Government takes "action"
So the bill on "glorifying" terror was passed yesterday. William Hague was entertaining at PMQs and Tony Blair came out with the puzzling assertion that most ordinary people understood the meaning of glorification. Do we really?
Since the result two fascinating pieces of comment from the left.
Tony Blair misunderstands freedom:
He said the new law sent the message that "we have free speech in this country, but don't abuse it".
The Guardian speaks sense:
The underlying problem about yesterday's debate - as with too much of the government's response to the terror threat since 9/11 - is that Labour has become dangerously addicted to campaigning by legislating. New laws are too quickly promised as a way of taking a public stand rather than as a solution to a problem. Parliamentary votes then become, as Mr Blair put it yesterday, a way of sending a message (or not) rather than a means of addressing a lasting need. William Hague was not far wrong, in response, when he dubbed the anti-glorification clause a "press release law".
The battle over this bill has been a shabby charade, It illustrates the truth that new laws are not the real answer to the real threat in our midst.
This is going to terrify those readers who already think I'm far too wet, but I might just start reading the Grauniad!