An irregular, irreverent, post-modern account of the surreal, the ordinary, and the bizarre happenings on and around the Felia lavender farm in Crete

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

The Threat of the Threat of Terror

When a war-monger sticks a Poppy of remembrance in his lapel, a smug "this lady's not for turning" look on his face and in his voice and proceeds to lecture me about the overwhelming need to undermine my human rights and subvert my unwritten constitution you must forgive me but I a remain unconvinced. No, strike that, I remain firmly opposed.

After The Falklands War the sight of Margaret Thatcher at the Cenotaph used to make me sick. Blair is going to provoke the same gag reflex but Blair's hypocrisy is, if anything, more barefaced than was the Iron Lady's.

It seems to me that the threat of the threat of terror is now the most terrifying force in the world. Sadly, this is exactly what I predicted on the day of the New York bombing of the Twin Towers. It certainly strikes terror into my heart every time I see one of the proponents of "anti-terror" legislation rise to his feet (it's almost always a man - Condoleeza Rice excepted) and call upon democratically elected governments to limit the democracy and liberty and human rights that they were put there to uphold and protect.

We live now in a world less free than it was. We live now under a barrage of news about torture in American run prisoner of war camps, America's secret CIA prisons in Eastern Europe, their use of hi-tech napalm on civilians in Afghanistan and Iraq. Blair is complicit in all of this monstrous behaviour - and the justification? It's the only one in town these days: protecting ourselves against this threat of terror. The threat of the threat of terror.

Australia this week passed extremely restrictive legislation only this week using the threat of the threat of terror and this just days after we had been told that several major terrorist attacks had been averted using pre-existing legislation and techniques. If what was there already stopped all of this terrorist activity why do they need more restrictive legislation? The threat of the threat of terror.

This very day Blair will address the mother of parliaments and demand the power to hold suspects for 90 days without charge. His reason for these new powers? The threat of the threat of terror.

Now I probably believe that all 3 leaders are convinced of the need for these actions but it is worth noting that all 3 of them were also convinced that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction or at least that they were prepared to say that they did. And they were ALL wrong: even though none of them is happy to admit it. Why believe them now? Why let them have their way destroying or at least weakening out rights and liberties? The threat of the threat of terror.

Rights and liberties hard won over many years should not be lightly discarded. They are easier to remove than to re-instate. Perhaps you can see why the threat of the threat of terror frightens me so much.

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