Glory be, a mild morning! Since we allotmenteers are all inclined to be ostrich-like the forecast of a return to the ice age has been cheerfully dismissed and all is well with the world. Even the chickens seem more cheerful and, this morning, had more the air of rampaging students than supporters at Old Trafford waiting in vain for the rain to stop. Every book I have read on ‘allotment co-operatives’ tells of a good spirit amongst the members and ours is no exception. One for all and all for one, and not one enemy within. Which, it increasingly seems, is not the case in our national scene.
It has quickly emerged that the bomber who almost caused mass murder in Sweden was radicalised in Britain. Iraqi-born Taimour Abdulwahab Al-Abdaly blew up his car and then himself in Stockholm. He had spent much of the last decade in Luton which, according to today’s press, is a “hotbed of terrorism”. He studied for a degree in sports therapy at the university there and continued to live there with his wife and children.
The appalling incident raises yet again the question of admissions to UK universities, and the radicalisation of students when studying in this country. His Facebook page features an Islamic flag being raised over a world in flames and his website is said to have pictured Tower Bridge engulfed in an inferno.
Just what are the authorities allowing to develop? For too many years our society has been engulfed in rhetoric about political correctness and at all levels the agencies of law enforcement have become paranoid about taking any action which could be labelled as racist. They have quite rightly begun to crack down on such vile organisations as the BNP and the English Defence :League but they are only part of the unacceptable problem. Unless there is a huge crack down on universities that allow violence to be preached, there will be more and more outrages and the deaths of innocents.
It is fine to bang on about the merits of a democracy but protection of the public must take precedence. The authorities have to face reality. At the moment they show few signs of that. There are currently eight suspects held under ‘control orders’ and Nick Clegg is said to be pressing for such ‘undemocratic measures’ to be scrapped yet MI5 have warned that, if released, several will ‘commit acts of terrorism’. And yesterday brought news of what appears to be a ploy to close down the moving events at Wootton Basset which occur as each service fatality is brought home from Afghanistan and Iraq. It suggests that someone in government feels that the constant reminder of a war brought about by lies is provocative and difficult politics. Our dead heroes deserve to be publicly acclaimed, those who feel otherwise are contemptable. Our reaction to such a move, and to actions like those in Luton when Muslim protesters spoiled the homecoming of soldiers of the 2nd battalion of the Royal Anglian Regiment, should be to insist that the coalition finds a backbone, no mean task given that it includes the fractured Lib Dems, and states clearly that enough is enough.
The rule of law must be enforced on every section of the community whether they be students, Muslims, BNP, or mad anarchists. To do this David Cameron will have to part company with Kenneth Clarke who deludes himself that locking people up is a thing of the past. It isn’t. If the public is at risk it is the only way to ensure its safety.
And it is perhaps time to reflect that the people who go shopping in Stockholm, London, New York or anywhere, also have human rights!
TRUST IN GOVERNMENTS HAS DECLINED!
The most comprehensive survey of public attitudes, published annually for almost 30 years, has demonstrated that attitudes in one respect have indeed changed over the years. Surprisingly there is a distinct tendency now to oppose the benefit culture but in most other things there is a belief that things have improved not least in the NHS and our schools. The only national institution to have lost credibility is, unsurprisingly, the banks which are now trusted by a mere 18%.
But the huge exception to the general tendency to see betterment is in respect of government. Or to be more precise, in lack of respect. In the Thatcher years the survey regularly reported that only one in ten ‘almost never’ trusted the government. Today that figure has quadrupled. We are heading for a situation where half of the population distrusts its elected representatives.
This is surely a deeply worrying development. It seems that MPs are seen as pursuing a seperate agenda on issues such as the EU, immigration and the intrusion of the state in every aspect of life. But of course it was the revelations on expenses that did the greatest damage and any government from here on will face an enormous credibility gap.
Oh for a latter day Winston Churchill!
YESTERDAY’S QUIZ ANSWERS; 1. William Styron 2. Malawi
TODAY’S QUESTIONS; 1. Which prematurely aged corporal recorded ‘Grandad’ in 1971? 2. Which ex-Beatle made a triple album called ‘All Things Must Pass’?