Sunday, July 08, 2007

War against irritation

Tim Worstall writes about this:

Britain faces a 15-year battle to end the threat posed by Islamist terrorists, the Government's new security supremo has admitted.
Tim comments:
But 15 years? Now you're talking about somwhere near the rest of the natural lives of a good portion of the citizenry. You're also talking about a period of time long enough that we will, all on our very own, change the society irreversibly. After a 15 year period where civil liberties are so curtailed, after we have become a nation of snitches who have given up our freedoms for security (if indeed the latter will have been achieved) then who really believes that we'll get them back?
Doing good ain't got no end, as they say in the Westerns. In fifteen years time, nobody is going to say "Right, that's finished." Temporary restrictions have a habit of becoming permanent.

The problem is that Terror can't surrender. Emergency regulations designed to deal with terrorism might well start as temporary measures but they can become permanent without much outcry. Terrorism is likely to be with us for a long time. But we need to start calling digging implements spades. Temporary measures introduced to combat the Northern Ireland emergency would have ceased to have effect by now. Emergency measures that were stated to be addressing Islamist terrorism would also have a finite life.

Nowadays, mealy-mouthed waffle and (often) good intentions have become the midwives to tyranny.

UPDATE: Re-reading, that might be seen as a comment about Tim. It isn't. It's a comment about people who don't want to call Islamist terrorism by its name.

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