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A culture of derangement

The UK government has been peddling a culture of fear since 9/11 as an excuse for ever more control over people’s lives. Strange how people in Britain managed to survive all those years of Irish terrorism without such madness. To see how successful they have been at making this psychosis a pervasive feature of British life, check this out.

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51 comments to A culture of derangement

  • Linda Morgan

    It would be really interesting to see how those Bargain Madness enforcers handle the Google Street View Car when it comes through. Too bad there won’t be any regular street photographers about to document the mayhem.

    By the way, though it does seem a bit over the top to get so worked up over some guy walking about clicking photos, concerns about that Street View business could quite possibly be justified (possible comedy alert).

  • Strange how we got through 1939-45 without as much palaver.

  • Shannon Love

    Strange how people in Britain managed to survive all those years of Irish terrorism without such madness

    I would point out that IRA terrorism was a completely different animal than contemporary terrorism.

    IRA terrorism was completely symbolic and sought to create media events with an absolute minimum loss of life. They even went so far as to telephone the rough location of bombs so that the area could be evacuated. Only by misfortune could more than a handful of people die.

    Contemporary terrorism is mass-casualty terrorism. They seek to cause the maximum numbers of deaths possible. If they were smart enough to kill millions, they would.

    Mass-casualty terrorism provokes a different response than pure symbolic terrorism. People are quite content to treat pure symbolic terrorism as a civil crime. If no one gets hurt they may regard it as nothing more than vandalism. People don’t regard mass-casualty terrorism as mere crime. They view it as a military problem and the gloves come off.

    The great danger of terrorism is that it will drive the creation of a security state. The only means of preventing this is to create effective responses to terrorism. Had we prevented 9/11 or better yet, created disincentives to even thinking about such attacks, we would not be facing the erosion of civil liberties we see today. .

  • liminal

    comparing Irish Terrorism to Islamic Terrorism of 9/11 is such a Poor argument.

    One single act that killed completely indiscriminately 2,974 people.

    To 1,822 people killed in the last IRA campaign of 1969 to 1997.

    What on earth are you thinking?

  • Jason

    Words fail me. Nail bombs are designed “to create media events with an absolute minimum loss of life”?

    Just bizarre.

  • What on earth are you thinking?

    You quote one single act in another country and you seem to agree with the idea that we need a paranoid panoptic security state in Britain. Frankly people like you pose a bigger threat to me than Al Qaeda.

    The fact is other than a few successes years apart, Al Qaeda has demonstrated a distinct similarity to the Keystone Cops. And for that, you think taking pictures in public is a bad thing.

  • ” created disincentives to even thinking about such attacks”

    Aye, there’s the rub. The question is how to do that without eroding the civil liberties you’re trying to protect.

    What is clear is that this form of nonsense is totally counterproductive. It squanders any trust that the public at large may have had in the police.

    If you are of a marginal or – especially – targetted group, it’s not hard to see how this would send you the wrong way…

  • RAB

    Terrorism is Terrorism

    Asshole !

    But the Irish type was focused on a specific political agenda that they thought (and have been proven to be correct) that they thought they could achieve.

    The Islamic one is pure fantasyland.

    Much like your Handle.

  • Giddle

    I Didn’t Mean To Go To Stoke is one of those Flickr users who really loves street photography, and he uploads shed loads of the stuff. I find his captions and titles a tad patronising to his subjects, but his photos are an excellent archive of everyday folk going about their business in your average Anytown High Street. The man embodies everything that Flickr is and should be. I know he’s had run-ins with people who didn’t like being photographed and who tried to attack him, but these are things that rational beings can sort out amicably between themselves without the rozzers and all manner of busybodies getting involved. It’s like Peter Grimes with cameras these days.

    The fact is that we are a totally paranoid society now. I’ve been stopped and searched twice by the police for taking photos for Flickr (once at Dungeness nuclear power station, which in retrospect probably was asking for it somewhat, and once in Lambeth while taking a photo of a police witness appeal sign…)

  • Julian Taylor

    IRA terrorism was completely symbolic and sought to create media events with an absolute minimum loss of life. They even went so far as to telephone the rough location of bombs so that the area could be evacuated. Only by misfortune could more than a handful of people die.

    Please don’t try and justify those animals. If you want examples of cases where they either did not make phone calls, or made deliberately misleading calls designed to lure officers away from the scene then just Google up such names as ‘Guildford’ (5 murdered, 65 injured), ‘Warrington’ (2 murdered, 56 injured), ‘Birmingham’ (21 murdered, 162 injured), ‘Enniskillen’ (Remembrance Day service bombing – 12 murdered, 56 injured). I daresay that if the IRA had killed all their 1800+ victims in a single action then sympathy for them might be very much a different kettle of fish.

  • The idea that Irish terrorism was ‘completely symbolic’ is too absurd for words. Is it ‘completely symbolic’ to attempt to assassinate an elected head of state, killing five others in the attempt? Were the 29 deaths and 220 injuries in Omagh symbolic?

    I remember my parents being hesitant to let me go into London to go shopping as a teenager in the early 1990s because of bomb scares. My school was evacuated on a number of occasions because of bomb scares related to the nearby barracks.

    Irish terrorism was a continuing campaign that posed far more of a threat to most of us in our daily lives than the current attempts, and yet we had the courage not to abandon our liberties with such unseemly haste as we seem wont to do now.

    (This is not to argue that some were not abandoned, merely that the Terrorism Acts of 2000 and 2001, and the legislation that has followed since September 11th truncate our freedoms on a more massive scale, and seem to be part of a unending process of ‘securitification’. That’s a terrible word, but you know what I mean…)

  • “Had we prevented 9/11 or better yet, created disincentives to even thinking about such attacks, we would not be facing the erosion of civil liberties we see today.”

    And, I must also, respectfully, say that this is arrant nonsense. Had our governments not used 9/11 as little more than an excuse to restrict freedoms, and amass coercive power we would not be facing the erosion of civil liberties we see today.

  • WalterBowsell

    The security guard was over stepping his authoritah was he not? Had the photographer been stealing, well that would be a different situation.

    So, who told the security guard that he had a right to do this? His boss, his union, the police, the media?

    Are security guards throughout the UK & USA developing something akin to ‘blue tit milk bottle cap syndrome’.

    Is this something that EU zone citizens have to start getting used to?

    And all that yakking on about the IRA’s terrorist war being symbolic is just nonsense, not to mention insulting to those in the UK and the ROI who lost loved ones.

    The IRA played the game as hard or as soft as times dictated. I’ve met plenty a nutter who’d have gladly strapped one on and taken out half of London if they thought 5 years from now some drunken mob in the arsehole of Kerry would sing a tune in their honour.

  • Sadly this is an all too common occurrence. I keep a couple of copies of the PDF from http://www.sirimo.co.uk/ukpr.php in my camera bag just in case.

  • Pa Annoyed

    My memory is hazy on the subject, but I seem to remember that there were “draconian” and pervasive security measures taken over Irish terrorism. This one is quite interesting too, particularly the bit on stop and search.

    Besides the tendency of memory to fade, another factor to consider is the distinct difference between security on the mainland and in Northern Ireland. On the mainland, the threat was small and diluted, and police intervention more carefully targeted. Politicians got heavy protection, but the average man in the streets of England was not considered a particular target. Over in Northern Ireland it was a very different matter, with routine roadblocks, searches, and armed soldiers on the streets. The difference being that Ireland was where the terrorists were.

    Nowadays, it is England that is the source and target – London particularly. And so the measures that we previously saw in Northern Ireland have been brought across the water.

    While I agree in general terms that security theatre is a really bad approach to the problem, I do find this myth of a ‘Golden Age’ of civil freedom dating all the way from Magna Carta to the election of Tony Blair <spit> that is only now being eroded to be slightly irritating. There has always been a variable mixture, with freedoms coming and going all the time. There has been a recent sustained loss, but it is by no means unprecedented. And there have always been petty bureaucrats keen to exercise them a little beyond the limits set down by law, too.

    The problem in the linked article was that the cameramen tried to walk away. The correct approach, when arrested illegally by a security guard, is to stop as requested, ask if you’re under arrest and if they realise it’s a false one, and then to immediately call the police. Unless it is a real emergency or you think that by stopping you would put yourself or others in danger, the best answer is usually to stop, and then make a complaint of false arrest against the person concerned. Even if it doesn’t get you anywhere, the extra paperwork it will involve will annoy the cops sufficiently that they will want to discourage the practice. The police are not bothered by people calling them names or trying to punch them, but playing Mr law-abiding-citizen and turning the rulebook around on their security measures is far more likely to wind them up. And a petty bureaucrat will be far more likely to change their ways after they find themselves in trouble with the police, than because some bozo on the street ignored them and walked away. It is every citizen’s duty, on finding such criminals and tortfeasors interfering with innocents going about their business, to help the police to eliminate them.

  • Vinegar Joe

    I think there are probably a hell of a lot more Jihadis in the UK than there ever were Provos.

  • I think there are probably a hell of a lot more Jihadis in the UK than there ever were Provos.

    Who cares? They mount a few attacks every few YEARS and that means the country should be a police state?

  • Windy blow

    In our era of avoiding charges of racism, would people have rushed to manhandle a photographer if he wasn’t British-white?

    No, I thought not.

  • amos


    I sympathize – and largely agree – with you; but I think it’s myopic to pretend that the stakes are not higher.

    Provos have to live there, too. So serious mayhem is out of the question. For Provos, the homeland is over there across the water. For Jihadis it’s at best in the middle east. At worst it’s in Paradise. Also, Provos did not have a suicide death cult aspect to it like what we’re facing now.

  • I am not saying the Islamic nutjobs are not a threat, just that they are not Nazi Germany or Soviet Union. The threat is real but it is also VASTLY overblown.

    Turning Britain into a police state where you cannot take pictures in the fucking street means the main threat is not the Islamic nutjobs, it is people who think that roughing up photographers in Middlesbrough makes us in any way safer. They are the people who pose the biggest clear and present danger.

  • Pa Annoyed

    I’m sorry? Fair enough if you think Jihadi terrorists are not such a big threat, but you think one idiot security guard and a couple of bystanders is a bigger threat? Are we not committing exactly the same fallacy, only the other way?

    As I’ve said before, the threat posed by Jihadi terrorism is political, it is not the direct how-many-people-can-they-kill sort of threat that is the problem, but the way they are appeased with political policy changes, granting them power. They are a serious threat to society, albeit not in the way usually claimed. The shift (if it is a shift) of attitudes in the public enjoined by security theatre, the eroding of civil liberties, is the same sort of thing. I am sure that even fewer people care about one cameraman getting roughed up for resisting arrest than they do about the 7/7 bombings. If your claim is that it is the cultural attitude it represents that poses the danger, then you have to compare the two on similar criteria. Are either the means or the aims of the foaming Jihadis really any less scary than those of the self-appointed guardians of public safety? Or is it that you think the latter are more likely to succeed?

    In any case, I don’t find it so obvious that of the two, security theatre is the greater threat. No offence intended, mind. I’m sure reasonable people can differ on such a matter.

  • I’m sorry? Fair enough if you think Jihadi terrorists are not such a big threat, but you think one idiot security guard and a couple of bystanders is a bigger threat? Are we not committing exactly the same fallacy, only the other way?

    Excuse me? You think some fucktards in Middlesbrough are the extent of the problem? The state and the culture of fear it is propagating is the problem, because out of that culture comes the moronic acceptance of every control measure offered up to make us ‘safer’. That is the problem, the jerks in Middlesbrough are just one expression of it.

  • They mount a few attacks every few YEARS and that means the country should be a police state?

    Maybe the security measures had something to do with the fact that there weren’t more successful attacks ?
    I’m not saying that every thing the security forces do is wise or effective, just a few of them. You need some security measures.
    And I don’t see how this incident of dumb behavior of some civilian security guard was caused by the terrorism scare, or by govmnt. anti terrorism acts.

  • Ivan

    Pa Annoyed:

    Fair enough if you think Jihadi terrorists are not such a big threat, but you think one idiot security guard and a couple of bystanders is a bigger threat?

    If incidents like this are in any way an indication of a general attitude among security guards and the police, then I’d say, definitely yes. Even if successful terrorist attacks on the scale of 7/7 were happening on a regular basis, they would still present only an extremely small probability of getting killed or mutilated – and that is something anyone can easily live with (at least anyone who is willing to ride in a car, or even approach a road, for that matter). Omnipresent uniformed thugs making my life miserable on a daily basis are, in my opinion, a much more scary prospect.

    Of course, the real danger from terrorists comes precisely from the fact that the hysteria raised by their activities – both real and hypothetical – is one of the principal driving forces behind various trends hostile to freedom. This is in fact the only way they can significantly hurt any of the Western societies.

  • MarkS

    The way things are going we will cease to be a functional state in the next five years and then the jihadis can blow the whole lot up since there won’t be anything worth saving. Let’s face it, they don’t need to blow anything up, the threat of these nutcases is enough to destabilise civic society and keep us treading on eggshells for the next 100 years. When will people realise the war is over? The extremists have won because all they wanted was to destabilise democracy and restrict our freedoms. We did it for them. Brilliant!

  • Pa Annoyed

    Do you think the few Jihadis who actually set off bombs are the extent of the problem?

    Or does the problem include the media who are too terrified to show a cartoon or criticise? Or the policemen who stand and guard a protester calling for the beheading of those who insult Islam? Or the introduction of segregation in gyms and swimming pools? Or prisons laying on prayer sessions and special conditions while the prison population is radicalised as they watch? Or prime ministers and presidents have to intervene and make public statements over some film maker? Or the UN getting started on forcing new blasphemy legislation on everyone? Or the government having to back down after trying to declare forced marriage illegal? Or the indoctrination of children in schools? Or supposedly serious businesses banning piggy banks and Winnie the Pooh items for fear of offending?

    Or perfectly ordinary and otherwise sensible people leap into an argument, shaking with indignation, over the racist Islamophobia of saying Islam is associated with terrorist supremacism?

    Both Jihad terrorism and security theatre are problems, and the latter is not the way to deal with the former – but I contend that Jihad terrorism is the bigger problem.

    We have always had such bureaucratic petty officials in British society – the character is almost a British stereotype – and we have always survived them. But the political correctness inspired by their fear marks a real shift of British culture. In a way, the security is just another symptom of the terrorist disease, it is not an independent phenomenon. Minimising the need to address terrorism in order to fight the encroachment of pervasive security is as misguided as the use of security to fight terrorism is itself.

  • Pa Annoyed


    While I wait for my other comment to pass the Smite filter…

    In my experience, this has always been the attitude of security guards. They seek purpose in life, as we all do, a little excitement to break the humdrum. If people can be harassed and forcibly ejected from a building for wearing jeans and trainers, not crimes in any jurisdiction I know of, there are clearly no limits.

    And as I’ve said before, the threat of the Jihadis is not how many they kill or maim, but the concessions they are granted in everyday life to try to keep them quiet. They turn everyone into a potential thug, prepared to stifle incipient “racism”. Are they not scary too?

  • Vinegar Joe

    Who cares?

    You will the day they kill 3,000 Londoners.

  • Johnathan Pearce

    I am with Perry on this. When the IRA was on the rampage – and I remember some, if not all, of the horrors that Julian Taylor refers to – we did not have quite the level of interference in civil liberties and paranoia that we have today. Of course, these things are not black or white: the government of Edward Heath in the early 1970s attempted to impose internment, a policy that failed and was abandoned. I would be interested to know exactly how much stop-and-search powers were used in random checks on the public in northern Ireland; I suspect quite a lot of that happened. And if one looks across Europe to how the Italians dealt with the Red Brigades, or how Spain still deals with ETA, I suspect that the picture is the same.

    Anyone claiming that the IRA killings were purely symbolic is an idiot; the permanently disabled wife of Norman Tebbit, the cabinet minister badly injured with his colleagues in the mid-1980s, is an example of how idiotic that statement is.

  • You will the day they kill 3,000 Londoners.

    And you think that stopping people taking pictures in public places will stop that? Do you think ID cards will stop that? Do you really think CCTV cameras will stop that? No, intelligence lead police work is what can stop that, not any of the shite control measures that purport to make us safer.

  • Pa Annoyed

    Where will the intelligence leads come from? And what sort of behaviour would constitute an ‘intelligence lead’? If would-be terrorists are anonymous, unmonitored, and able to go about their own preparatory monitoring and intelligence activities unhindered (as is their right), where do the police start? That sort of thing can only ever be a temporary measure, and the time it has bought us is already running out.

    What will stop it is exposing and combating the ideology and sending the firm message that this sort of pressure doesn’t pay. That’s what’s missing.

    Anyway, whatever. That’s enough from me.

  • DocBud

    A point that has not been picked up on is the claim that the policewoman informed them that “it was unlawful to photograph people in public”.

    I don’t really think any police office who patrols the streets should be ignorant of such a basic law, so why would she have told them it was illegal when it is not? I’d be inclined to chuck in a complaint against the police as well as a prosecution for unlawful arrest (then possibly agree to drop the complaint as long as the unlawful arrest charge is properly pursued, my experience is that the police will do just about anything to make police complaints go away). What might be more profitable would be a civil claim against the employers or clients of the security thugs for pain and distress.

  • Where will the intelligence leads come from?

    Where 90% of all intelligence leads in internal counter terrorism cases comes from: infiltration of the target group.

  • permanentexpat

    There is absolutely no doubt.
    I would be a stranger in the land of my birth.

  • RAB

    I wonder what would have happened, if the photographer, instead of being a photographer, was an artist.
    Had pulled out a sketch pad, a folding chair and watercolours.
    I recon the security guard would have had a quick look and said,
    That’s really good.Carry on(you can get as much done with a pencil as with a camera if you are a Jihadi terrorist and good enough.)
    It’s the perception of the threat that matters.
    A camera can be used by everyone, but hey! an artist is different!
    Rather like the old joke about the bloke who kept getting stopped coming out of the Docks with a wheelbarrow by security, because they thought he was nicking stuff.
    They searched the wheelbarrow, but never found anything, so always let him go.
    Yes of course he was nicking wheelbarrows!

  • This isn’t about people being paranoid, it’s about security guards behaving like jumped-up little pricks having been given a single iota of authority. They exercise force and authority for the sake of it, not because they are worried about terrorism. Britain hs turned into a nation of jumped-up little jobsworths, I find it astonishing that at street level Russia seems to be a lot more liberal than the UK. Thank hell I left.

  • Dub_James

    Let’s just be sure we’re being at least accurate, whatever side of the argument you come down on:

    That’s IRA terrorism. Not Irish terrorism; anymore than Islamic terrorism is Arab terrorism.

    Let’s at least get our terms straight.

  • Ed99


    “WASHINGTON – The Bush administration would require commercial airlines and cruise-line operators to collect information such as fingerprints from international travelers and send the information to the Homeland Security Department soon after the travelers leave the country, according to a proposed rule.”

  • That’s IRA terrorism. Not Irish terrorism; anymore than Islamic terrorism is Arab terrorism.

    The Provisional IRA/INLA/UDA/UVF is a bit long winded, so ‘Irish’ works just fine. The IRA (provos) were just the most prolific of the Irish terrorists, they were not the sum total of it.

  • Sunfish

    Are security guards throughout the UK & USA developing something akin to ‘blue tit milk bottle cap syndrome’.

    Google “Shrine of the Mall Ninja.” It’s probably parody, but it’s not too far off from my own experiences with the private sector. (The term ‘holster sniffer’ is also commonly used to describe such, although the latter can mean any wanker who buys a decommissioned 1996 Chevrolet Caprice with the spotlight still mounted. Firefighters will recognize the term “Ricky Rescue.”)

    In my state, private security is nothing more than an extension of the client, with no more power than the client has and chooses to delegate.[1] A store employee has the legal authority to detain a suspected shoplifter long enough to call police. Any person has the power of citizens arrest, subject to limitations. The catch is, it’s really not okay to arrest or detain people if whatever bad thing they supposedly did isn’t actually a crime.

    I got a call to a disturbance at a bar. I get there (in uniform, driving a Ford CVI that says “We’ll kick your ass and take your donuts too” on the side) and the bouncer tells me that he’s not letting me in. Then he tells me that he needs to seize my weapon before letting me in. Eventually, I used my powers of persuasion to get past him. I found out that he and his partner decided to ‘detain’ a patron who was taking pictures, and got a little rough in the process.

    Did I mention that you can only ‘detain’ when the alleged bad behavior would constitute a crime, if true?

    Victim ended up signing a complaint for assault and false imprisonment. One bouncer was smart, went home, and showed up for his court date. The other, well, play stupid games and you win stupid prizes.

    (Okay, Sunfish, the point of that war story was what, again?)

    Getting back to the original topic: The mall ninjas in Middlesbrough may not have been thinking about terrorists at all. Shopping malls are a little touchy about photography inside, for reasons that I can’t quite fathom. I suspect it’s about a third that, a third testosterone poisoning, and a third something that wasn’t in the original story.

    [1] There are states where private security goes beyond this, usually in states with uncivilized gun laws but that’s a rant for another time.

  • RAB

    Take a look at the pic again folks.

    That is not a Mall, that is a public street that has been pedestrianised. That’s a late Victorian building behind the “holster sniffer”(like that one Sunfish)

    So sue the ass off them in all directions, and make as big a fuss as possible.

  • not the Alex above

    I watched a programme about the IRA last night on BBC2 that said that at one point the IRA had at its disposal over 130 tons of weapons. Everything form hand guns, Kalashnikovs, grenades, semtex, RPGs to surface to air missiles – compare that to today’s Islamic fantasists with cars filled with petrol or bombs made with fizzy drinks – that’s a proper terrorist threat.

    (After watching the programme last night I was thinking about the whole NI issue and came to the conclusion that after all that war and bloodshed the Nationalists kind of got what they wanted, however the Scottish nationalists got it a whole lot quicker with out ever having to fire a shot!)

  • RAB

    Yes it’s ironic isn’t it NTAA

    We Welsh got an Assembly and only 30% of the population even bothered to vote in the Referendum, let alone vote FOR one.

    Wales went the cultural route, emphasising the Language.

    Oh there were a few nutters in the Free Wales A back in the Army that blew up a few tv transmitters back in the 60s, but they really were a complete shower, and certainly didn’t have the bottle to kill anyone.

    I have a really cracking anecdote about an old friend of mine, who, in his impressionable youth, went to a “Secret” Free Wales Army training camp in the Brecon Beacons, back in the late 60s.

    Just shout if you want to hear it.

  • Alisa

    RAB: you know I’m always listening!

  • WalterBowsell

    I’d like to hear that too RAB. Up until now I thought Welsh anecdotes were the stuff of legend.

    Sunfish – I am aware of “Shrine of the Mall Ninja”. Funny stuff. Let’s hope it’s parody.

  • RAB

    Well ok, If your sure now?

    It’s 1968, and my friend PW is about 17 and a Welsh speaker and fervent Nationalist.
    He fell in with this group of Free Wales Army types who thought that a spot of training for the struggle would be a good idea.
    So 12 of them went camping in the Brecon Beacons, naively thinking that they would be un-noticed.One even brought his retriever, Cariad, with him.
    This wasn’t a Jihadi type organised camp, crawling under barbed wire and stuff, this was just camping.
    Bring your own tent and food. They had the one .22 rifle to practice with between them.
    And they had the promise that via the organisation of Celtic brotherhood, an IRA operative would be coming to show them how to use explosives.
    Well, none of them had actually been camping before. So the first night after they’d pitched the tents (with some difficulty) and had a campfire fry up cooked by the bloke they all knew the least about, it started to rain.
    They soon found that the tents were in the wrong place when a torrent of water pretty much washed them away, along with most of the food.
    So the next night they spent in the pub in the nearest village, drying out the tents, getting pissed and eating in the chip shop.
    Well the next day the IRA guy finally turned up from the Fishguard ferry.
    They were ready to go home by now.They were really fed up.
    But he was made of sterner stuff. So it was back up the mountain with the tents, to teach them the magic of dynamite.
    Trouble was they were a bit short of food, and tried fishing in a little lake nearby. There were plenty of fish in the lake, but they couldn’t catch any.
    So somebody suggested what has become known as Mujahadin fishing. Tossing a stick of dynamite into the lake stunning all the fish which float to the top,then you can collect at your leasure.
    Better stand well back though they thought, not being sure how big the bang would be.
    Remember Cariad the Retriever?
    Yes well when he saw the stick being thrown he was after it like a shot.
    The wimp who threw it didn’t manage to hit the lake, Cariad caught it and was bringing it back…
    Oh fuckin hell!… of a panic in all directions.
    Well it blew up the dog and everybody was so scared and dishevelled and pissed off, that they just went home, vowing to continue the fight via the letters page of the Western Mail in future.
    Turns out the cook they didn’t know very well was Special Branch, and they had been observed by the SAS, who they and practically everyone else had ever heard of until the Iranian Embassy seige, the whole time.
    Brecon Beacons are SAS training grounds you see.
    They must have been laughing their asses off at these adolecent clowns.
    Just as well we went for language, culture and S4C innit?

  • WalterBowsell

    Brilliant. Poor Cariad. A true martyr.

  • RAB

    Yes I agree Alisa.
    I was going to put a warning at the front of that one, cos you know how I feel about dogs.
    But a statue down the Bay is in order for faithful Cariad.
    Just think of the innocent lives he saved in one fell

  • “That’s IRA terrorism. Not Irish terrorism; anymore than Islamic terrorism is Arab terrorism.”

    Hmmm… so in your formulation Irish is to Arab as IRA is to Islam? Surely, more properly, by your definitions, we should be referring to ‘Christian terrorism’.

    Oh, or we could assume that ‘Al Qaeda’ is not the same thing as ‘Islamic’. Just a thought…

  • The Troubles were about competing nationalisms (various views of Irishness), Al Qaeda is about religion. Thus the IRA/UDA were not ‘Christian’ terrorist, because in truth the IRA and UDA were fighting over political and cultural issues and so calling them ‘Christian’ terrorists suggests they were fighting over religion, which was really not the case. Al Qaeda on the other hand are clearly Islamic terrorists rather than Arab terrorists (they are not fighting for pan-Arabism, they are fighting for global Islam).