Blogging from the Highlands of Scotland
'From fanaticism to barbarism is only one step' - Diderot

Sunday 24 September 2006

Who runs this country, our government or religious groups?

Quite extraordinary! When I first read this article by Mr Eugenides I was merely unpleasantly surprised - now I have read the Sunday Times article he links to, I am outraged:

POLICE have agreed to consult a panel of Muslim leaders before mounting counter-terrorist raids or arrests. Members of the panel will offer their assessment of whether information police have on a suspect is too flimsy and will also consider the consequences on community relations of a raid.

Members will be security vetted and will have to promise not to reveal any intelligence they are shown. They will not have to sign the Official Secrets Act.

Just who are these Muslim leaders? What legal status do they have which authorises them to represent anyone? How will the police impose sanctions upon those they 'consult' if their promises to retain the confidentiality of the inteliigence they are made party to are flouted? I repeat the last sentence from the Sunday Times article: They will not have to sign the Official Secrets Act.

What do the police think they are playing at? Are they going to start consulting so-called representatives of some mythical 'Association of Drug Dealers' or the 'Amalgamated Guild of Burglars and Purloiners of the Property of Others' before carrying out arrests of suspected drug dealers and thieves? No, of course not! It is about time that the police, and our political leaders, got on with the jobs we have given them without trying to pander to the prejudices of one segment of the population to mask the incompetence of their own intelligence and operational services.

If it weren't for the strict rules I have against the use of profanity in this blog, I'm afraid my post on this matter would have been more colourfully worded.

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