When are dangerous terrorists not dangerous terrorists?
I don't mean when they're white. That's a whole other hypocrisy.
No, this is about the disappearance of two people subject to control orders. These two men are so very dangerous that the government wants to lock them up in Belmarsh high security prison indefinitely without charging them in a court of law. That's according to the government.
And yet, according to that same government - who have no idea where these two men are - they are now not a risk to the public.
In response to suggestions the two suspects could carry out an attack at any time, Mr McNulty said: "On balance, I don't think that's the case at all."Yes, welcome to another edition of the Blair government's favourite game; "Ministerial Doublethink". McNulty has always been a master of this game but he really excelled himself on Newsnight yesterday.
So, are these two men so dangerous that it is necessary to discard a central tenet of our society, the right to a fair trial, in order to protect that same society? Well, it sort of depends...
There were two things which were clear from McNulty's interview.
Firstly, the government is going to blame the judges for this. To paraphrase Macnulty, if those pesky judges hadn't ruled that indefinite imprisonment without charge or trial was illegal, this would never have happened.
Because in Blair's Britain, an independent judiciary sworn to protect the fundamental principles of our society is an unwelcome hindrance to executive power. The notion that such a hindrance is vital in order to guard against the unchecked power of an elected dictatorship is just soooo Twentieth Century. Those who are concerned that the government is destroying our society in order to save it (to borrow a phrase) are relics from the past; they just don't get it. Today, we live in a brave new world. The rules of the game have changed.
The second thing McNulty made clear was that the government intends to use this episode of their own incompetence to make the case that they need even greater powers. Where would you even start to critique that? I think the one sentence says it so here it is again. The government intends to use this episode of their own incompetence to make the case that they need even greater powers. I'd say this was unbelievable but for the fact that it's par for the course for this lot.
The were only fifteen people subject to these control orders in the whole country. That the government has lost two is actually in some way a comfort. After all, if they were competent power hungry, self-serving authoritarians, that'd be an even greater worry.
Tags: News, Politics, Terrorism