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My dream would be for Brown, Cameron and Campbell to make a joint statement setting out a timetable for quitting Iraq. Only such a bold move would make use safe.

Brown will try to show Cameron as being weak- we must take this particular battle to him- merely reacting will be insufficient.

I hate to say this but these terrible incidents are going to play very well for Brown. Many British people are going to trust him on security much more than they will trust Cameron.

bluepatriot, I see the disreputable tradition of appeasement lives on. We have to fight and the minute David cameron deviated from that view would be the moment he was destroyed.

Why have we allowed Brown to get the first comment in- where was someone from the Conservative Party?

My dream would be for Brown, Cameron and Campbell to make a joint statement setting out a timetable for quitting Iraq. Only such a bold move would make use safe.

Posted by: bluepatriot | June 29, 2007 at 10:20

You are dreaming, just like the "experts" at the BBC.

These 'bomb' incidents are going to go on for decades. Anybody who thinks otherwise is plain daft. We've moved from one set of internal/external terrorists (IRA etc) to another ('Muslim Extremists'). Severely bad government policy ( Iraq / Immigration )has led to all of this; and the required medicine will not be taken. Here's to more plodding around this issue....

Rather convenient this car bomb. But, with all the rozzers that hang about the west end, how come no-one was around to blag the driver.
Its also a worry, as this is the new trend in asymetric terror, that we have a car bomb in central london.

I wonder sometimes whether the Government ever has a hand in planting these devices so that they can increase their powers and reduce our liberties. It all seems very convenient.

How terribly convenient for Mr. Brown.

C'mon guys. It's wacky to say the least to believe that Labour are somehow behind an incident such as this.

My dream would be for Brown, Cameron and Campbell to make a joint statement setting out a timetable for quitting Iraq. Only such a bold move would make use safe.

Posted by: bluepatriot |

but only if they were on their bended knees as George McGovern once promised the American voters.....

Sorry Ed.

But, one does develop paranoia with these leftie types, afterall 2 Marx Brothers in Cabinet. I mean marxists, and they might have been taking lessons from that arch-marxist leader Mugabe.

This sort of conspiracy talk makes Tories look unserious in the face of real dangers.

I would hope that DC and Conservative parliamenterians refrain from commenting until (a) they know something about who planted the bomb or (b)the government announces a change in the law. Comments like some of the above are premature to put it mildly. The law of the land and our liberties are far,far too important to be used for reasons of political positioning.

Al'Quaeda have some form following up elections and shifts in government with terror attacks or attempts. Like all politicians, Brown will be made or broken by events and how he rises to them, but I don't think anything much is going to change. Cameron and Davis are very solid on security and we shouldn't fear it.

It's time for the country to wake up.

We should be giving the police all the powers they ask for and not worry about people being "picked on".

Something terribly nearly happened. We don't know who, yet. And we don't know exactly why. But people hate us, hate our society, hate our freedom, hate our honour in standing up for others. Two great errors in response would be

(a) to be weak, thinking that if we stop being honourable, stop standing up for the oppressed around the world, give way to terror, then matters will be better. They would not, and even if they were it would not be worth it. Terrorists will come and attack us if we do not just complain about the oppression of women in Afganistan, about the murders of Kurds in Iraq, about the bombing of buses in Israel, but actually try to do something about it. But even if we gave way, surrendering our honour, they would come for us in the end. For their hatred and self-pity knows no limits.

(b) to surrender our freedom and change the nature of our society. Of course it is true that free movement of people, and free association, and inter-marriage, and limits on the arbitrary power of the state all create space in which terrorists can operate. But they also create the space in which good people can live their lives. It is inevitable that a liberal society will sometimes be assaulted. The answer is not to cease being a liberal society. It is to accept that such assaults are indeed inevitable - and pursue the evil-doers to the destruction of their cause and hope.

Thank you Andrew. Excellent comment.

My gut feeling is that we are going to find hopefully before its too late that we have another cell of Pakistanis either born in that country of decent being responsible for this.

I can't believe, even here, that people could blame a car bomb on the government, or some bizzare Marxist conspiracy. It's an absolute disgrace. It's just a bad as the fundamentalists who say that the Jews blow up the WTC. You should be ashamed of yourselves.

The Tories supported (and support) the action in Iraq, and making political capital out of a foiled bomb plot is opportunism of the worst kind.

It's clear from the Foreign Office appointments that there will be a policy of disengagement combined with continuing measures of increased security.

I completely agree with your first two paragraphs, passing leftie.

Andrew's points are good ones, however when do we transition from a state of peace to a state of war?

Liberal societies have to makes changes in a state of war, especially when we know that weapons of mass destruction could be used sometime by terrorists.

It seems like the bomb was meant to hit nightclub goers. These bombers hate "western decadence".

Quite so, Alan - but their hatred for our decadence doesn't prevent them from sampling it at length when they get the chance.

We must be careful to not confuse the specific debate about national security vs civil liberties with the wider, deeper issue of liberty vs security.

In truth, we know that liberty IS security. A political culture in which individuals are free to pursue the life they want and free to express their views is one in which militant extremism is not necessary.

There will always be people who will use bullying tactics to scare us into changing our way of life. We must not. Christina is right: in times of great threat, the balance between civil liberties and national security shifts slightly. But Andrew is equally right that in the long term, being free is the only way to remain free.

These ideologies are not Western in origin. They take their root from a Middle East crushed under the grip of despots, and spill over onto our shores because we are connected, whether we like it or not, to what goes on in that region. In a free Middle East, there would be no Hizbollah or al-Qaeda or Hamas, and there would be no 'home grown terrorism' within our own borders.

There will always be those that hate our way of life, but the Middle East is fertile ground for would-be moderates to slip into extremism.

It is through liberty that we find true safety. The lessons of the Middle East prove this, and we would do well to not forget it.

What I find rather irritating is the way the public are urged to "be vigilant and report anything suspicious to a Police Officer" when we all know that the likelihood is that if I DO see anything I regard as suspicious and get on the blower straight away it is possible that I will face the distinct possibility of being accused of wasting Police time or even racism if I have the temerity to suggest that the person acting suspiciously has a dark skin, a beard or is wearing a headscarf or veil!

Absolute nightmare shockingly close to not being averted. Will be used by Brown as the prrrrooof we need ID cards, 3month lockups without charge, end of jury service, whatever he damn well pleases. I do not know how to oppose this and win plaudits from the masses (Sun, Mail) so I suggest we do that old-fashioned thing of sticking to what we believe in: locking people up without charge is shameful, for 3 months it is unacceptable. The arguments against ID cards are well versed. At least by remaining true to ourselves we will not appear posturing fools in the public debate, no matter how much the Sun shrieks about 'nothing to fear, nothing to hide' and all that nonsense.

But. I don't follow the logic of Andrew L, the Editors and other neocons. They are correct to attack the NotInMyName brigade when those latter say that were we to quit Iraq then we would be liberated from fear of further terrorist atrocity. I agree that such an assertion is nonsense. But the opposite isn't true either: we do not protect ourselves from atrocity by remaining in Iraq.

I have had enough of hectoring shrillness and false, made-up, dichotomies (applies to no-one on this site) and I would have thought neocons in particular would give it a rest: telling me that either I support the continued slaughter of British troops in Iraq (3 young scotsmen yesterday), or I am an appeaser of fascism who is prepared to sit back while my way of life is dissolved round about me. These same people, of course, told us that we had to 'drain the swamp' because Saddam was a friend to our foes; since invading we have done nothing but enhance the regional power and status of the regimes most dedicated to our destruction. Which swamp has been drained! Whose theocratic totalitarianism is tolerated this week? (Was it the secular nature of Saddam's totalitarian regime which particularly irked the neocons?). Their reasoning led them to believe that Saddam possessed WMD. Not because there was any evidence for it; but because their reasoning led them to deduce it.

Too much words. I wanted only to point out that it is quite possible to simultaneously agree there is a cultural and existential threat to our way of life, posed not by phantoms but real organisations, and who were in existence pre 9/11 -- without for a moment thinking that our troops should continue to be in Iraq. This terrible, terrible policy is killing young British men on a daily basis. No good is coming from this monument to Blairite vanity. Bring our troops home as soon as possible. Have I broken the law by saying this? Probably, by the end of the week.

How would i.d. cards stop this? a good start would be to get rid of the human rights act so we could start deporting some of these islamists and locking up the home grown ones.

Well said Graeme ( I was about to make the same points!)

It is legitimate to argue that we should withdraw from Iraq.

It is not legitimate to argue that we should withdraw from Iraq in order to stop extremists from attacking us. I cannot but believe that somewhere our ancestors are shaking their heads in disgusted astonishment that Englishmen should ever express such cowardly sentiments.

Once you start paying the Danegeld, you'll never get rid of the Dane.

Have just heard Jacqui Smith make a statement on the 'viable explosive device'. She refused to take questions and appeared well out of her depth. Let's hope she's got a competent Permanent Secretary or two.

[email protected]:20

I do not believe that the primary reason for being engaged in military ventures to liberate oppressed peoples is because that is in our domestic security interests. But, nonetheless, I do believe that such engagement *is* in our security interests.

In the period of Clinton isolationism, the strategy we tried was to say: "Does it really matter if some Arabs [the distinction with Persians or Aryans not really existing] have corrupt and oppressive rulers who divert attention from the calamities their mis-rule imposes by telling lies about us? Provided they are just firing machine guns in the air whilst they argue over quarter of a mile of desert, what's that to us? These are petty problems far away, nothing to do with us, and will never be resolved."

Well, 9/11 taught those of us that found the above notion attractive that, even setting aside that it is dishonourable to leave people in oppression when we could do something about it, the consequences do not stay far away. For those radicalised by these lies do not stay far away, in a world of aeroplanes and mass migration. They come to live among us, and employ the hatred they have been taught in attacking us, murdering thousands of our citizens. And, though these attacks are monstrous and never ascribable to us, how could we look ourselves in the mirror when we were attacked in this way by people we had not lifted a finger to help?

No. In the post-9/11 world that was not to be the way. People that lived under oppression would not be deserted to their fate. Of course, people would still come to attack us, but better to be attacked for having tried to do the right thing, than to be attacked as the result of our own passivity and selfishness. And that way, at least, one day, perhaps, the lies about us might be uprooted and people would see that, though we are not perfect, we are definitely the Good Guys.

Well said Graeme, as always you echoed my views far more elequently than I could have done.
Like you Richard Weatherill, I do wonder about our new home sec. Probably more than any other Cabinet position this one needs someone competent. I really hope that in a few months time we won't be missing John Reid.
Tory T, the reason we should get out of Iraq as soon as practically possible is because our troops are not achieving anything,we've lost.
After more than four years of supposedly training the Iraqi army and police we are really no further forward than we were before. Their problem is not with equipment or training, it's loyalty. Too many of them are loyal to the militias rather than the central government.Events in Maysan prove that beyond any shadow of a doubt.

I'm all for Liberty but I believe in a limited Liberty which has the Nation State as the highest level of authority. A Nation State can agree to have Liberty, but our Nation State has extended Liberty to the whole world and thus allowed those opposed to Liberty to enter our countries and in the worst cases, act as terrorists and terrorist supporters, trainers, etc.

It seems to me that we are fighting a 'war' on 2 fronts, and one of them needs to be closed down for a while. We need to deal with home grown terrorists but how can we do this effectively if our borders are allowing their supporters and others in? Why do we allow extremist preachers in, for example?

We cannot have worldwide Liberty at this time, but we can have Liberty for all subjects of the Crown if we close our borders and concentrate on those who are a threat here already.

I have to agree Richard, I don't remember seeing her speaking to camera like that before so I can't judge but she seemed very jittery and her eyes even looked frightened.

Dare I say that it is easier to feel reassured when a male bruiser like Reid/Clarke/David Davis is talking about such things? She certainly didn't exude the gravitas and strength that she presumably had as a Whip.

This is a big challenge/opportunity for her.

Had Thatch been talking about it, Sam, I think you'd have felt reassured enough.

Sam, I just heard her (on Radio 5) whilst driving, so didn't have the benefit of body language in forming my assessment. It's interesting that, having seen her, you got the same impression.

I can imagine that, as Labour Chief Whip, you might need "strength" to keep the ferrets in their sack, but "gravitas"??!

To be serious, we should all be very very thankful, that this attempted bombing went seriously awry and we have been spared a massacre.
Saying that, we do need to ensure that Brown and his new government, do not further erode our civil liberties with new jerk reactions. Which means, we need to clearly state opposition to ID Cards, which would have been of no use in this case, and any further use of the Terrorism Act to prevent people going about their lawful business.
This manner of asymmetric warfare is not easily prevented, see Iraq, Lebanon and Afghan, it is the preferred choice of the terrorist because of its simplicity and ease of use.
Unfortunately one has to use the banal statement of "eternal vigilance", which was the result this am with the ambulance drivers, who used some allied to common nous.
Should this attempt be ascribed to homegrown radicals, then we need to be more robust in our dealings with imans and ethnic leaders. They must learn that their ways are not ours and are not the way we conduct business in the UK.
I trust that the party will not allow themselves to be railroaded into any severe measures in the name of security.

I imagine so Tory T.

The BBC are reporting that Admiral Sir Alan West has been appointed as Security Minister at the Home Office.

Im willing to give Jacqui Smith some time to settle in. Shes got a massive job to do and given her lack of frontline cabinet experience, she needs time to settle down and get to grips with it.

I thought David Cameron was very assured in his response.

David Cameron was superb in his response to this incident. He spoke for the nation and for the whole EU in a confident, stylish and appropriate manner. He's got a better suit than Brown, too.

I agree with your opening comments, passing leftie, but must react to your remark at 12.18:

"The Tories supported (and support) the action in Iraq".

The Tories, of course, were briefed by the then PM and the grounds for the war have now been shown to be entirely fallacious. At that stage, the Tories and the public still had some trust in the PM's word.

Thanks blueparrot. You made me laugh out loud. Really!

The Tories, of course, were briefed by the then PM and the grounds for the war have now been shown to be entirely fallacious. At that stage, the Tories and the public still had some trust in the PM's word.

I thought the position was, you support it, but it was mishandled. Has policy changed?

Sally said,
Sally said:
I will face the distinct possibility of being accused of wasting Police time or even racism if I have the temerity to suggest that the person acting suspiciously has a dark skin, a beard or is wearing a headscarf or veil!

You know, this happens all the time. I read it in the Daily Mail.

Sarcasm aside, there is absolutely no chance whatsoever of this happening. Don't let your fear of the (non-existent political) correctness police stop you reporting suspicious activity.

Bluepatriot, Chris Palmer: Get a serious grip and wake up to the fact that England was (and has been before) attacked by militants/islamists/fascists/fundamentalists (take your pick) and not by its own government. It's sad and quite disturbing that your gut reaction to an attack on your own soil is to wax philosophical about your government's possible role. There are plenty of other nations you could live in, I'm sure of it. Go for it.

Leaving Iraq won't stop this. That is the logic of elementary children being applied to 3 dimensional world politics and war. I see that it's worked greeeeat for Spain? I fear that the English public education system is failing just as bad as our own in the areas of critical thinking skill development.

IF you really want to see the good, brilliant, and productive work that the British are doing in Iraq I would encourage reading recent reports from an embed of the Queen's Royal Lancers on the Iraq-Iran border: http://www.michaelyon-online.com/wp/death-or-glory-part-ii-of-iv.htm

Surrender is a suicide pact. It's time to be strong and unify in British opposition to these thug-ish oppressors who bring violence and ruin to everything they touch... just 21st century Barbary Pirates and they must be dealt with in similar fashion.

Yankee 2 cents.

Thanks for the advice, Passing Leftie! Don't you worry - I'm not afraid of the reaction I get (I still continue to post on here, don't I despite some of the comments I've had on Euro threads *g*) and will certainly report anything I deem to be suspicious to the Police.

What makes me so angry about this whole incident is that whoever perpetrated it deliberately targeted a nightclub full of revellers because they see it as an example of what they regard as Western Decadence! I would like moderate Muslims to dissociate themselves publicly from those who regard all of us as "slags" no matter how morally we live despite being dressed in Western clothes and going out to enjoy ourselves with a drink occasionally. I must admit to feeling anger about this at the moment and need some reassurance on this.

Keep your anger, Sally, it is justified, and to be reassured is simply to be 'put asleep'.

C. McMichael, I do not think that all or any attacks on the UK have been created by our Government. I simply remarked on the fact that I have wondered whether it were possible, and how convenient the timing was between the two.

Could this be an act by the ‘dirty tricks’ department of the nuLieBore government?

Sadly, the nuLieBore government has a long history of lies and trickery. There have been many arrests on terrorist charges and everyone released without charge a few days later. We have also suffered from idiotic constraints on travel such as the carry-on luggage fiasco; just when has there been a toothpaste bomb? Because of this, people will continue to question the validity of the claims of terrorist plots and incidents.

It is not wild conspiracy theories that lead people to doubt the validity of this ‘terrorist’ incident. It is cynicism caused by a long history of lies.

David Bodden, I do understand your cynicism, but if we start imagining that every terrorist plot is in fact hatched up in the darkest recesses of government then that way lies madness!

Passing leftie at 17.17:

"I thought the position was, you support it, but it was mishandled. Has policy changed?"

I am sure you are correct that this is the Party's position but would they have taken that line originally (i.e. when it really mattered)if Blair had admitted that the intelligence had been unsound?

As an individual I was taken in by Blair assuring the HoD that "Iraq possessed WMD that could be deployed at 45 minutes' notice against British interests". That sounded to me to be a legitimate casus belli.

It was only later that we heard that Alistair Campbell or Blair had told Scarlett to go away and "sex up" the intelligence brief which was not robust enough.

I do agree with you that the war has been mishandled (mostly by the Americans) but I would say that it was typical of Blair to go into something (like devolution, like the House of Lords reform etc) without foreseeing the consequences.

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