The Prime Minister has once more displayed his uncanny
insight into why evil things get done. "We know why these things are
done," he said. "They are done to scare people and to frighten them,
to make them anxious and worried."
Well, that puts it clearer, to be sure. Whoever they may be and whatever motives
they may claim to have, the people who caused today's explosions wanted to scare
us, frighten us, anxietise and worry us, and nothing else. They didn't want
us to get out of Iraq, that's for certain. You'd be a fool, a dupe, and a poison-tongued
apologist even to think it. The slimy, despicable motives of the culprits are
so obvious that Tony could inform us of them without even knowing the full details
of what had happened. "It's best, for operational details," he said,
"to go to the police and the emergency services and others who can give
you the information." That seems fair enough. Most of us know better by
now than to rely on Tony for facts, but this was, after all, a press conference.
Tony quoted the Metropolitan police commissioner as hoping to get back to normal
as quickly as possible, and recommended that everyone "react calmly"
and go on "as much as possible as normal" while we wait for the next
hysterical raft of "anti-terror" laws to be launched upon the deadly
shallows of New Labour rhetoric. If this kind of thing goes on happening every
few weeks, we can forget legalistic qualms about hoods or being a teenager after
nine o'clock. They'll be outlawing carpentry and rucksacks before the first
tinsel goes up.
Tony got the news of the blasts in the middle of lunch with his fellow Iraq-liberator
and refugee-repatriator, John Howard. I wonder what they talk about when George
isn't there to steer things along. Then Tony went to a meeting with the government's
"civil contingencies" committee, which had been scheduled to discuss
appropriate calm reactions and possible normal continuations to the bombings
on the seventh. The committee is called
Cobra. Terrorism is a disease, and they're the cure.
Carcinogens cause cancer. Terrorists terrorise. That's what they are, so that's
what they do. Only when one can kill people in thousands instead of dozens is
one permitted ulterior motives. The bombing and despoiling of Afghanistan and
Iraq may have scared, frightened, anxietised and worried a few people, but it's
all in a good cause and any terror which may be felt is either an unfortunate
side effect or somebody else's fault. React calmly and continue as much as possible