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Call it a … pattern analysis - Wemyss's Appalling Hobby:
From the Party Guilty of Committing 'Gate of Ivory, Gate of Horn'
Call it a … pattern analysis

Boris Johnson has rightly, and surprisingly sensibly, pointed out that it is the Torygraph, not the Times, that is the natural paper of choice for ‘peppery old colonels living at “the Old Rectory” in some Gloucs village’, and the Times have been a fairly reliable supporter of Blairism during the ‘nine years of [alleged] achievement’ that the PM keeps banging on about so unconvincingly.


Well, when Noolabour has lost the Times, it is time to notice. 


The whitewash, I’m sorry, the report – post-mortem would be the mot juste, really – on the 7/7 attacks is now before us.  Or not.  What is now known is damning enough: that the security services had ‘more important things to do’ than to continue to monitor the suspects before they could strike, even though the ‘dots’ were there simply wanting to be connected.  What precisely it was that was more important than monitoring the loonies who were preparing to bomb London Transport for the greater glory of what-have-you, is not detailed.  In fact, a good deal of what the subjects of the realm, and indeed its governors, want to know, to have any sort of public debate on the matter, is being hushed up under the convenient rubric of the ‘sub judice’ rules.  Now, admittedly, the terror threat in the UK is statistically not all that high just now – so far as we are allowed to know, and discounting the imminent presence of the contemptible Hugo Chavez, eager to sup with his ideological soul-mates and the usual lickspittles of despotism.  Statistically, it is quite probably far more dangerous just now to be an OAP with a small-holding and a persistent cough (Labour will starve you of your pension or bankrupt you to the point of suicide by bollixing your farm payment,s well before the next barbarian on a mission from his god can bomb or behead you, and if all else fails, Lord Joffe hopes to pip the terrorists to the post by brewing you up a nice cuppa – of hemlock – for that nasty cough).


Even so, it is damned dispiriting to realise how many opportunities to avert the attack were missed, for no discernible good reason. 


For example, had detainees in Afghanistan been shown snaps of the men then under surveillance who later carried out the attack, their ends and connexions and background should have been recognised.  Worse still, had the dozy intelligence boffins looked up from their bacon butties and bumph, long enough to contemplate circulating the suspects’s names and portraits amongst the Guantanamo detainees, the entire plot seems likely to have unravelled before any harm could have been done.


But that’s not the Labour culture, is it, either in Westminster or in Whitehall, amongst the exquisitely bien-pensant bureaucrats.  The Labour mindset believes that air pirates, highjack merchants, want to be rewarded by being allowed to stay in Britain.  The Labour mindset holds that there are more important, for which read, less likely to earn a scolding leader from the Indy or the Grauniad, matters than securing the defence of the realm.  The Labour mindset prefers to take away the rights of the loyal subject – both his right not to carry Russian-style ‘internal papers’ and his right to be protected against the common enemy of all – rather than actually combat the sodding terrorists.  If Lord Goldsmith spent more time acting in the interest of the Crown, the government, and the populace who pay him – by, just as an example, vigorously appealing the insane ruling on the highjack case – and less in complaining about how the Yanks do things, everyone would be rather better served.  (Amazing, isn’t it.  If Gitmo detention is wrong and illegal, it has been so ab initio; if it hasn’t been wrong before now, it never was.  Yet the cabinet and the ministry of the day are supposed to embody two principles, one of collective responsibility, univocal, and one of ministerial responsibility for the failings of each minister’s department.  Typically, Goldsmith, like most Labour ministers of the Crown, manages to violate both principles.)


If non-intrusive data mining and pattern analysis on the American model – a perfectly normal and unremarkable intelligence technique that is a threat to no one not actively engaged in miching mallecho, and one used, for example, in investigating and prosecuting gangland crimes, which has become an issue only because it is in the partisan interest of some American pols and Langley Sir Humphreys to brief against the latest nominee to head that spy service, and to the devil with the leak’s telling terrorists which networks to use to avoid detection – if pattern analysis, traffic analysis used by every Army in history since Morse invented his code, might reasonably have saved the lives of students, chartered accountants, charwomen, and OAPs on 7/7, I’m all for it, and a damned sight happier with that than some rubbishing ID card proposal.  Bring on the Signallers, say I.  (See also: UKUSA; GCHQ Cheltenham; ECHELON.)  And most of all, spare me this incessant tenderness for the rights of terrorists combined with a complete disregard of the rights, and lives, of the honest subject.


Oh, well.  Sod it.  At least the Test is here (551-6, declared!).  (And I do hope for the tourists’s sake they’ve still a country to go home to: perhaps their government’s detaining some Tamil Tigers and monitoring their ‘traffic’ and ‘chatter’ might aid in that?)

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3 comments or Leave a comment
From: tree_and_leaf Date: May 12th, 2006 04:31 pm (UTC) (Link)
Paradoxically, the fact that there doesn't seem to have been much useful intelligence coming out of Afghanistan and Guantanamo is one of the things I find worrying about it (especially given the reluctance to allow outside observers in): either they have got entirely the wrong people locked up, or the guards are more interested in other things than sensible intelligence work.

I think you may overestimate the government's fear of the Grauniad, though: they'd far rather have the support of the Times and the Mail (curiously enough, I'd rather read the Torygraph than the Times, even though I don't like its political line on most topics...)

But, as you say, at least we've got the cricket!
wemyss From: wemyss Date: May 12th, 2006 04:44 pm (UTC) (Link)

Competence is never a given with the cloak and dagger mob.

But, as you say, here at least is a fit object of adoration:

lasayla From: lasayla Date: May 15th, 2006 11:29 am (UTC) (Link)
Even though I don't like its political line on most topics...)

Ditto. But since I rather like the crossword, I'll ocassionally snag one anyway.
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