Saturday, May 26, 2007

Call That Holy War? Bad Kitty, No Tuna

Never known to over-react in a crisis, the outgoing Home Secretary has suggested that the government should be given the power to indefinitely incarcerate those it suspects of criminality on the say-so of the security services.

The immediate problem is that three terrorist suspects have absconded while subject to control orders, and there's no doubt that we'd know exactly where they were right now if the Home Secretary had the power to imprison whoever he likes, whenever he likes.

Doing so would mean derogating from the provisions of the European Convention on Human Rights, a document largely drafted by British officials and signed by Winston Churchill's administration in 1951.

"Times have changed since then," an opposition MP said on TV this week, and how right he is. I'm sure Churchill never had to face down any threats to the nation as grave as that posed by three fugitive wannabe-holy warriors.

Well, why throw out the baby with the bathwater? If we had any sense, we'd just fit potential terrorists with little bell collars, like the one my neighbour put on his cat.

A holy terror that cat was to the local birdlife, but as soon as the collar went on, its blackbird torturing days were over. If I heard that distinctive ting-a-ling and turned around to discover a rat-faced little wanker creeping up to suicide bomb me, I'd call the cops sharpish.

I'm aware that stuff like this is meant to "reassure the public", by which I mean "slake the furious indignation of the tabloids", so I see no reason why the bell collars couldn't be rigged to explode Scanners-style if interfered with.

I jest, of course, but it's the only response a sane man has when the preferred model of government in the old democracies of the world appears to regress ever more quickly to a form of Enlightened Absolutism.

Update!: Good news for Britons, as the Government is now considering granting powers to "Stop and Quiz" citizens, with £5000 at stake!

I hope they stop me, I'm brilliant at quizzes.

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