My post earlier today here and over on Blogcritics provoked a small and perhaps predictable, storm.
So some more thoughts.
More than 3,000 people are killed on British roads each year. Now we could save the relatives and friends of those people all the agony of loss if we say reduced the speed limit nationwide to 10 miles an hour and enforced it with prison terms. (And yes I did lose a loved one that way, so I admit to being rather more than averagely concerned about the issue.)
That would be a good thing, wouldn’t you say?
Well even though I’m broadly anti-car, I don’t think so either.
The point I am trying to make is not to diminish the suffering of the victims and their families, but to point out that all of the measures proposed and undertaken have a cost (just as reducing the speed limit would have a cost.)
Flood the streets of London with armed police – more innocent people will get shot, everyone will become more fearful, the police will start to become more and more assertive. (As The Economist points out this week.)
Abolish rights that have belonged to British citizens for decades – you have a less free, less civilised society.
Target the Muslim community with obtrusive surveillance, verbal attacks etc – you’ll get more terrorists.
My message: Don’t act in the heat of the moment; don’t react to the “flurry of opportunistic demands” from police, civil servants etc to increase their power and budgets; don’t destroy what you are supposed to be trying to protect.