Did you know the MI5 security threat level for the UK mainland is classed as ‘Severe’? This means that terrorist attacks, international or home grown, are very likely. There is only one level above this and when the status is deemed ‘Critical’, we can expect imminent carnage. Visitors to London already experience an increased number of armed police patrolling important sites around the Capitol. I had regarded West Norfolk as safe but events at Marham make me wonder exactly how ready we are to prevent outrages. Naturally, after the attempted abduction there was a phalanx of Ministers and security people who were desperate to assure us that all is well and strenuous efforts were being made to capture these two assailants. Our French neighbours have suffered vicious and utterly brutal attacks by terrorists and from reports it seems the entire nation is in a state of unease and although they are defiantly maintaining a ‘business as usual’ attitude I don’t know what it would be like to be aware that a network of fanatics walk among the populace whose only goal is the destruction of our way of life. To date, terrorist activity in the UK since July 2005 has been minimal and we hope it is because of the vigilance of our security services that we can go about our daily lives unhindered but I can’t help wondering how long it will be before terrorist eyes overwhelm our defences and we become subject to their blind hatred. The £multi-billion MoD purchase of the next generation of bombers capable of unimaginable violence is apparently our best hope of keeping our enemies at bay but I’m one of those people who believe that events like last week’s high profile bombing raid on Saddam’s old palace in Iraq automatically makes us targets for revenge attacks. Similarly, the political battle to decide on the future of our new fleet of nuclear submarines uses the ‘deterrent’ argument as the basis for our apparent desire to continue to wave the M.A.D. flag at our enemies…even though deployment would automatically eradicate much of the earth’s population.
The new wave of terrorists now networking in our midst and preparing to bring their almost medieval attitudes to bear on us aren’t concerned with how may kilotons of explosive we carry in our warheads. They aren’t in the least impressed by the cleverness of our satellite missile targeting systems. These people are prowling amongst us, lone wolves, seething with religious fervour and armed only with a cheap mobile phone, home-made explosives or kitchen knives and a disturbing disinterest in their own life or yours. I can’t see how the new Stealth F35 we so confidently boast about will protect us from brain-washed zealots in their plimsolls setting off bombs in heavily populated areas killing dozens, and more importantly to them, terrorising millions. And as it seems the stealth bombers and nuclear submarines do not seem able to stop them, maybe they should spend our taxes on something that might?