Personally, were I to discover that Abu Qatada had stepped from an Acton pavement into the path of the 207 bus for Ealing Broadway, my sympathies would lie with the driver and delayed passengers. Even so, I rejoice at his award. It was our legal system that determined that Abu Qatada, like any other woman and man in this country, enjoyed certain human rights, and that these had been breached. After that it was natural that he would receive some compensation, which was, in the event, set very low, because the court recognised the existence after 9/11 of a public emergency.
Our society has refused to discriminate against someone simply because he declared himself an enemy, and has insisted on his rights being upheld. So this hero of the caliphate can now watch his compensation being added to Coke and bog roll to represent the ultimate triumph of liberal democracy over medievalism. Enjoy it, Abu Qatada, it’s metaphorically choking you.