Thursday, August 10, 2006


Well, I suppose I'll have to do what every other blogger in the UK is doing today and comment on this:
Aberdeen has fought off its grey image to edge out Glasgow as the happiest place to live in the UK. A poll revealed that friends, family and plenty of green space made people in the Granite City happy.
One-nil to the Aberdeen,
One-nil to the Aberdeen,
One-nil to the Aberdeen,

Oh, and there's also some sort of fuss going on at British airports apparently. It's probably too early to be sure how serious or dangerous this plot really was but it does look pretty real at this stage. I'll await further details before I'm totally convinced though.

Interestingly, the three most recommended comments on Auntie's Have Your Say (as I write this at 9.30pm) are, er, somewhat cynical. That'll be another clear demonstration of what happens when a government constantly manipulates the terrorist threat for political purposes then. WOLF! WOLF! WOLF! WARGHHHH.... Not that the government will pay any attention, of course.

One other thing. This is from the BBC page but it's been well reported all day:
British police said it could have caused "mass murder on an unimaginable scale".
"Mass murder on an unimaginable scale"? Good grief. Since when did the British police start sounding like the voiceover guy from the trailer for a Hollywood blockbuster? They're supposed to be the police, for crying out loud. Is it really necessary for them to endulge in that sort of hyperbolic hysteria? It's not like there aren't an army of tabloid hacks about to give us that anyway.

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Jherad said...

'The survey came up with the results after judging factors such as environmental surroundings, community spirit and the ratio of men to women.'

Isn't that kinda circular? A poll which finds that people are happier living in 'green' areas, when one of the markers for happiness is judged to be whether you ... live in a green area? Not that I'd disagree that I'm happier living in the countryside, but it does seem to be a little self-fulfilling.

Aaanyway, on to the meaty terrorism stuff -

Yes, I'm cynical about the whole thing. Time and time again we've been put through the wringer, with MSM hype on 'foiled plots', and barely mentioned stories sometime later begrudgingly admitting that the suspects had been released without (or only kept on an unrelated) charge.

Yes, I believe that the security forces have a duty to investigate and act on any perceived serious threat (following proper legal channels) - however, the use of perceived threats as an excuse to scare the public, push through anti-terror legislation, and perhaps even bury other news (Lebanon) is slowly but surely eroding democracy here.

'Democracy' as we have come to embrace it, is about more than whether or not we get to vote every few years in a general election.

Mark said...

Not only is the manipulation of national fear levels eroding democracy, as you suggest - it's wrecking air travel altogether. How many more ways are there to get a bomb onto a plane? The Washington Post had a good article today, offering (sarcastically, but only a little) that one day we would show up at the airport buck naked and be given hospital gowns to wear until arrival at the other end of the flight. We already have to remove our shoes and have our nailclippers confiscated, and now we'll lose our toothpaste and bottled water, plus be subjected to an even more intrusive search. Each time they ratchet up the terror level, there are enough invertebrates that cry, "Anything, as long as it keeps us safe", and we simultaneously pay a little more and get a little less. If this keeps up, air travel is going to become completely impractical.