Friday, September 16, 2005

Different kinds of terrorist

The UK government has introduced new anti-terrorist legislation, which, amongst other things, introduces the "thoughtcrime" of "glorifying terrorism" and allows up to six months arbitrary detention.

It is interesting that there has been no mention of applying these draconian measures in Northern Ireland, where insurrection has resurfaced in the past week. Arguably the situation in the Six Counties has come much closer to the ECHR test of a "public emergency threatening the life of the nation" than Islamist activity in mainland UK - the constitutional arrangements (and indeed the continued existence) of Northern Ireland over the past hundred years have largely been driven by actual and threatened violence by nationalist and unionist groups.

Why is the UK government not planning to charge the leader of the Orange Order with "glorifying terrorism"? Or to detain hundreds of loyalists without trial? Largely, I suspect because the situation *is* seen as serious. Such measures were tried in Ireland in the early 1970's and abandoned after they simply exacarbated the situation.

It seems that because Muslim extremists are to few in number to threaten "the life of the nation" the UK government believes that repressive measures can be introduced with no risk of a widening insurrection - we shall see.

3 comments:

Richy_Rich said...

"Thought Crime"
If you've got nothing to think about you've got nothing to fear, I reckon.

Rich said...

Thanks for reading Richy. BTW I feel the blog isn't relentlessly trivial enough - the latest post should go some way to rectify.

Genius said...

laws will alyways be a bit hipocritical because there are always inappropriaeand apropriate times to apply them depending on the situation in order to have the best outcome.