It was unedifying to watch Cameron and Brown at Prime Minster’s questions trading stupidities on security which they hoped would impress the electorate, presumably via the Murdoch press.
Cameron pressed for the banning of Hizb-ut-Tehrir, on the basis of an old quotation allegedly from a Hizb-ut-Tehrir leaflet in Germany, which HuT have always denied. Brown sensibly queried whether this was sufficient evidence.
HuT believe in the establishment of an Islamic Caliphate to unite the Muslim lands. That is a strange thing to believe in, but I can see no reason why the belief should be illegal. Certainly driving them underground would be a great deal more dangerous. HuT arguably function as a safety valve, providing a non-violent outlet for fundamentalist Muslims in the UK. To ban them is tantamount to saying that fundamentalist Muslin belief ought itself to be illegal.
Brown then decided to outdo Cameron in useless but hopefully populist proposals. He regurgitated Blair’s favourite about needing to be able to deport people to countries where they are liable to be tortured or killed (which would involve resiling from Article 3 of the UN Convention Against Torture). He also proposed identity cards. This time Cameron made the sensible response that compulsory ID cards did not stop the Madrid bombers.
In fact, there is no reason to believe that any of these daft proposals would have had the slightest effect on the events of the last few days. Predictably, nobody suggested that we stop invading other people’s countries and killing their people. Now that might make a difference.