Tuesday, July 03, 2007

A long time in politics

What a week. In the space of just a few days, we've had Tony Blair stepping down to make room for El Gordo, an unexploded car bomb outside Tiger Tiger, a fiery Jeep ramming into the side of Glasgow airport, the launch of the smoking ban in England... er, er... the Concert for Diana [That's enough. Ed.]. At least it prevented Paris Hilton's (second) release from jail becoming a bigger story than it deserved.

The theory that the attacks were timed to coincide with the government handover from Blair to Brown seems pretty convincing, if unproven. With a cabinet full of ministers new to their roles and little long-term experience of coping with terrorism, what better way to send out a message that these attacks will continue no matter who's living at Number 10? Maybe the "BLIAR" crowd will now recognise that Blair's departure isn't necessarily the magical solution to solving all the world's problems...

Meanwhile, it's emerged that most of the people arrested in connection with the London and Glasgow incidents are either doctors or other medical workers. Without wishing to segue into an endless class debate, the fact that the majority of suspects for these two cases are presumably highly educated people would suggest that parameters used to describe Europe's extremist Muslim terrorists are now expanding beyond the prototypical unemployed, alienated, disaffected-youth type images that we formerly recognised. What can we do about it? Surely no one is naive enough now to think that pulling the troops out of Iraq will be enough to satisfy these people.


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