iot card scheme. (The one you yourselves admit will NOT help against terrorism.)

Fourth – just STOP with the BANNING things. Lord Blairimort's solution is always "Legislation, legislation, legislation." Whatever happened to "education, education, education"? Let us reach out to learn more about each other, we have so much to gain from just talking to one another.

But here's one last thought: if you DO have your suspicions about someone (sinister beard, dubious foreign contacts, tape recorded diaries…) but you cannot prove it… aren't you – and all of us – safer if you DO NOT TIP THEM OFF by, for example, locking them up without trial or slamming a control order on them? Is this not what we have surveillance for?

Yes, of course they COULD escape from your supervision if you only keep them under surveillance, but OOPS, they appear to have done that ANYWAY!

You are quite wrong: control orders are NOT the "second best" option – they are the "second to WORST"!

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