It is said that all men are boys at heart and so it seemed this morning when Albert delivered his latest hens to the allotment. Like all living creatures hens are at their most appealing when tiny and the 10 week old Blacktails drew an admiring circle rather like that to be seen at the local baby clinic. As we eventually dispersed to pursue our various duties it struck me that the world would be a better place if it centered around simple things and activities. Sadly it doesn’t, and this morning’s papers lost no time in spelling out once again the horror of mad people on the loose.
Yesterday a bomb was found on a plane owned by UPS, the parcel carrier, at East Midlands airport. The device contained PETN (as used in the failed attempt to blow up a flight to Detroit at Christmas 2009) and mobile phone parts “cleverly hidden” in a Hewlett Packard printer. PETN is a powerful plastic explosive that is colourless, odourless and cannot be detected easily. The total weapon was similar to one found in Dubai and was described by experts as prepared in a “professional manner where a closed electrical circuit was connected to a mobile phone SIM card hidden inside the printer.
Both British and American intelligence agencies believe the bombs were constructed and placed on board the planes by al-Qaeda in the Arabian peninsula. Although the packages were addressed to synagogues in Chicago – President Obama’s home city – experts have suggesetd that the intention would have been to stage a mid-air explosion. Explosives expert Andy Oppenheimer is quite clear about that. He asks “why bother sending packages across continents when you could simply send them from within the United States?” He and other experts believe the intention was to bring down transport planes on to areas of dense population. Let us not mince words, these madmen intended to murder just as many men, women and children as could be achieved by a jetliner crashing down amongst them.
Some theorists believe that the timing was aimed to coincide with the run-up to the American mid-term elections thus speading huge resistance to Obama’s policy in Afghanistan. Who knows? What we do know is that mentally unbalanced evil creatures are hell-bent on mass murder and that in this instance they were not even prepared to give their own lives for the lunacy in which they believe.
The frightening aspect is that security may not be so lucky next time. East Midlands is not the biggest airport in the land but even there over 10,000 parcels go through each night bound for America. And there are many other ‘vulnerable’ places. Lord West, the former security minister, has warned that the Olympic Games will be the “greatest security challenge since World War 2″. It will be the biggest sporting event ever staged in Britain and already an Olympic counter-terrorism programme is under way.
There is a major problem and threat. If the Lib Dems and, to an extent, the judiciary have their way the system of house arrest for foreign terrorist suspects will be abolished. The arrangement exists because such suspects can neither be tried nor deported. The former is due to the fact that the evidence against them comes from secret sources that could be compromised were it aired in court. The latter because deportation could be ruled by Judges to be an infringement of their human rights in that they could be placed in danger at the receiving destination.
Of course everything British cries out against the idea of punishment without trial. But we are now at a crossroads. If we have faith in our necessarily covert security organisations we have to accept that there are dangerous enemies in our midst. That being so they have to be confined whatever the advocvates of political correctness and human rights say. If we do not trust our secret guardians we might as well open wide the doors and let the bombers in.
Without doubt many good people worry about the human rights of ‘victims’ of raids in the night. But perhaps they have to ask themselves an even bigger question.
What about the most fundamental human right which is the freedom to walk down the street without threat or harm. The greater good must surely prevail. Logic says that the only hope is to surrender more powers to MI6 and the rest. The alternative will inevitably be thousands of innocent victims, slaughtered by vermin who recognise no human rights of any description!
ST HARRIET BLOTS HER COPY BOOK!
When I read of Harriet Harmen’s outburst against the Lib Dem Treasury Minister, Danny Alexander, I was reminded of the time when Frank Bough stained his saintly image by a rather worse indiscretion.
Miss Harman’s use of the term “Ginger Rodent”seems to have shocked the nation. Perhaps that is because it came from such a seemingly saintly mouth for I cannot imagine that many people are outraged by the actual words. Most of us are called worse things everyday by staff or passengers on our crowded trains and certainly by fellow motorists consumed with rage in the eternal traffic foul-ups.
But I forget the new world order of political rectitude. Under this we are supposed to assume that the Saint was besmirching every red-headed person in the universe including those supposed to come from outer space. In reality she was simply outraged by the antics of the Lib Dems who are happily doing the exact opposite of all that they promised at the election.
Still, given the general neurosis she probably should have simply called him a rodent. My self understanding tells me that would have been my slightly more cautious approach. I suspect most of us would agree with that judgement!
YESTERDAY’S QUIZ ANSWERS; 1. 1975 2. Foreign Minister
TODAY’S QUESTIONS; 1. Mother Seton was declareda saint in 1975. In which city was she born in 1774? 2. In which country was Oginga Odinga a political leader?