Appropriate Response To The Terrorist Attack
I am disappointed, but not surprised, by the speed at which the recent terrorist incident on London Bridge became an exercise in political point scoring.
It says something about the quality of our present political leaders that they sought to apportion blame elsewhere, showing complete disrespect to all those who lost loved ones or who were injured.
It is appropriate that the authorities charged with keeping us secure take all immediate steps to ensure that the overall threat to our safety is taken care of.
However, knee jerk reactions, including the dog whistle politics of “Life should mean life” or “Whatever the opposition propose, we will be even tougher” might have superficial attraction to voters, but that is all.
It’s pretty clear to me that terrorists represent a special class of risk that needs to be properly managed.
An effective review would look at whether it is possible to release them safely after any period of time.
If not, how does that accord with basic human rights? (balancing the human rights of the rest of society to be kept safe).
Whatever we do has wider implications than in our own country.
We know that that some countries lock up people who are “terrorist suspects” that we might regard as fighters for democracy.
Our practices must not give excuse for autocratic governments to lock up people forever without just cause.
I personally have reservations about releasing convicted murderers who choose never to disclose how or where they disposed of a body.
The same applies to any terrorist who is unlikely to have changed his or her extremist views.
What rehabilitation work is now done in prisons?
What is the experience of working with convicted terrorists overall?
I wouldn’t base policy on one event.
Our political leaders need to exercise sounder judgement than we have seen to date.