Invincible Summer |||

The real threat to the life of the nation

Britain Since 1918

From David Marquand’s wonderful Britain Since 1918: The Strange Career of British Democracy, Lord Hoffman’s ‘thunderous opinion’ striking down the internment provisions of the 2001 Anti-Terrorism Crime and Security Act:

This is a nation which has been tested in adversity, which has survived physical destruction and catastrophic loss of life. I do not underestimate the ability of fanatical groups of terrorists to kill and destroy, but they do not threaten the life of the nation. Whether we would survive Hitler hung in the balance, but there is no doubt we shall survive Al Qaeda … . The real threat to the life of the nation, in the sense of a people living in accordance with its traditional laws and political values, comes not from terrorism but from laws such as these. That is the true measure of what terrorism may achieve.

A privilege to have him as a neighbour.

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