“Message for Gordon Brown!”
I wager that very few of us normal citizens were aware of the fact that until today we were on a “substantial” terror alert. That has all changed because as from today, we are on a “severe” terror alert. The mysterious thing is that Alan Johnson, the Home Secretary is unable to tell us the reason for the sudden change in status recommended by the Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre. All that he would say was that there is no “immediate threat” of a terrorist attack.
If there is an immediate threat, we will be automatically upgraded from “severe” to “critical”. That’ll teach them.
Currently, the suggestion is that JTAC have had a sniff of potential trouble and informed the Home Secretary who has now completed the admin by changing our status but why the hell don’t they just steam in and arrest the suspects. Perhaps there are none .
Alan Johnson said: “We still face a real and serious threat to the UK from international terrorism, so I would urge the public to remain vigilant and carry on reporting suspicious events to the appropriate authorities and to support the police and security services in their continuing efforts to discover, track and disrupt terrorist activity.”
That very bland statement says nothing at all and makes one suspect that if there is no specific threat, that this may be another one of those government camouflage tactics.
What is “remain vigilant”? What are “Suspicious events?”
” Hello , is that the police? I was in the middle of my latte and croissant when I noticed a strange and unpleasant -looking person sitting opposite me, looking slightly sweaty, with some sort of head-dress and judging by their girth, it is possible that they have something concealed about their body. They are talking unintelligible rubbish and staring at me hatefully………….Oh sorry officer. It’s my wife who’s just come out of the shower. Sorry.”
The Home Secretary said the new level meant people needed to be “more aware”. More aware than what and more aware of what?
Is this the beginning of another another Phony War or is it just some “displacement activity” or pointless terrorist window-dressing by a government which has run out of ideas and is in desperate need of something major with which to impress an increasingly sceptical electorate ?
Patrick Mercer MP, who is chairman of the home -affairs committee on counter-terrorism has criticised the Home Secretary for this sudden announcement and has called for some clarity. For instance – why the change in status?
Could it be anything to do with the current suspension of flights between Yemen and the United Kingdom? Are the Americans and Brits looking for a new scapegoat? Is it because those damn Haiti earthquake victims are hogging all the headlines?
Mind you, there are a couple of conferences coming up here in the United Kingdom this week – on Yemen and Afghanistan – so possible terrorist targets are being flown into the United Kingdom by invitation. So by implication this government is inviting terrorist attacks. Why can’t we hold this type of conference elsewhere? Brussels would be a good choice but they probably don’t want their good hotels full of terrorist targets.
The last time that our terrorist alert was at “critical” was after the 2007 Glasgow Airport bombing – and very useful it was. We spent the next two days avoiding dark-skinned people driving Ford Transits. Whatever we did must have worked because there were no further incidents.
This is all that the Home Secretary has to say in order to help us understand: ” This Wednesday and Thursday we have invited a couple of plane loads of Yemeni and Afghan politicians to London for a conference. In doing so, we are a temporary magnet for every disaffected terrorist psycho-nutter from anywhere the Middle East – in fact, some of them may even be on the planes. We hope that by putting ourselves on a “severe” terror alert we will show Johny-terrorist that we are taking him seriously. However, you are all safe – unless of course you are Brazilian hanging around Stockwell underground station. Meanwhile, if you spot an Afghan or Yemeni passenger jet heading for any of London’s tall buildings, please call the police and leave a message”.
Meanwhile, let us hope that this week’s conferences are as useful and revolutionary as that other major conference for which we will remember our dear Prime Minister – last year’ G20 summit. Please read Gordon Brown’s post-G20 summit statement of Thursday 2nd April 2009 and then try and decide how many of the “action points” have been implemented. You will not be disappointed.
This week’s conferences will probably result in a similar statement which will probably be another “cut-and-paste” version of the April 2009 G20 declaration.
Here’s an example:
“Can I welcome you to this conference following our G20 summit Conference on the future of Afghanistan? This is the day that the world we came together to fight back against the global recession terrorism, not with words but with a plan for global recovery and for reform and with a clear timetable for its delivery. And our message today is clear and certain: we believe that in this new global age our prosperity resolve is indivisible. We believe that global problems terrorism requires global solutions. We believe that for growth peace to be sustained the fight against terrorism must be shared and that trade peace must once again become an engine of growth.”