Thursday, August 10, 2006

Some Thoughts on Today's Events

Listening to 5 Live and watching the 24 hour news channels it's interesting to note that they are struggling to fill their programmes with anything new on the ongoing terrorist crisis. Instead they are trying to interpret snippets of information and rolling out retired 'experts' to give their views. Many of these people are questioning the tactics of the security forces at a time when it appears that they have scored a notable triumph over the terrorist threat. Obviously there is a huge amount of broadcasting time to fill, but I sometimes wonder whether less isn't more in these circumstances.

The other thing is that we're already getting siren voices criticising the security services. Hang on, criticise them when they deserve it, but it's a bit early to do that when it appears they have done their job very well.

Let's remember, if it is true that ten planes might have been blown up, then upwards of 3,000 people could have been murdered.

I am starting to wonder who the 21 people are who have been arrested. If they are British born our country has some serious questions to face.

As I type this I am listening to Simon Hughes on 5 Live. I have never heard him talk so much sense. Good on him.

Depending on how the rest of the day pans out, I think it will be inevitable for Parliament to be recalled next week for two days - one day to debate the Middle East and one day to debate what has happened today. Sorry for the ramble. Back to work!


Anonymous said...

Why is it that there's so much coverage of "travel chaos" and next to nothing about the people who have been arrested?

Duncan Borrowman said...

"Obviously there is a huge amount of broadcasting time to fill, but I sometimes wonder whether less isn't more in these circumstances."

I agree.

I've just seen a piece to camera from the Midlands giving unconfirmed reports of "asian cakes" being delivered every Friday to one the raided houses.

Anonymous said...

How long before Louise Christian and Gareth Pierce appear to denounce disproportionate police tactics? How long before the MCB start warning about the non-existent anti Muslim backlash? I've started the watch.

Anonymous said...

This is of course the curse of 24 hour rolling news. Every day it's the same thing, snippets and comment stretched beyond any sense and the same few points repeated.

I'm not convinced we're better informed by the networks adopting this method, personally I'd rather hear some of the other news which is happening in the UK and come back to the big story when new facts are known.

The important thing on days like this is, as London Assembly Chair Brian Coleman has said, "to remain alert and report any suspicious activity, whilst not allowing the terrorist threat to undermine our way of life".

Where I think there's some legitimate room for adverse comment is this - the Government are guilty in the past of using the threat of terrorism as a bogeyman to subdue any criticism.

This does increase the cynic's assumption that all high profile anti-terror action is part of an ongoing PR excercise. I don't agree with the cynics - it's clear the police action has potentially saved a large number of lives.

But the government needs to reconsider the way they present their case and do need to understand that instances such as the failure to find WMD and the absence of any chemical weapons in Forest Gate do undermine confidence in 'intelligence'.

Anonymous said...

Woops Duncan has spoken.

I agree - they just are filling up space. Wonder what they will come up with next.

"Asian Cakes" are traditional and rather scrumpcious - much nicer than pizza

Anonymous said...

"Obviously there is a huge amount of broadcasting time to fill, but I sometimes wonder whether less isn't more in these circumstances."

One of Simon Hughes' points applies here, one this missing is clear and consistent information for travellers, couldn't the BBC use their huge news time a little better?

Anonymous said...

Here is my thought.

If it were not for Tony Blair's stupid foreign policy which brings us only terrorists and improves our lives or those of others not a jot, we would have NO terrorist threat.

This is Blair's legacy of terror. Let us not forget it. He is fortunate to have his own jet, dozens of bodyguards, etc., and shortly a lucrative career in USA preaching about how we need to piss off more dangerous Islamists.

The rest of us are subject to our trains being blown up, ever more restrictions on our daily lives, massive delays at our airports, plastic cutlery on our planes, severe curtailment of our civil liberties.

And for what? Civil war and mayhem in Iraq.

Anonymous said...

Colour me sceptical.
The problem is that the Home Office (though not the Security Service - or not to the same extent) has cried "Wolf" a sight too often for instant credibility (the non-ricin plot, that fiasco last month, innocent Brazilians, etc.)

According to the Beeb (if you can trust them) the police are saying that since the arrests have been made, then they don't think anything is going to happen; it's been nipped in the bud.

So why all the distruption imposed by officialdom? Couldn't by any chance be an opportunity to underline Reid's threats to remove yet more personal freedoms in the face of the 'worst threat since Hitler,' could it? A speech made less than 24 hours before this little divertissement and which he doubtless knew was coming.

And if it was *really* serious, surely the police have shot somebody by now? (Always a good yardstick for imagined threats IMO.)

Then there's his change of heart re: immigration, the subtext of which is to persuade Labour supporters that they don't need to vote BNP.

Lots of macho press coverage for the mouthy jockroach.

Could it be that the sub-subtext is "Vote for me when Toni goes down in flames"?

Duncan Borrowman said...

Just heard again... cakes every Friday. Think that may be confirmed now.

I worked in Broadcast news for a long time - but this is appalling journalism - both the reporting and the editorial decision to ignore all other news.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous @ 12:03 ...

Yes - absolutely right - nail on the head ...

We must all remember and remind everyone else, over and over, that this is the Bliar legacy - dangerous foreign policies and an incompetent lack of control of immigration, both giving rise to home-grown dissent and terrorism. This countered by ever more fascistic destruction of human rights and civil liberties.

This is the Bliar legacy ... NEVER forget.

Anonymous said...

Quite right Iain, Parliament will have to be recalled, it is impossible that such a buffoon as Precott remain in charge in such a situation.
And I don't mean Blair take charge either. Its a matter for Parliament.

Anonymous said...

Parliament will be recalled: I can't imagine a decent (in the sense of not-obscene) reason not to recall it.

Blair's holiday is over, unless he wants his reputation to be.

As a Canadian, I'm interested in what they have to say about the arrestees and the reasons they were arrested. I'm very sure there's a lot our governments are telling one another that they are not telling us.

And my godfather is a VP of CSIS. And he still won't give me his damn email.

Benedict White said...

The rolling news reporting no news does not help.

The police do appear to have nipped it in the bud, but we will have to wait and see. It may or may not be Forest gate 2.

As for serious questions, there is one very obvious one. We need to integrate immigrants into this country as they arrive, not just dump them in places and hope all will be fine. That does mean slowing the flow down to managable proportions.

The Military Wing Of The BBC said...

Iain you are right - there is a currently a "solid news void" and it is now starting to be filled with leftist comments linking the alert and shut down to "UK foreign policy".

Comments linking the shut down to UK immigration policy are not of course filling airtime.
The news media will now show its bias, and cowardice, by linking it only to Foreign Policy.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 11:40 -- presumably the reason that 'there's so much coverage of "travel chaos" and next to nothing about the people who have been arrested' is that there's not much to say about them other than that they've been arrested and are being questioned (quite possibly later to be released without charge, of course, if past history is anything to go by) while the 'travel chaos' directly affects the immediate plans of a great many people.

Anonymous said...

I'll believe it when one of the 21 appears in court being charged with a terrorist offence (ie not because his tax disc was overdue).

Remember February 2003? Al-Qaeda was going to launch SAMS from outside Heathrow, weren't they? And Blair sent the troops in. Then it all went away, even though there were no deportations, arrests or named suspects.

Anonymous said...

What is remarkable is how the television 24 hr news broadcasting seems to only wish to run one story full time. We have gone from the conflict in Lebanon 24/7 to this terror threat full time on our screens. And a terror threat it is certainly but aren't other things still worth a mention

Anonymous said...

The "it's all our fault" tendency is already in full cry. "Anonymous" and "vervet" parrot the usual soft-head line "it's all Blair/Bush's fault, it's all Iraq, it's all Blair not calling for a cease-fire".

I'll try to write this in words of few syllables:

- Islamic terrorism predates 9/11, let alone Iraq
- Yes, I can imagine that the UK Iraq policy doesn't help matters but it is not the unique cause
- Islamic terrorists are striking against our way of life not against the policy of our government
- even Osama (a pre-Iraq phenomenon) conflated Israel/Palestine with other causes of his terrorism only after Western terrorism apologists handed him this excuse

I'm curious to know how Anonymous and vervet live with all their guilt.

Scipio said...

Iain, some questions: I wonder how much Blair knew of this before he chose to fly out on holiday? If he did know about it, why did he still go (a deriliction of duty surely)? If he knew, was he allowed to take hand luggage on the plane with him? Did he have to wait five hours to check in (probably not, as it was probably a Queens Flight that WE paid for!). Finally, where the hell is Prescott? Oh hang on - maybe under the circumstances, the less we see of him the better. But what exactly is he doing if it isn't handling a terror crises such as this?

strapworld said...

Round the clock broadcasting has cast serious news broadcasting into the bin.They fill the screen with retired 'experts' who add nothing but say the same things. I also worry that the investigations are in peril of being contaminated by the demand (whose? certainly not mine) for more and more information.

On a very serious note I thank Duncan for informing me about 'asian cakes' and Susanne advising me how nice they are. I must try them!

Parliament should not be recalled until ALL of them accept that the mess we are in is due to THEM! The wars in Iraq (where my son is serving), Afghanistan and the Lebannon, can all be linked to the 'leadership' of Bush and Minnie Me (Blair). He has endangered the people he is entrusted to protect! He should be tried for war crimes!

But we cannot overlook The muslim hatred of Israel and I do not believe (like ANON 1203)
that if we had done nothing such events like today would not have happenned. That is living in cloud cuckoo land. I have for a long time worried about the mind of anonymous and he again proves to me that he believes that fairies live at the bottom of his garden!

and then the extremely important and vexd question of immigration.

When you get cricketers playing for England who happen to be Muslim and Sikh, being booed and called traitors! When whole area's of our towns and cities are resembling towns in the middle east and, until John Reid introduced his 'adult debate' any voice against was shouted down as 'racist' we DO have a problem and we must now show courage and demand that those who cannot accept our rules and traditions must leave! I would also insist that the only language of this Country is English. It is time that we rid this country of the enemy within. Protect our borders as we once did and get ready for the war that will come.

Today is not the end, sadly, as the IRA said after the Brighton Bomb 'we only have to be lucky once'.

I want our politicians to show real courage and steal....I doubt if any have got either qualities!

Anonymous said...


do you have a recipie for the asian cakes?

Anonymous said...

I hope the intelligence which lead to all this disruption is more accurate than the Forest Gate information.

Anonymous said...

If they are British born our country has some serious questions to face.

Comprehensive Schools........

Anonymous said...

If the facts of today's events are correct, the enemies of this country could not have made their point more clearly.

At least last time round the Germans provided their own aircraft when delivering the bombs.........

Anonymous said...

Umm, what is Parliament going to do about the Middle East? And if it can do nothing, what is the point of debating it?

Yak40 said...

anonymous 12:03pm and vervet
Get your heads out of the sand. Read some history. This has been going on for decades, just the methods have changed. If you think withdrawal from Iraq etc will change anything, you're dreaming.
The jihadi outlook is a true obsession.

Machiavelli's Understudy said...

I'll reserve any overly-negative or positive comments until we are told more about what exactly has happened today.

I'll remain suspicious about this 'plot' until I actually see something substantial from it, ie explosive devices. So far, I haven't heard anything about them, despite arrests being made.

Apparently, no firearms units were used when these raids were carried out, so surely we should ask how serious the threat was or how close it was to being carried out?

In the face of air travel being disrupted, I'd like to know how imminent this apparent threat was. With the details we know of so far, it doesn't appear to be something that was going to happen immediately, but then, nobody's telling much anyway.

As someone else mentioned, coinciding with Reid's speech a short while ago, I fear that this is the catalyst for more of that NuLabour legislation we so very badly need.

Is anybody else watching out for bad news being buried, by the way?

Anonymous said...

Parliament will be recalled: I can't imagine a decent (in the sense of not-obscene) reason not to recall it.

Why ? What good does it do when it is sitting ? a few windy statements and a chance to sound like schoolboys after the tuckshop has been pilfered.

I think recalling Parliament in this instance is about as useful as taking a shower

Anonymous said...

Someone above wrote: "an opportunity to underline Reid's threats to remove yet more personal freedoms in the face of the 'worst threat since Hitler,".

The people who need their personal freedoms removed in a permanent and irrevocable sense, are putative terrorists. Even though no crime was committed, plotting it should be a capital offence, and there should be no right to a retrial in the face of overwhelming evidence. Death. Beheading might be nice. But just to show we're not vengeful, lethal injection would be OK with me.

I keep saying this and no one listens, but this and other incidents of this nature should occasion a COLD LOCKDOWN of every mosque in the country. Big padlocks on doors and windows. Total, total lockdown - possibly for a month or two months while the police go in and sift through every single thing on the premises a, including ripping cushions open, ripping up floors, checking walls for false partitions and everything else.

Mosques found to be suspicious should never be reopened, but sold for redevelopment - preferably as pole dancing clubs. This would be effective and draconian because it attacks them where they're vulnerable, their "religion". There should be no mercy. I think every normal Brits (excl BBC and Guardian denizens, but I did write "normal")would cheer this measure.

I would even say that this is war and we should form a coalition government, but given that the Tories are led by Dave ... uh ... strike that idea.

Anonymous said...

And an excellent time for Al-BEEB to re-run their excellent series "The Power of Nightmares", where they explain that all of this Islamic terrorism stuff is made up by evil neocons.

Paul Burgin said...

Anon @ 12:03

The Conservatives initally supported the war in Iraq, these incidents may well have occured if we were under a Conservative Govt..

Anonymous said...

To recall Parliament over what's happened today would be to hand a victory to the terrorists: "Look! We pull the strings and they dance to our tune!"

And what actual difference to the on-the-ground situation could recalling Parliament actually make anyway?


By the way, a little sidelight:

You will recall that Ryanair recently started encouraging people to take all their baggage with them into the cabin, by charging extra for checked baggage.


(They've just dropped it, according to their web site.)

Anonymous said...

David Davis says Parliament should not be recalled as it should not be forced to jump through hoops every time terrorists are exposed and thwarted. I think THAT's the right response, recalling it every time is a bit more Spanish isn't it?

The Daily Pundit said...

Simon Hughes talking sense? Have you been drinking, Mr Dale? You know it doesn't agree with you.

Anonymous said...

For those surrender monkeys that seem to refuse to get the point, I will try this.

When Adolfs Airforce started bombing London in 1940, there was a large minority of cowards pacifists lefties communists and British Nazis who wanted to immidiately surrender to Nazi Germany. Many of which were British MPs. There were George Galloway types in parliament even in those days. The deal they would have accepted included putting my mothers entire family in a death camp. This only largly changed when The Soviet Union became allies.

You do not obtain peace or keep it by being nice to people that want to destroy you. You cant ask the people who learnt this the really hard way, as they are all DEAD.

Anonymous said...

I'd like to support umbongo and I too will try to use very simple words.

1979 Kick-off of current worldwide jihad with take-over of American sovereign territory (their embassy) and kidnap of American citizens (embassy staff)in Teheran. The hostages were held for the final months of Jimmy Carter's term as President and were released the minute Ronald Reagan had taken his oath of office.

1983 - Two hundred and twenty American marines murdered while they slept in their barracks with a bombing in good old Beirut.

1985 - Four heavily-armed Palestinian terrorist board the cruise ship the Achille Lauro and "demand" (god, these people are big on "demands", aren't they?) that Israel free 50 Palestinian prisoners. They murdered an elderly Jewish man in a wheelchair and threw him overboard. (The Americans agreed, but got them later.)

1988 - Khadaffi sponsors a plane crash over Lockerbie, Scotland, killing all 259 on board and 11 on the ground.

1992 - The Israeli Embassy in Buenos Aires is bombed by Iranian terrorists killing 29 and injuring over 200.

1993 - First essay at the WTC with around five dead and hundreds injured.

1998 - US embassies in Africa bombed.

2000 - Suicide bombers attack the USS Cole.

9/11 2001 - Arab dickheads fly planes into the WTC, killing almost 3,000 and injuring and maiming thousands more. They also hijacked a United Airlines flight intending to fly it into the Capitol Building, but the passengers, knowing they were going to die, fought the crew and managed to divert it to an empty field in Pennsylvania.

2002 - Bali nightclub bombed and people having an innocent good time murdered and maimed.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe all these events took place before the War in Iraq began?

Anonymous said...

Iain - The death toll would have been far, far greater than 3,000 dead. They intended to detonate over British and US cities. The death and maiming toll would probably have been in excess of 250,000 and would have produced civil chaos.

Anonymous said...

How convenient that we need a bit of anti Arab feeling

What I find terrifying is that in a straw poll of 18 people (friends) NONE remember the tanks and soldiers surrounding Heathrow at another time of crisis for the Axis (sorry Alliance)

How many of these 21 will be banged up in 5 years time? Answers on a postcard to "Dr" John Reid

Anonymous said...

johnnymiller6 - Let's hope none of them. Let's hope they're all flying flat with their heads pointing towards Mecca. I'd prefer that their bodies be shipped off somewhere,though,and not polluting British earth.

Anonymous said...

A nice unequivocal, down to earth statement from Mr Bush: "We are at war with militant Islam." (From LGF)

Can't say plainer than that.

Anonymous said...

Strapworld said:
'I would also insist that the only language of this Country is English'

Bollocks, unless you are only speaking about England and even then one or two Cornish speakers might want to bend your ear about that.
Welsh is still alive and kicking and Gaelic (Scots and Manx)hangs on too. Irish too if you consider the North still part of the framework. These languages are still in existence and indigenious to the British Isles.
Give them a chance, English as well if you must and sod everything else,
Que pensez-vous?

Anonymous said...

While it's good that, these people being "British", they can be tried for treason. But I think at this point, with so many people changing countries, it is time to do away with a child born in Britain automatically becoming a citizen of our country.

Singapore has never extended such rights to immigrants. The child takes the nationality of his father. When he is 18, he gets a choice (if he is of good character). He can assume Singaporean citizenship, with all the duties - like being in the Reserves and National Service - that that entails, and signs a loyalty oath, or he can keep his father's citizenship, in which case, he will always be a foreigner in Singapore and will need to renew his visa for the rest of his life.

Nor does marrying a Singapore citizen come with automatic right of citizenship. They are very fussy in Singapore.

ian said...

Oh yes. The early signs of the security services doing their job well. Just like when they shot that terrorist on the tube?

Anonymous said...

Verity - 1978 Fall of Shah, French opportunity to supplant Anglo-American influence by sending Khomeini from France to Iran.

Carter impotent observer

Leonid Brezhnev 1976 invades Afghanistan - Carter impotent observer

Mix and stir over decades to get Shia sense of persecution coupled with Sunni stridency

Anonymous said...

Verity, children born in the UK are not automatically citizens of the UK. This is a myth, and I have personal friends who are unable to visit London, the city of their birth, because of it.

I'm reading all over the place that the Bank of England has named 19 of the 21 arrested...but I'm not seeing the names. Can anyone find them for me?

Anonymous said...

Oh, dear - looks like I'm not going to find out the recipie for the asian cakes. Events, dear boy, events....

strapworld said...


Thank you for that. I take it 'bollocks' is cornish for I agree?

ASctually I have two cornish speaking friends. Both speak a different language. Strange that!

I met a teacher of Cornish self taught as he could not find any cornish speakers(lives near Bude)he is english, .

I like local dialects especially the welsh one but there should only be one language in this country and that is English. (It is, after all the international language!)

same to you with knobs on! as we used to say in the school yard!

Anonymous said...


... and I'm interested to know how you live with your myopic arrogance.

I consider all sides and when I take an opinion I express it with passion.

I also retain an open mind to opposing opinion ... and do not feel the need to belittle others with such words as 'soft-head'.

Not too sure why you felt the need to express your opinion in words of few syllables - quite unecessary really. And you failed anyway !

neil craig said...

I have much sympathy with bt's remarks about the number of times the police have cried "wolf" including the recent case where the jury, obviously correctly, decided that all that had happened was some kids making up a James Bond style fantasy about what they would do if in command of an army of terrorists.

However there are 2 points which suggest to me that some genuine information has surfaced. Firstly the involvement of Mr Bush, who would clearly be deeply embarassed if this fizzled. Secondly the non-involvement of Mr Blair. Had this not been a genuinely unexpected emergency Blair would never have left home & been all over the media oozing rectitude.

Anonymous said...

verity ...

If you think this all started in 1979 then you are even more naive than I thought, which is really saying something.

I think you are in much greater need of 'simply-worded' education than I or others.

Anonymous said...


All I (and I think verity - although I'm sure s/he can speak for her/himself) was doing was setting out a few facts - which are, I believe, incontrovertible - for your information. Given those facts it defeats me - although I obviously haven't your insight into the motives of the terrorists - how you can believe that all blame can be laid at the door of the policies of the present government (loathsome though that government is). You might consider that a teeny bit of blame could be attached to the terrorists themselves together with condemnation of the support rendered to them by the moral descendants of the "useful idiots" so appreciated by Lenin.

Anonymous said...

Umbongo / Verity...

Suggest you two meet up at the British Library and do a bit of basic historical research.
You may be surprised to find that there are many other 'incontovertible facts' about this situation - unfortunately they will, in many cases, counter your biased, fascistic opinions.
"Lenins's 'useful idiots' ..." - were, of course, those people that believed everything they were told and regurgitated it with missionary zeal - suggest you take a long look in the mirror, umbongo.

Anonymous said...

vervet- If you use your forefinger to trace the words on the screen and say them aloud as you go along, you will see that I wrote "THE CURRENT ROUND OF JIHAD was kicked off" etc.

This whole Islamic conquest garbage began back in the Dark Ages. Duh. They thought they were going to conquer the West, which was advanced even then. One thing you can say for them, they're aspirational. Doesn't work out, but each time,they sincerely believe it will.

I am not interested in discussing Lenin or doing research at the British Library.

Rick - Thanks! How could I have left out the fall of the Shah and the utter, drivelling incompetence of Jimmuh Caduh?

Raincoaster, the list of names is all over the internet. I think the BBC has even forced itself to run it. There's one convert to Islam. The rest were born that way. They've just arrested "a heavily pregnant Asian woman" (aren't they always?) and taken her away in her pajamas.

Anonymous said...


So, I infer from your posting of 3:10 pm that the facts listed by Verity at 5:20 pm are NOT incontrovertible. I don't think even George Galloway would deny that they actually happened although he might apportion blame differently from me.

Even so, I further infer from your reasoning that I, in my "fascistic" dreams, must have imagined them. If you're happy with that (or even if you're not), I'm content to let the other contributors to this thread draw their own conclusions concerning your analysis of current events.

Anonymous said...

The Sky News interview with the English Muslim convertee last Saturday evening answered it all for me! Sitting there in his white robe, full beard and bobble hat, this slightly half-baked individual refused to condemn the barbaric execution of a Christian converted from the Muslim faith. He also refused to condemn his “Muslim brothers” who may have been planning to place bombs on passenger aircraft commenting that the evil Tony Blair and George Bush are responsible as they had declared war on Muslims worldwide. Reminded that the aircraft would be carrying women and children and why should theses innocents be attacked, he still refused to condemn his “brothers”. The whole demeanour of this man was composed of paraphrases and a degree of simplistic brainwashing.

If these half-bakes can be so easily indoctrinated with these barbaric ideas, how many more of these types are out there dreaming out their fantasy of a sudden death and an appointment with a number of virgins. I guess they’re going to be severely disappointed if we are unfortunate enough to be on the end of such self sacrifice!

Anonymous said...

Umbongo / Verity ...

In spite of your continued, arrogant attempts to belittle me and my opinions, I will respond just one more time with one incontrovertible fact that undemines pretty much all of your arguments ranged against my original comment.

Certain western powers actively sponsored, with arms, money and training, the establishment of Al-Queda in Afghanistan, when it suited their purpose to resist the 'Soviet threat'.

Since the policy of certain western powers is currently to interfere in the affairs of the Middle East, an area dominated by followers of the Islamic faith, this and other Muslim organisations, has turned against them.

Hence, the foreign policies of these western powers, the UK very much included, has directly led to the current state of affairs of increased threat to us all.

We reap what we (but actually the politicians) sow.