Monday, June 05, 2006

Mail on Sunday Editorial about the East London raid.

The Mail on Sunday is a top-selling and very influential UK newspaper. It is said to represent the voice of 'Middle England.'

From The Mail on Sunday editorial, 4 June 2006:

The 'War on terror'... All too often it seems to be a pretext for the spreading of panic and the exaggeration of fear - combined with a failure to foresee or prevent actual outrages.

We have had tanks uselessly deployed at Heathrow Airport, the non-existent plan to attack Manchester United, the fantasy plot to poison the people of London with ricin - and the shooting dead of a wholly innocent man... And now we have the East London poison raid.

This was no simple arrest. There are suggestions that it was preceded by lengthy and rather obvious surveillance. Then in conditions of total publicity, the authorities deployed a force of police large enough to invade a small country and even imposed an air exclusion zone...

Were the extraordinary number of officers really needed, when the public are constantly being told that there is not enough manpower available to deal with ordinary crime and disorder? ...

If the police were hoping to capture alleged terrorists in possession of dangerous materials, why was the area not evacuated first? The way in which the action was conducted kindles the suspicion that it had a propaganda purpose... That it was intended to demonstrate the vigilance and striking power of MI5 and the police...

Was the planning of the operation influenced by political considerations? ...Whose purpose does it serve by spreading alarm and fear?

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