Monday, November 07, 2005

Corections adn Clarificatios

Earlier this week, I wrote this. You could probably get the jist of this post by reading that one and the comments that go along with it. I just felt the need to clarify my thoughts on it.

The previous day, having seen Safety forced to cancel the vote on the infamous "90 days" proposal, I was in a good mood. I also had a pretty strong suspicion that some new terrorism story would appear in the media the next day. And the first thing I hear on the news the next day? Emergency calls from the 7th July attacks are made public for the first time. I put two and two together and wrote that post almost immediately. That's just typical of this government, I thought.

The Bagged Bear , in a comment to the post, suggested, very politely, that in this case I might be orating from the wrong orifice. In response, I unleashed the astonishing power of the search engine. I realised that the London Assembly had released the emergency calls. Red Ken is hardly likely to cooperate with Downing Street in this sort of caper. And the L.A. had announced that they'd be meeting on 3rd November before the debate in the House had even happened. I thought about it, and I thought about it some more, but I just couldn't see how the government could have manipulated the L.A. committee into playing ball. Could it really be that this was a genuine coincidence? I try to keep an open mind and, grudgingly, I was prepared to concede that it probably was. I commented to that effect on the post.

The L.A. meeting was a fixed; the government couldn't have manipulated it. It announced its intention to hold this meeting on the 25th October. *Chi-ching*

Oh, hang on, maybe I've been looking at this the wrong way round. The government couldn't have manipulated the release of the information but perhaps it could still have exploited it. Perhaps, it scheduled the debate to coincide with the calls being released. They would have known it was going to be a rough ride getting these plans through the Commons.

So, when was the schedule announced for the week in question? I call Buff to the stand.
The business for next week will be as follows:
...Wednesday 2 November—Consideration in Committee of the Terrorism Bill.
Thursday 3 November—Continuation of Consideration in Committee of the Terrorism Bill...
- Geoff Hoon, 27th October
Oh and ah. 27th October. So the government would have been aware of the L.A.'s intentions before they announced the schedule for the debate. It would have been possible for the government to have the debate coincide with the London Assembly meeting, and associated release of the emergency calls, without any form of collusion from the L.A. itself. The bill was scheduled to continue into the 3rd, the day of the L.A. meeting. (Btw, confusingly, "committee" in this context refers to the "committee of the whole House", ie the debate.)

So, I added my new theory as a new comment on the original post. This is my final opinion on the matter (unless I change my mind again).

The human mind isn't well equipped to comprehend coincidences. I think it's something to do with racial memory and living in small groups for almost all of human existence. The amount of information available to people today is totally unprecedented, unthinkable to those who lived only two or three generations back, never mind our distant ancestors. No wonder we all look so baffled all the time. In this case though, I don't think there's a coincidence after all.

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