An excellent new article by Simon Jenkins in the Guardian 1 Oct on the new orange-alert (be very afraid) terror scare:
In case you missed it, since Monday an “Irish-related” attack on Britain has been “a strong possibility“. At the same time, an al-Qaida attack is “highly likely” and “only a matter of time”. This presumably means one will occur – though, since August 2006, when this alarmist language was first to put us on continuous alert, terrorism has been like mad flu disease, afflicting Whitehall but strangely absent from the nation at large…
Travelling on a First Great Western train nowadays is like entering Guantánamo – a cacophony of repetitive announcements telling passengers to protect their belongings at all times and inform the police if they see anything suspicious. Likewise the fatuous frisking of old ladies at airports, the half-hearted searching of bags in shops, the reams of safety literature pouring from the nation’s printers. It is the white noise of state fear….
To see what is happening we probably need to return to the old journalistic maxim, follow the money. There is now an extensive police and industrial lobby in Britain dependent for its resources on maintaining a high level of public fear. The lobby thrives on its own failures. The incidents in America on 9/11 (2001) and in London on 7/7 (2005) saw the greatest ever peacetime growth in spending on security. Unlike most forms of public spending, this one could by its nature demand cash with menaces and with no account of value for money.
The fear must be sustained if the resources are to flow. The west has been starkly free of terrorist “attacks” over the past decade. The lobby may plead this proves the money was well spent, but the staggering cost of anti-terrorism since 9/11, including two foreign wars, must have surpassed all actuarial calculation of western lives saved thereby.
Hardly a month goes by without someone in authority reminding us to expect another attack imminently. I have lost count of statements from MI5, the police and other experts that an attack is a matter of “not if, but when”. The attacks never occur, or are brilliantly thwarted, like the one reportedly prevented this week, apparently by dropping bombs from drones on Pakistani villages. What is noticeable is that the tempo of such threats increases immediately before Christmas and when the security lobby is involved in a fight over money, as now…
Britain’s security/industrial complex has been allowed to run berserk under the long shadow of 9/11 and 7/7. It has been allowed to undermine civil liberty and tax the exchequer of a fortune. Now it has the effrontery to tell Britons that they are not safer but less safe as a result. After 10 years of soaring expenditure, the threat has actually risen. I do not believe that this apparent failure to deliver value for money is real, or that some catastrophic explosion is imminent. I think this is just another lobby seeking money. As it plays with its words, the rest of us may shrug and go about our business. But I sometimes wonder who is the real terrorist….
Keep wondering, Mr Jenkins. Or better still read my book. For the threat level getting raised to ‘SEVERE’ back in January, for no particular reason, see here.
The situation might remind you of 2004, 20th of November, when MI5 claimed to have intercepted a fiendish plot to fly a plane out of Heathrow and into Canary Wharf. Just like that – no scrap of evidence, and they expected to be thanked! Prison Planet summed it up well as: ’a collusion of imaginative government lobbyists and lapdog media collaborators.’
Or, maybe it reminds you of the Glasgow airport incident, timed to synchronise with Tony Blair’s retirement as PM and Gordon Brown taking over? We’re now being told that airport lobbies are being targeted for terror attacks…. resembling ‘Mumbai’ (July of 2006).
That Glasgow event was the laughable 2007 (30th June) incident in which two mental deficients set fire to a jeep outside Glasgow airport, a non-event that authorities hyped beyond all recognition…two amateur mental deficients, described as “Krazy Klown jihadis” by bomb experts, set fire to some petrol outside Glasgow airport …. People like former Scotland Yard detective John O’Connor described the botched attacks as “hopeless,” “incompetent” “almost laughable,” and amounting to nothing more than a bonfire, while others labeled the incident “slapstick idiocy,” the corporate media reacted much as they’re behaving now, by ludicrously overhyping the incident as some kind of deadly Al-Qaeda wave of terror.
To remind you, Tony Blair stod down on 27th June, and so this event forced Brown as the brand-new PM to make a speech about being tough on terror. This might be a good time to reminisce about that little-analysed event, so here’s a bit of Irish humour: ‘Beavis and Butthead in London jihad’
Police and securocrats know that there aren’t enough real terrorists in the world, which is why they have to keep manufacturing them. This is because citizens tire of being watched by cameras, frisked and x-rayed, having their belongings searched, giving fingerprints to so-called friendly nations on entry, contemplating the myriad government databases where their details and activities are preserved, and wondering if some dour little bureaucrat is reading their email or listening to them on the phone.
Citizens tire also of reading the rolls of the war dead fraudulently sacrificed in the name of counterterrorist “victory”, and of seeing hundreds of billions spent on surveillance and private security, ridiculous wars, and security-related gimmicks and gizmos, when it could be so much better spent on, oh, needs like housing, medicine and pensions, and mitigating actual mass threats to life via such non-sexy routes as traffic safety, fire safety, vaccinations, buildings and infrastructure inspection, water treatment, and food safety.
But the guys with the guns and cameras and listening devices have been on a roll since 9/11, embarrassing their clip-board-toting rivals in the race for public money, even though, collectively, they’ve taken or made meaner far more lives than they can ever hope to protect with their strategy of violence in the name of peace, and fascism in the name of liberty.
To keep the billions rolling in, they’ve got to produce a terrorist every now and then. Only real terrorists are hard to come by, so clowns and stooges with harebrained schemes end up doing bin Laden’s perp walk periodically.
Today we have news from London, where a “big [explosive] device” was discovered inside a parked car near Piccadilly Circus. The device consisted of petrol, propane gas cylinders, and nails. The car containing it had been abandoned after its driver was observed piloting it erratically, crashing it, then running off, like a true professional. Ambulance workers called to assist nearby noticed what they initially thought was smoke inside the car, but which likely was petrol vapour, and contacted police.
Bomb disposal specialists made it safe, and police officials and politicians began slyly invoking the terrorist bogeyman. Heaven forbid the public should be starved of their regular fear rations.
“As the police and security services have said on so many occasions, we face a serious and continuous threat to our country”, day-old PM Gordon Brown said. “But this incident does recall the need for us to be vigilant at all times and the public to be alert at any potential incidents.”
And what an incident. “It is obvious that if the device had detonated there could have been serious injury or loss of life”, Deputy Assistant Commissioner Peter Clarke intoned gravely.
Ah, if it had detonated. Yes, it could have been a real horror. Only, the device could not have detonated. Not under any circumstances. You see, the terrorist wannabe clown who built it left out a crucial element: an oxidiser. The device was pure pre-teen boy fantasy.’
For a more sensible perspective Let’s turn to Prof John Muller of Ohio State University, in his report ‘A False sense of Insecurity. Though a few years old, it serves to remind us that the chances of being harmed by ‘terror’ in today’s world are extremely small.
Use of image: thanks to David icke website.