Don’t look over here! Look over there!
Home Secretary Jacqui Smith made today the most cynical – and least convincing – move yet to exploit “terror” politically in the UK. On the day that New Labour hit a twenty year low in the opinion polls and Harriet Harman blamed Gordon Brown’s office for her dodgy donations, we now have the first headline on the television news as a government announcement of the threat of a “Dirty Bomb” over Christmas.
I cannot say this loudly enough. I have checked with my own contacts and there is NO specific or new intelligence indicating a threat of a terrorist dirty bomb – or any other terrorist threat – this Christmas. Doubtless that will not stop Frank “Goebbels” Gardner appearing any minute now nobly to warn us of the grave danger we face.
Interestingly, even my friends in the Security Services – who normally are pretty happy to see the threat exaggerated, thus adding to their ever increasing budgets and career prospects – this time are sickened by the cynicism of the timing of this “Christmas Warning”.
Incidentally, there is no track record of an attack on “Christmas” and no actual reason to believe that a terrorist attack is more likely to occur at Christmas than any other time of year. The notion is based on a rather simplistic notion of the “Clash of civilisations”.
I have a lingering personal faith which won’t quite die, irrespective of the continuing evidence on the Dawkins side of the equation that the religious, given any power, are evil and dangerous. George Bush did no harm when he was just a parasitic alcoholic, then he discovered Christ and look what happened. Which just goes to show that alcohol is a much more benificent social force than religion.
Blair has revealed he didn’t tell us about his religious faith while in office in case people thought he was a “nutter”. If he thinks we didn’t notice he was a nutter, he is more deluded than I thought – plainly religion hasn’t helped his thought processes. Finally we have the vile authorities of the Sudan. I am of course outraged by their action against a British teacher, but compared to the appalling actions of that bunch of theocratic arseholes against their own people, it is minor indeed.
I had occasion to read General Gordon’s original diaries in the course of researching my master’s thesis. I found it an extraordinary thrill to hold in my hand the paper he had held and decipher his increasingly shaky handwriting. Gordon was a religous fanatic in the Blair mode; portraits show a remarkable similarity of “look” to Blair in the fixated gaze of the eyes. Gordon had a similar approach to Blair, from the same motivations, to bringing the benefits of civilisation to what he viewed as benighted peoples. But unlike Blair, Gordon was a man of incredible personal courage who paid the price for his beliefs. Blair just condemned countless (literally) thousands of other people to death, while shamelessly devoting his own life to raking in the cash.