The rules of the game haven’t changed
Home Office Security Minister Tony McNulty has admitted the government made mistakes in response to the 7 July 2005 bomb attacks in London.
He said the government should not have treated the Muslim Council of Britain as the only voice of British Muslims.
That’s wierd, because at the time loads of British Muslims were saying exactly that.
At a Labour Party conference fringe meeting, he warned against rushing into laws in response to a terror threat.
Except of course for Dutch Auction Detention, the exciting Home Office game, which Home Secretary Jacqui Smith talked about only the day before.
Echoing Tony Blair’s phrase on dealing with terrorism, he said: “Actually the rules of the game haven’t changed.”
Mr McNulty told the meeting in Bournemouth: “I think we have made mistakes since 7/7.”
He said one of these mistakes was Mr Blair’s argument that people must be ready to accept reductions in their civil liberties in the fight against terror because “the rules of the game have changed”.
An argument readily accepted by most Labour MPs, including… yes, including Mr McNulty, a minister in the Home Office at the time.
Within weeks of the 7 July attacks, Mr Blair unveiled a raft of legislative measures to tackle terrorists, including tougher deportation and extradition powers, a new offence of glorifying terrorism and powers to close a place of worship.
But in his speech on Wednesday, Mr McNulty suggested that ministers
And Labour MPs!
had been too ready to adopt exceptional measures which could impact on the liberties enjoyed as part of the British way of life.
He distanced himself from the phrase “war on terror” stressing that terrorism should be tackled through “normal” rather than “exceptional” means.
It was all that nasty Mr Blair’s fault, honest, I’ve only been in the job five minutes guv.