The Curmudgeon


Saturday, July 18, 2009

Poor Little Chaps

The Minister for Snoopery and Domestically-Oriented Thuggery is worried that people who are unable to defend themselves may be subject to false accusations and hence to personal inconvenience that may rebound upon himself. Hence, he has been waxing lyrical about an underappreciated and deprived section of the community who do a marvellous job under difficult, dangerous and conveniently discreet circumstances: "In my six weeks in this job I am so reassured and so amazed at the work that is going on, on our behalf, by people who do not have a voice, who are not able to express their views ... I have nothing but admiration for them. As I am in effect their voice I will defend them and defend what they do, and it does worry me."

It is all deeply felt and pretty jolly moving, like a member of the House of Commons defending an expenses claim, or like Nick Griffin rhapsodising about Britain's plucky but under-privileged white folks. The Minister is not reassured and amazed for nothing: "I haven't sat around the last six weeks not looking into these things"; namely the alleged conniving in torture by the British intelligence services, with the knowledge of the British government. The allegations have been made by some Muslims, documented by Craig Murray and denied by New New Labour, which ought to be enough for anyone. Having not sat around not looking into it, the Minister has said what Ministers usually say when their hirelings commit an unavoidable but wholly excusable faux pas: "I just say this: we have one of the best counter-terrorism capabilities in the world and we diminish and dilute it at our peril"; or, in Standard English, we investigate it at the peril of people a dashed sight more important than a lot of scarcely-British men in beards.

Having recited his paean in the Torygraph, the Minister left it to a spokesbeing to give the bad news: "There cannot be exceptions for these intelligence officers. He does not have the power to intervene. But he wants the public to know that they operate to the highest standards", which speaks well for his impartial attitude and his disinclination to attempt intervention where he has no legal power to do so.


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