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Friday, February 17, 2006

I should be blogging properly on all of this, but it’s not so much anger but despair that marks my reaction to what’s been going on in the past days. Where to start?
ID cards. Has anybody anywhere seen anything resembling a convincing argument that we actually need these breathing licenses? Sure their cheerleaders have argued well, if not convincingly, that they won’t turn this country into a police state and that they won’t bankrupt us. And that’s it. And some of the cheek they use in their arguments - just consider our probable future prime minister:

This week has shown us to be in the last stages of intellectual decadence: ID cards are necessary, said Gordon Brown on Monday, "as a protection of people's individual civil liberties". A more dishonest justification for the extension of state power cannot be imagined.

More shocking abuse in Iraq . . . well not really. We get a journalistically indefensible running of abuse image of Abu Ghraib. Why this qualifies as “news” escapes me, as it’s the same incident, the same day, that we have already worked through and it offers nothing in the way of new evidence. The only thing it does is provide material to the opponents of the Coalition. It’s almost like the responsible media want us to lose this war . . .
And as for our own boys, am I missing something here? I only read about it and didn’t see the images so I was expecting something disturbing. So I was rather dismayed to see the whole furour was kicked up only about a few troops in rather desperate circumstances kicking and hitting a little too much during an arrest. Admittedly, too much is too much and it is necessary for disciplinary action to be taken. But given the circumstances of an mob assault on the Army base, a mere few kicks and hits are pretty mild to the possible alternative of machine gunning the crowd. Again, this abuse only really shows again how we remain on the moral highground even if we lose the PR battle.
Which moves us on to the smoking ban. What to make of that? Is this fox hunting for pubbers? I don’t really see how this can be popular, or why we need it. In consequence pubs will wither lose customers, or change their licences to being private premises. As for people who don’t go to pubs, and who are probably the majority backing this move, they’re not going to be showing up in Ye Old Rose anytime soon. The only change is that now we have to waste the resources of public order on implementing this idiocy. What a day for limited government.
The final straw I think was the bizarre Dick Cheney shooting incindent. Sure, given that the victim seems in good shape, it’s certainly worth a giggle and some jokes in satire shows, but can anybody give me any reason why this was given whole minutes on prime time British tv news? Or why does it warrant any real attention? It’s all beyond me. It does however, along with the above raise questions about the competence of the journalistic profession.
All in all I just feel that sensible argument is just being lost.

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