In England, land of Magna Carta, trial by jury, presumption of innocence - they’ve just sentenced a man to 40 years imprisonment in a way that would be difficult in Scotland. The man claimed to be “the top Al Qaeda operative in Britain.”
Yeah right, of course you are son.
The spooks say they have thwarted some wild terrorist attacks against us in our beds.
The terrifying plans were fantastic, literally.
The man had dreamt up all sorts of nonsensical rubbish. He had worked it all out in school jotters and the security services jumped at the chance to use him to frighten us into giving them more leeway than any government agency has a legal right to expect.
The law in Scotland is quite different. A conviction cannot be secured on an uncorroborated confession; in fact there can’t even be a prosecution. This saves the court’s time when fantasists crawl out the woodwork with schoolboy ideas about putting piranha fish in the Clyde in the hope that Jack McConnell will fall in and be eaten.
Even when these trainee sociopaths work it all out on paper and have diagrams of tankers with ‘nitro-glycerine’ written on them, or ‘poison cyanide gas cylinder here‘, the police, that is, the normal, world weary Glasgow polis, will ask the budding terrorist to prove it;
“ OK son, this bit here, where it says Strontium 90, have you actually got any? ”
“ Yes. ”
“ Where is it then, in your uncle’s lockup? Next to the strimmer? ”
“ It‘s on order, it‘ll come, you‘ll see, then you‘ll be sorry. ”
“ Alright son, alright, what about the explosives? Your ‘plans’, [winks at two way mirror] call for about 10 tonnes of the stuff. ”
“ I’m going to mix it myself. ” says the mass murderer to be.
“ That’s a lot of sugar and weed killer. What about setting it off? ”
“ I kept back some bangers from bonfire night…”
“ You seem to be taking your time about blowing anything up.”
“ What do you mean? ”
“ Well, some of these plans go back to the late nineties…”
“ I’m a meticulous planner.”
“…in fact, to around the time your girlfriend chucked you.”
“ It was amicable, we remained friends, a mutual decision, I chucked her actually…”
I don’t know, maybe he is an Al Qaeda terrorist, he certainly wants us to think he’s important, but there’s something fishy about it all, and the spooks have their excuse now to kneed the country into the shape they or their paymasters want and there ain’t eye-diddly-do you can do about it.