I disagreed with Michelle (my wife).
Her first reaction to the breaking news of the London Bomb Plot was "yeah, right!" or words to that effect. Regular readers will know how sceptical I am with regard to the "War on Terror". Nevertheless, this particular plot has had the smell of authenticity to me from day one. I am confident that a genuinely ambitious plot has been interdicted and that British Intelligence (probably with considerable assistance from the NSA and other arms of the Global Intelligence community) has scored a significant victory which will do much - as the details emerge - to restore their public image, and perhaps a slightly battered self confidence - after the debacles of the previous 12 months. I believe we will learn that, had the attack been successful, up to 3,000 more lives would have been added to the MIFT score card. Our lives, of course, count for anything up to 30 lesser (Arab, Muslim etc) lives each so it would have been quite a significant victory for them. Not quite “unimaginable” but pretty nasty all the same.
More significant, though, is that, on this occasion, my confidence that this has been a real threat puts me in the minority – at least among those who have ventured to comment, if not the wider, less involved, public.
The country has been told by its Rulers that we are under direct and imminent military threat – with a potential death toll, from a single co-ordinated attack, greater than the British civilian body count resulting from Germany’s supersonic V2 rockets at the tail end of the second world war.(2754 civilian deaths caused by 1115 V2 rockets in case you were curious)
This is not the first time we’ve been under real threat.
It is, however, the first time in history that specific detailed warnings of such threat have been so publicly and widely greeted by a chorus of raspberries from a sceptical and cynical public.
The polls don’t yet reveal that this is a majority reaction, but nevertheless, I regard it as a cause for limited celebration! As most revolutionary movements know, where the few activists lead, the passive majority will usually follow. This may be the moment that future historians will look back on as the clear signal that “the worm was about to turn”; the moment when the majority of subjects began to realise that they couldn’t and shouldn’t trust their rulers. ANY rulers. Ever
It’s only a pity that the worm appears to have picked this particular case on which to turn and a shame that the turning didn’t take place a couple of years ago, when it really would have been useful – but better late than never.
I think I actually shocked a few people last year with my private reaction the weekend after the death of Jean Charles De Menezes while the country was, understandably, obsessing over the disaster. I said we would come to be grateful for his timely sacrifice. It would, I said, ensure that our Police did not get too gung ho.
If they are prepared to be that brazen on the back of one PR success, after a string of PR failures, that will, I maintain, validate my hypothesis. If it hadn’t been for the killing of Jean Charles De Menezes, the Police State of the United Kingdom would be even more closely coupled to the Police State of America.