Monday, November 14, 2005

No laughing matter

I want to start with a joke. It's not a funny joke, and you've probably heard it before. But bare with me:

Child One: My Dad's the greatest lion hunter in all of Britain
Child Two: But there are no lions in Britain
Child One: See what I mean?

Ok, ok, so it's a crap joke. But what's really funny (or in fact, not funny) is that this joke that I'd feel ashamed to tell a five year old is exactly the same line that the government is feeding to us right now, and expecting us to swallow hook, line and sinker. Replace lion with terrorist and see what I mean.

It seems to me that whenever the government needs to justify more controls, it can always point to how successful previous measures have been at stemming terrorist acts, safe in the knowledge that as they obviously must remain secret, there is little way of verifying whether or not this is in fact true or not. Take for example the evidence which was supposed to swing MPs support for the terrorism bill last week, that two bombings 'like the London bombing' had been averted since the seventh of July. Catchy line, sounds plausible, absolutely no way of finding out whether it was true or not.

Of course, I'm not suggesting that the government compromise it's anti-terror campaign by revealing details, or really even saying that the government is making all this up. But it wouldn't surprise me if not everything that is happening behind the scenes occurs in the quite the same way that we are told it does. It sure sounded highly suspicious last week that Tony trotted out some new information on the very day that information was most useful.

You wouldn't accept it from some supposedly comedic child; don't accept it from the government either.

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