Wednesday, July 13, 2005

"Under control"?

This afternoon I went to visit someone in the Cabinet Office who had just attended a "brownbag lunch" (informal talk) with Sir Ian Blair, the Metropolitian Police Commissioner. Sir Ian was fulfilling a long standing engagement. His view, it seems, is that routines and plans should carry on as normal as much as possible.

Both my contact and someone else there who had attended Sir Ian's talk had been impressed by the talk. My contact said that Sir Ian had said that fact that they had identified the bombers as lads from West Yorkshire was regarded as good news because it would shake many in the Muslim communities out of a state of denial, and the authorities would now get the ful cooperation of those with authority in those communities to root out the small number of those spreading extreme views.

But is this right? I was dubious then and a little later this afternoon read "We rock the boat" by Dilpazier Aslam, a Guardian trainee journalist, which didn't allay my doubts. Dilpazier Aslam concludes:

'Perhaps now is the time to be honest with each other and to stop labelling the enemy with simplistic terms such as "young", "underprivileged", "undereducated" and perhaps even "fringe". The don't-rock-the-boat attitude of elders doesn't mean the agitation wanes; it means it builds till it can be contained no more'.

The use of the phrase "each other" is interesting. I e mailed Dilpazier Aslam with two questions:

What do you think would be a better description of the enemy?

What kinds of ways of rocking the boat do you think offer the best way forward?


Suzy said...

Did Dilpazier respond to your email

Caspar Henderson said...

I haven't heard back yet. Here is one comment