I'm sure everyone now knows that Tony Blair suffered his first humilating defeat in his bid to let police hold terrorist suspects for up to 90 days without charge. I was slightly in two minds about the whole affair. The liberal in me worries a lot about people being effectively imprisioned for three months, specially when the police have sometimes been worrying incompetant over their "identification of terrorists" due to their behaviour on the London Underground (the French guy from The Guardian - incidentally there are lots of comments in that post even though the counter says zero - and Jean Charles de Menezes being the two most recent cases in point). But then I thought I don't want potential terrorists on the loose.
However, Rachel who was on the Tube at King's Cross that was blown up by terrorists has once again put across a point of view in a way far, far better way than I ever could:
"As everyone reading this knows by now, I was on the bombed train at Kings Cross, in the first carriage. So yes, I am not surprised that terrorists seek to do what they can to attack my democratic society, to threaten my liberties, to spread fear, to seek to divide us.
I do not expect my democratically-elected government to do the same. I cannot, and do not speak for all the victims, and nor can, and nor should Tony Blair and Charles Clarke.
But I know one thing: to defeat terrorism and hate-filled individuals we need to draw strength from each other, to co-operate and talk with each other, whether white or black, Muslim or Christian, Sikh, Hindu, Jew or atheist. Just like we did went the lights went out and the tunnel filled with smoke and we heard the screams of the dying; we drew together, we held hands, we prayed and we did not panic.
I do not see why this ill-thought out macho posturing, which can only destabilise and divide us, by robbing men and women of the ancient and fundemental right of habeas corpus, and making sections of the community afraid, is going to defeat terror.
And I will not meekly accept claims that this is to be done in my name. This is panicking, this is fearful, this is not helpful. I expect better than this, and I deserve better than this. We all do.."
She continues "when I hear your voices dripping sympathy and concern, saying you do this 'for the victims', Tony, Charles, and the rest of you... I remain disgusted that you should use ordinary people - because that is all we are - bombed people - bloodied people - in this way. Who gave you the right to speak for me, Mr Blair, Mr Clarke? When did I give my blessing to fear-mongering? You have never asked my opinion. You did not listen when I and a million others took to the streets and you do not listen now......"
"And I banged this out in my lunch hour, and now it's in The Times. Well, good.
Bollocks to this. I can't just sit there and take this crap.
It's not what I believe in. It's not what I got off the damn train for, frankly."