Monday, March 03, 2008

Absent without leave

There's a cracking post over at ChickenYoghurt today about ministers who simply cannot be arsed to turn up to interviews.
There was an item on Radio 4’s The World At One this lunchtime about the implications of growing numbers of radical Muslim prisoners in Britain’s jails—the prison service predicts prisons will hold 1,600 convicted Islamist terrorists within ten years. Unfortunately, a government view on the matter was not forthcoming:
We did ask to speak to the Ministry of Justice about how they’re dealing with this problem, but although ministers are giving interviews today about the new Conservative prison policy, we were told they wouldn’t talk about this subject.

So what you have here is government ministers willing to appear to have a go at opposition policies—to oppose the opposition, if you like—but unwilling to turn up to defend their own. How’s that for a constructive dialogue?

Is it cowardice or contempt, do you think? I can’t decide. I’ve always thought that government ministers should be forced to appear to defend their policies, with menaces if necessary.

But this then whole idea of political accountability—except at election time, obviously, when we’re asked to ratify policies we have no ‘legitimate expectation‘ to see enacted—is a honking dud.
...

What you mustn’t believe, however, is that this helps fuel the disconnection with, and contempt for, politics and politicians. No, like terrorism, they are spontaneous occurring phenomena.

Do go and read the whole thing: it's Justin at his pithy best.

7 comments:

Vlad said...

" ... the prison service predicts prisons will hold 1,600 convicted Islamist terrorists within ten years. "

I know how to not have 1600 convicted Islamist terrorists in prison - ever.

Homophobic Horse said...

"No, like terrorism, they are spontaneous occurring phenomena."

People who blame 7/7 on the Iraq war, or claim there is a "causal" connection actually have a poorer understanding of the terrorist attacks then those who maintain there is no link.

What I mean is this:

A. By blaming 7/7 on Iraq one validates mass murder.

Which leads to,

B. Ignoring the actual content of Mohammed Siddique Khans reasoning, which was Jihad.

Jihad is not a military response to occupation, and mass murder is not a military tactic, it is a terrorist tactic, it targets the civilian populace.

This is a complex point and people I explain it to have difficulty understanding it.

Mike Power said...

Hey Dobbin! - ...mass murder is not a military tactic, it is a terrorist tactic, it targets the civilian populace.

What tosh! So if it comes out of a US Army bomb bay or a Marine's firearm it's not murder, Tell that to the tens of thousands of dead Iraqis.

War is ALWAYS about mass murder, and for the last 70 years the victims have been mostly civilian or don't they teach history at your stables?

Homophobic Horse said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Homophobic Horse said...

"This is a complex point and people I explain it to have difficulty understanding it."

Told you. But oh well lets read on. To make your reactive partisan point that the Americans are engaging in terrorism - thus tautologicaly repudiating the Iraq war - you say this:

"War is ALWAYS about mass murder, and for the last 70 years the victims have been mostly civilian or don't they teach history at your stables?"

This is a radical expansion of the definition of war, where war is "always" about mass murder and yet you believe that only in the last 70 years has it been targetig mainly civilians. This not only contradictory it is dishonest. You have to do this to maintain your partisan (BDS?) attack.

But this tautological repudiation is just another way of saying that the 7/7 bombers had something legitimate to their cause, whilst simultaneously condeming both 7/7 and the Iraq war on grounds that are self defeating because they justify (through a false equivalence) the 7/7 atrocity.

Like I said, it's a tough point to understand, you Mike Power are a case in point.

But I return you to the cognitive flow chart:

A. By blaming 7/7 on Iraq one validates mass murder.

Which leads to,

B. Ignoring the actual content of Mohammed Siddique Khans reasoning, which was Jihad.

Jihad is not a military response to occupation; Khan did not suffer its daily privations, and mass murder (crucially in the Jihadist case) is not a military tactic because it does not weaken the military capability of the enemy. This is what distinguishes terrorism from the military. I'm sad to say the 7/7 attack has had the correct effect on you Mr Power, for you oppose the Iraq war whilst justifying the 7/7 atrocity. You are repeating the pompous logic of the murderer.

One can reasonably oppose both the Iraq war and 7/7 for the basis of what those things actually are, and not on the basis of a fibbers equivalence. However, if you reply to this, I confidently predict that this is what you shall do nonetheless.

Mike Power said...

Neigh!!! Neigh!!! Wow back! Good pony.

I really can't be bothered to answer your stupid, ignorant crap, you supercilious tosser.

JuliaM said...

"I really can't be bothered to answer your stupid, ignorant crap, you supercilious tosser."

Translation: "Bugger! I think I just made myself look pretty foolish. Oh well, here's some insults to cover my hasty retreat..."