I woke up this morning – as so many Brits did – to the news on the radio that a terror plot has been foiled to try to plant bombs on planes via the hand luggage of passengers. Details from the BBC here, no details yet of the backgrounds or the possible motivation of the suspects. My reaction to this has been one of resigned depression. We have been told repeatedly by our politicians, and by John Reid in a speech just yesterday (summary here), that we are living with major threats and that we must all accept limits on our liberty as a result. Some interesting comment on this from blogs Ministry of Agitation and Paul Linford.
Yet Reid, and the rest of the British political establishment, are getting this wrong. Due to our intervention in the war in Iraq, and to a lesser extent the UK’s position on Isreal-Lebanon and the ongoing tensions in Afghanistan, the UK is making itself very disliked internationally. As a result of these military interventions, the UK population pays twice – once for the costs of sending the troops, and the second due to the increased threat within the UK. That all looks to me like a price that is far too high to pay. Can you imagine such a plot being drawn up in Germany or in Sweden? Probably not, at least not at the moment.
I hate this British attitude towards these questions. Terrorism of whatever sort is not inevitable, and I cannot bear the thought of a future where it is and we have to endure the consequences of that. There are ways and means to look at the root causes as well as the symptoms, and the UK government plainly has the incorrect policies at present.