Number One With A Bullet

By sizemore Last edited 160 months ago
Number One With A Bullet

Charles Clarke seems determined to out-Blunkett his predecessor as much as possible and is preparing a new wave of anti-terrorism laws that go as far as offering a five year prison sentence to anyone who "glorifies, exalts or celebrates" any terrorist act committed over the past 20 years.

This of course all hinges on the debate over what exactly constitutes an act of terrorism and the old chestnut of terrorist vs. freedom fighter. To cut through the debate (and inadvertently create an entirely new one) Clarke plans to go as far as compiling a LIST of terrorist acts that make the grade with a few bonus atrocities such as 9-11 being given top billing and automatically getting longer on the list than the twenty years given to lesser events.

The Guardian points out that the 1916 Irish Easter Rising doesn't make the cut, but whether this is because it is deemed too old or simply something the government wants to leave well alone is not clear.

With plans to stop leaflets and booklets being distributed organisations such as Liberty are worried, saying that the offence of "glorification" was so broad it meant the home secretary was now acquiring powers to determine which historical figures were terrorists and which freedom fighters.

So would the image above be seen as the glorification of 9-11 or simply a reaction to the notion of that date becoming a Hallmark card-ridden 'Patriot Day' type event? Should the person who first posted it on her livejournal be locked away for five years? What about Londonist for reproducing it? What about such images being used for satirical purposes by comedians or even simply the worst of the worst bad taste jokes? Will it soon be a criminal offence to be crass?

At the other end of the scale of course we have 'terrorists' such as Nelson Mandela...

That this is announced while that bastard arms fair is still ongoing (with only comedians like Mark Thomas pointing out the advertising of torture devices outlawed in Britain) suggests that Mr Clarke would be better looking closer to home for the root causes of future terrorism rather than spending his afternoons compiling a top twenty of past atrocities.

Last Updated 16 September 2005