Posts Tagged ‘Terrorism’
The party mentioned yesterday went on into the small hours. Judging by the number of bottles we hurled into the recycling wheelie we had a good time, but my recollection is vague. I do remember Albert having a fall-out with Mrs Albert, but from that unsurprising point things become a little blurred.
So that morning-after feeling was abroad on the allotments this morning. But at least we are alive. Strange remark? I use it only because we have learned that a member of a terror gang which plotted to blow up Big Ben and Westminister Abbey has been released “on the quiet” after his sentence was cut by judges.
Mohibur Rahman’s five-year term for having al-Qaida magazines featuring bomb-making instructions – handed down in February 2012 – was reduced to four and a half years by judges. Rahman was part of a nine-strong gang who also plotted to target Big Ben, Westminster Abbey and the London Eye in a “Mumbai-style” bomb blitz. The Stoke-based plotter is now out on licence.
The media will undoubtedly make great play of the fact that the sentence was reduced by none other than Lord Leveson. But that misses the key point, which is surely that people committed to acts of terrorism are free to roam the streets at all. Which raises a very difficult dilemna. How can any society condone locking people up permanently to prevent them doing something? But if it doesn’t, how does society prevent the inevitable.
A measure of the problem developing in this country is indicated by a statement from hate cleric Anjem Choudary, 45, who has previously admitted teaching six of the nine Stock Exchange bomb plot gang, including Rahman. He has praised the terror plotter as an ‘upstanding’ member of the community and a “good role model”.
The only consolation the public can draw is that, after release, terrorist offenders on licence are managed through Multi Agency Public Protection Arrangements. But all of the agencies involved are suffering cuts and all are unable to maintain detailed surveillance.
Sadly there is no simple solution. But protection of human rights must apply both ways. At the very least citizens travelling abroad for training in terrorism should be barred from re-entry. And those living here who are not British citizens should be sent packing.
None of us will rest easy at any aspect of this developing threat. All of us would prefer to pretend things are as they always were, all of us would prefer not to even think about the new enemies within.
But someone has to get a grip, we can’t continue to slash police and security numbers yet expect every plot to be dealt with before our streets become places of carnage!
THOUGHT FOR TODAY; ”William Hague may be good at telling jokes, but every time you come to a critical question of judgement he gets it wrong!”……Tony Blair 28/11/1999
Two sunny mornings on the trot. Blue skies make all the difference, suddenly life feels good. Even Albert was cheerful this morning, less so when someone mentioned that, no, this is not the start of summer, merely a brief interlude between monsoons. But for the moment our efforts at attracting bees are paying dividends. There were masses of them around the sunflowers and runner bean flowers. Incidentally there were also large numbers of sparrows, creatures we haven’t seen in this neck of the woods for yonks.
It is on such mornings that I reflect on the greatest failure of collective leadership since the first world war. The Earth’s living systems are collapsing, and the leaders of some of the most powerful nations – the United States, the UK, Germany, Russia – could not even bother to turn up and discuss it at last week’s Earth summit in Rio. Those that did pledged only to pursue “sustained growth”, the primary cause of the biosphere’s losses. World governments, which have performed such miracles in developing stealth bombers and drone warfare, global markets and trillion-dollar bailouts are not even prepared to spend a tenth of the energy they devoted to these projects on defending our living planets. They have abandoned the fight to save so much of what we hold dear; the forests, the brooks, the wetlands, the coral reefs, the glaciers, the birdsong and the night chorus.
Just another example of the folly of so much being entrusted to politicians who think only as far as their next election. But at least we can all draw some comfort from doing our little bit to support wildlife. Every allotment, every garden can make a small contribution and, to quote the dreaded Tesco, every little helps.
What we cannot do anything about is the growing threat of terrorism by British, yes ‘British’, citizens. The chattering classes continue to bang on about innocent until proved guilty and human rights. Meantime, we had an update yesterday from Jonathan Evans, the head of MI5.
Giving the Lord Mayor’s annual Defence and Security lecture, he said that the so-called Arab Spring, so passionately supported by the British government, has opened up new bases for exporting jihad. In almost every uprising it is not democracy as we know it that has emerged but hardline Muslim fundamentalists, inimically hostile to the West.
The result is that the opportunities for British would-be jihadists to seek training in the art of terrorism have increased fourfold. Right now, Jonathan Evans revealed, several hundred Brits are making their way to Arab countries for training. All are known to the security boffins. Equally well known are, he said, individuals “working in back rooms in the UK on plans to mount credible terrorist attacks”.
So since we know the identity of most of these lunatics why leave them to their own devices? That is where Nick Clegg and all the bleeding hearts come into play. We cannot punish peole for intent they say, intent in itself is not a crime. So our whole legal structure is based on the principle that until they actually convert a bus load of innocents to body parts they cannot be apprehended. Result is that the security forces can only match cunning with cunning. Since 9/11 no fewer than 43 plots have been identified and thwarted. But the would-be perpetrators are still free to try again.
Sooner or later the security people will miss one. If we continue to handicap them with human-rights laws that is an inevitability. Surely the time has come to strengthen their arm. Why should it not be a criminal offence for any British citizen to attend al-Qa’ida training camps? Human rights? What about those of the proposed victims?
An emotional response in pubs and clubs across the country is that since these madmen love the Islamist states so much they should go to live there. But that is not an answer, these people are mainly British by birth. The multi-cultural society of which many are rightly proud has a flip side.. They cannot be deported, they belong here.
Yes there are sensible arguments about the need for better social conditions in our inner cities, where housing and employment failures provide breeding grounds for those who dream of Islamic domination. But we are where we are.
Perhaps our dear leader could take time off from talking about policies he may, or may not, introduce in four years time, to consider how thousands of deaths at the hands of the known enemies in our midst can be avoided.
On this issue at least he could rely on public support when Nick Clegg begins to rant about a threat to democracy. There is a greater threat!
THOUGHTS ON DATING; “When I first met Mr Right, I had no idea that his first name was ‘Always’ “……Rita Rudner “I’m a one-man woman. One man at a time”…..Mae West “I took up a collection or a man in our office. Sadly I didn’t get enough to buy one”…..Ruth Buzzi “I don’t know what went wrong between me and my girlfriend – or Tubby as I called her” …..Stewart France “To keep a man you must be a maid in the living-room, a cook in the kitchen and a whore in the bedroom. I hire the other two and take care of the bedroom myself”…..Jerry Hall “I think–therefore I’m single!”…..Liz Winston
My tiny hands are frozen, crooned Tom as we hacked away at the iced-up hen water troughs this morning. What followed might have warmed the cockles of Gareth Malone’s heart, it could equally have brought the men in white coats, were any left after the Lansley cull. Here were nine old codgers at dawn singing in harmony (slight overstatement) at an hour when respectable codgers are still in bed. Perhaps we have finally succumbed, perhaps we are all completely mad.
Our country certainly is. The highest courts in the land had rightly decided that the radical Islamist cleric Abu Qatada is a threat to our security. No great surprise there since every TV viewer in the land has seen pictures of him advocating the murder of British troops and similar treatment for the civilian population. Human Rights advocates point out that he has been detained without having committed a crime, the rest of us tend to the view that persuading madmen to commit murder is about as dangerous a crime as there can be.
Having failed to gain release from the British courts, Qatada’s legal team - how much does all this cost us – appealed to the European court of human rights. The rest was entirely predictable. He is to be released this week and, within a short time, the stringent bail conditions will be ended and he will be a free man. Sources close to him confirm that he fully intends to resume his programme of indoctrination and incitement. Who is running this country?
Theresa May, who is rapidly challenging Andrew Lansley for the loopiest minister award, had a rough time in the Commons yesterday. The attacks came almost exclusively from her own backbenchers, presumably the few Lib Dem and Labour members that bothered to attend are happy that Strasbourg has taken over control of law in Britain. Various Tory MPs demanded immediate legislation to repeal the Human Rights Act and suspend British membership of the European convention on human rights. Not as revolutionary as it sounds since, during the election, David Cameron pledged to do just that and to introduce a UK Bill of Rights. Of course that was before he became entangled with Nick Clegg.
Theresa May said that it was vital that Qatada was not still in this country at the time of the Olympics. Most of us would tend to the view that he shouldn’t be here at all. We wonder how it was that he came here in the first place. He was expelled from the Gulf States and presumably saw Britain as a good operating base, somewhere he could manipulate the asylum laws to ensure he stayed here. In theory all European countries obey the Strasbourg court, the reality is different. We never question it.
Some day soon members of the public will be killed as a result of our blind acceptance of such rulings. The Home Secretary was surely right to say that dangerous terrorists should be in gaol and dangerous foreign ones should be in foreign gaols. But when an MP urged her to achieve fame by ignoring the ruling and deporting Abu Qatada to Jordan, she was lost for words. The truth is that the Lib Dems would not allow it.
And so the dangerous and frustrating practice goes on. This is not really a political issue at all, no one is suggesting that politicians be given powers to deport whoever they wish. But the British courts are perfectly capable of making the right decisions. Both the Lib Dem and Labour parties have turned this into a political issue, but they seem incapable of grasping the mood of the country. Most Brits do not want our police investigations to be directed from Germany, or extraditions to Poland for trivial offences such as cycling the wrong way up a one-way street. Neither do they want European Courts to sit above our Supreme Court which is no longer supreme.
We are in the worst of all worlds. Cameron is by instinct a pragmatist, and he will never press the button whilst his coalition buddies talk on about greater European integration being good with a capital G. The opposition seems blinded by a slavish adherence to its own dogma and will never support a clash with the European courts. Sooner or later they will have blood on their hands.
I haven’t spoken to anyone who believes other than that Abu Qatada should be deported. But many seem to see the control from Strasbourg as a good thing so far as our police are concerned.They reflect the widespread unease at the evidence of the Metropolitan Police being in cahoots with the Murdoch organisation. And more evidence continues to emerge.
Today we learn that it was not Chris Huhne’s former wife, Vicky Pryce, that gave the police the evidence they sought to instigate proceedings against the minister. It was the Sunday Times which saw fit to commit its cardinal journalistic sin of shopping a source as a way of helping its friend Knacker. And Mr Huhne was the most outspoken critic of Murdoch at the time when the government was preparing to nod through the takeover of BSkyB. The police still have friends in News International and are simply untrustworthy. But that is not an argument for surrendering powers, it is a case for cleaning up our own mess.
We face a simple decision on terrorism. We either bow the knee and accept in our midst those who openly advocate terrible violence, or we show a little backbone. Cameron is also a populist and clearly doesn’t recognise that on this issue he would not be seen as the isolated abuser of human rights that the bleeding hearts threaten!
THINGS PEOPLE SAY!; “ Freedom of the press in Britain means freedom to print such of the proprietor’s prejudices as the advertisers don’t object to”….Hannen Swaffer “Most of what you read in the papers is lies. I should know. A lot of the lies are mine”…..Max Gifford “The answer is in the plural, and they bounce”….Edwin Lutyens “He hasn’t been himself lately. Let’s hope he stays that way”……Irvin S Cobb “He’s not unlike Hitler, but without the charm”……Gore Vidal “You have a brain like Einstein – dead since 1955″….Gene Perret “It’s the worst idea since Hitler’s dad said to Hitler’s Mum, ‘Come upstairs, Brunnhilde, I’m feeling saucy tonight”……Hugo Horton, The Vicar of Dibley “A hundred thousand sperm, and YOU were the fastest?”….Jim Highhtower “He’s so generous, he’ll go out, get two blowjobs, come back and give you one of them”….Milton Berle “I want to do something for humanity. ..How about sterilisation?”…….Cher Horowitz and Josh Lucas in Clueless “One in ten Europeans is now conceived on an IKEA bed”…..BBC news website