Terrorism does not change the rules


by Sunny
22nd January, 2008 at 5:30 pm    

My article today on Comment is Free says that the Labour government is finally making sensible announcements on terrorism policy, now that Tony Blair has gone.

McNulty declared quite starkly that the (previous) government made a mistake by saying that “the rules of the game had changed”. We have to fight terrorism on the basis of rules and ideas we had built on over centuries, he added. “The new politics is the same as the old politics,” he said.

Consider the significance of what he said: it essentially goes against everything that underpinned Tony Blair’s philosophy. To Blair, 9/11 and 7/7 presented a new state of affairs and thus we had to apparently formulate an extraordinary response. In practice that meant little grumbling about Guantánamo Bay, extraordinary rendition, Belmarsh prison, waterboarding and not to mention the continual slew of anti-terrorism legislation.


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  1. soru — on 22nd January, 2008 at 8:43 pm  

    Would you really support going back to the status quo of terrorist groups acting out of the UK with, at the very least, the passive consent of the authorities?

    If you break down the actual legal changes since 2003, they rest to one fundamental legal question: is it to be legal, under UK law, for a British civilian to kill foreigners?

    Note: I count an activity ‘legal’ if there is no possible path for arrest, trial and punishment for that activity, even if someone was to videotape themselves doing it and send the tape to the police with a note saying ‘please arrest me, my address is …’.

    Some people think such killings should be legal, and there is certainly plenty of historical precedent, usually in the form of people with a middle name ‘of’. But, despite the way the issue is usually presented, it doesn’t seem like a very progressive position to me.

  2. Bert Preast — on 22nd January, 2008 at 8:52 pm  

    “We have to fight terrorism on the basis of rules and ideas we had built on over centuries, he added. “The new politics is the same as the old politics,” he said”

    Does he mean a return to troops and AFVs on the streets, publicity bans for those speaking for the terrorists’ aims, mass internment and treatment of captured suspects that would make waterboarding like a bit of a tickle in comparison? Should be fun.

    Does McNulty have no idea of British history whatsoever?

  3. Refresh — on 22nd January, 2008 at 9:50 pm  

    ‘Does McNulty have no idea of British history whatsoever?’

    He does. They all do. They can’t help but lie – to themselves and everyone else. On the other hand could we cope with knowing the truth?

    I think they will have changed when they hand over Blair et al to the ICC.

  4. douglas clark — on 25th January, 2008 at 4:39 am  

    Sunny,

    Thank God that some sanity has returned to our government. If they stopped allowing extraordinary rendition through our airports, that would be a start, would it not?

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