Skip to main content

Fear itself

What is the very worst that the people so far questioned in the UK could have inflicted against us?

OK, let us assume that they could have seized control of ten aeroplanes- say Jumbos- carrying about 450 passengers. Let us further assume that each mission was "successful"- so they kill a maximum of 4,500 people over the Atlantic. Horrific.

I think we should view this in context: last year the death toll on British roads was 3221. In the USA the death toll from road accidents in 2005 was 43,443.

Now, according to New Republic, the USA regards the UK as a hornet's nest of terrorism- Pontiac, I notice, gets off without censure.

At the end of the day, Osama Bin Laden lives in a cave. He is not an evil genius- he is a delusional maniac- a poor little rich boy who was sent round the bend by seeing the violence of the Anti-Soviet Afghan war.

His follwers are delusional "Islamic" nobodies- they may be mad or bad or both, but mostly they are just sad- losers in the lottery of life. These are not and should not be treated as bigger enemies than Hitler. If we think that they are then I really think that both History and Maths should be better taught in British schools!

We live with risk every day, and we have clearly changed our behaviour since 2001: "the terrorists have won". However, if we continue down the line of restricting freedom then maybe we have already proved our decadence by our inability to count- that we have lost our sense of perspective.

"Thewaarontear"! George Bush's insult to free people- and the biggest danger to democracy since the end of the Cold war.

It is not what the terrorists can do to us that we should be afraid of- it is what our fear of terrorism can do to our society that we should worry about:

"The only thing we have to fear is fear itself".

Comments

Dr Maybe said…
I've seen it pointed out that the terrorists' record in the UK - 40 something innocent deaths and transport chaos - is comparable to that of Railtrack.

Popular posts from this blog

Cicero ReDux

By Special Request of Baroness Scott and Mark Valladares... Cicero's Songs returns: bigger, longer and uncut.
October 1st marked the half way point of the Estonian Presidency of the European Union.  Perhaps for many people such an anniversary is of passing interest at best.  Yet the conduct of the Estonian Presidency is reinforcing just how forward looking and innovative the most northerly of the Baltic States has become.
Estonia is a country that wants to live in the future, and with its openness and innovation, that future seems a lot closer than almost anywhere else in Europe
It is not that Estonia does not “do” the past: the picturesque cobbled streets of old Tallinn have tourist crowds a-plenty enjoying the mediaeval architecture in an Indian summer of sunshine and blue skies.  The real point is that Estonia refuses to be a prisoner of its past. Lennart Meri, Estonia’s President in the 1990s- who spent years of his childhood in Siberia- once told me that the country had to conc…

The American National nightmare becomes a global nightmare

It is a basic contention of this blog that Donald J Trump is not fit for office.

A crooked real estate developer with a dubious past and highly questionable finances. he has systematically lied his way into financial or other advantage. His personal qualities include vulgarity, sexual assault allegations and fraudulent statements on almost every subject. 

He lost the popular vote by nearly three million votes.

He has, of course, been under criminal investigation practically since before he took the oath of office. The indictment of some of closest advisers is just the beginning. His track record suggests that in due course there is no action he will not take, whether illegal or unconstitutional in order to derail his own inevitable impeachment and the indictments that must surely follow the successful investigation of Robert Mueller into his connections with Russia.

However, all of that is a matter for the American people. 

It is also a matter for the American people that Trump is cheating…

In praise of off-shore tax havens

The last few years has seen a spate of "scandals" about the use of off-shore tax havens. The hacking and subsequent leaking of data about who does and does not hold assets in off-shore jurisdictions has become an old perennial in the British press, rather like the "COLD weather happens in winter and QUITE HOT weather happens in summer", whose alarmist capital letter laced headlines are such a lazy part of contemporary "journalism". 

The increasing sophistication of the hackers, whether Russian-inspired or not, has resulted in a steady trickle of information becoming a torrent. After the relatively filleted release of data in the so-called "Panama Papers", the data release of the "Paradise Papers" is even larger.  Of course, just natural curiosity dictates that the off-shore ownership, or even just "ownership", of assets is of general public interest.  Celebrities, from the Royal family to the cast of Mrs Brown's Boys, are …