Last week, the Metropolitan Police Commissioner addressed the Reform Club Media Group. Nothing like the ‘establishment’ sticking together is there? The meeting was conducted under Chatham House rules, which mean that no one attending is supposed to divulge what is said. But one person present was so appalled at Sir Ian’s attitude and authoritarian stance that he has revealed to me an alarming – and seemingly off the cuff – remark made by Sir Ian at the event.
Sir Ian said the British people should ‘brace themselves for a truly appalling act of terror’. He said that following this act of barbarism ‘people would be talking quite openly about internment’, giving the impression that he would be leading the pro-internment lobby. No doubt he will find a willing supplicant in the tougher than tough Home Secretary John Reid.The rest of the report is about the possibility of the institution of internment in the UK. From my reading of the statements, I think the reference to internment was just to make the point that the threat discussed was incredibly appalling and barbaric, and would elicit a much stronger reaction from the public than previous terrorist acts had, rather than to be an indication that internment would actually be considered by the government. What I focused on in this story was the words “truly appalling act of terror.” Scary.