Mass hysterica and our culture of fear

My friend writes in another friend’s livejournal today:

None of us are safe you know. I’ve been to two school fetes this weekend and I wasn’t searched at either of them. If that isn’t just asking for trouble I don’t know what is…

I reply:

You are joking?! If I’m not stopped and frisked at least three times on the way home from work today, I’m going to phone the FBI!*

I can’t help but think that there’s a terrible lot of fussing going on about nothing here, and I’m not saying that just because I’m a Child of the Troubles. For starters, I would be a lot more convinced of the validity of the Critical Terror Threat if the cars in London had been loaded with Semtex, for example. I can’t see how gas (particularly that amount) could have blown up half the city; and I’m pretty sure the handful of nails found at the scene couldn’t have done too much damage either. Of course, I could be wrong.

In any case, I think that everyone should just calm down, and save their energy for when Al Queda really threaten to strike. Because byjaysus, you can be sure that they will.

That’s all I have to say on the matter. Thank you.

— —

* To which my friend replies:

We were talking about national security, not your sexual deviances…

Yes, but that’s a whole other matter entirely! šŸ˜‰

14 responses to “Mass hysterica and our culture of fear

  1. Hear, hear! I think there’s no need for a super-expensive overreaction from security “services” either, leave it to the pros. There’s all this muttering about what intelligence knew and didn’t already too. I know we need to seek out and break up these attacks, but gies a break, they’re not psychic. Good terrorists won’t get caught until it’s too late hence 9/11 and 7/7, in the meantime we stop the nonsense from the rubbish ones.

  2. Here’s us agreeing twice in the one week! Enough of that. We have to break the cycle… let me see… all Scottish people have cooties! There you go! šŸ˜‰

    But more seriously, I agree. I should add that I don’t think that the three threats from the weekend were ‘not serious’, but I don’t think that there is any need for a critical terror threat. That’s what I object to, and I think that the government, security bodies, the media and us as a people should try to differentiate between ‘critical’ and, as you put it, nonsense.

    Of course, no one wants to be blamed if what seems like nonsense actually turns into something fatal, so I can see the catch 22.

  3. As you know I live just a hop, skip and a jump from GCHQ and at the moment I am a lot more worried about the fact that I got burgled on Friday night while me and the moo were in bed!

  4. I did indeed. They took my motorbike, mine and Maisie’s helmets (what they’ll do with Maisie’s I’ll never know) my house keys and Maisie’s DS. We heard absolutely nothing and yes, we’re both fine. I just haven’t slept for two days thinking about it.

    I don’t know if they had ESP or something but it was the only time I had left my back door unlocked (unknowingly). They had climbed over the back gate though which was padlocked, come in through the back door, used they keys to unlock the gate and off they went to rob someone else!

    The only thing that makes me giggle is that my bike didn’t work properly, it only had 2 gears (where it should have had 5) so they couldn’t go very fast on it.

  5. Well that is a blessing, but still! And let’s hope that it is because you unluckily left the door open. They could well have been trying them all if they were going down the street.

    How is Moo? I hope she’s not too freaked out. *hugs*

  6. She was a bit worried Saturday night, but Billy bought her a new DS so that helped sooth the wounds. She knows that if anybody tried anything with her that I would turn into that monster named ‘Mummy Protecting Her Young!’

    There’s nothing scarier!

  7. I got very ranty about a lot of things that have happened this weekend, the ‘critical level’ thing angered me until I realised that the politicians were simply trying to cover then own backs, and then I got even more ranty. The ‘hearts and minds’ comment concerned me slightly, oh and the ‘safety of the public is priority to both the emergency services and the government’ why state the bloomin’ obvious unless you are going to use the ‘safety of the public’ to mean some other kind of loss of civil liberty?

  8. Well observed, Kris! (That sounded patronising – it wasn’t supposed to.)

    Yes, protecting their own backs at the cost of injecting fear into the rest of us. They know there’s no need for a critical level, but they’re prepared to call it anyway so that they don’t get in trouble on the off-chance something serious happens. That’s politics.

    I think the ‘safety of the public’ statement is one they make when they’re not sure what else to say – they’re hoping that we’re stupid enough to feel happy with that. Pure Blairism!

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