Assistant Commissioner Bob Quick, Metropolitan Police anti-terror ’supremo’ ‘promptly’ resigned after he was photographed outside 10 Downing St clutching a top secret document listing UK Al Qaeda suspects atop a sheaf of papers. “YOU CAN’T QUIT QUICKER THAN A THICK QUICK QUITTER” screamed the Sun, referencing the cheery advertising slogan of KwikFit, a tyres and exhaust (muffler) depot. But Thus readers know that his resignation, far from timely, is long overdue. On December 22, 2008 Thus Passim detailed how Assistant Commissioner Quick was leading the investigation into Home Office leaks which saw an outrageous and probably illegal raid of the office of Tory MP Damien Green under the auspices of the government, who openly accused the Tory Front Bench of colluding in efforts to compromise national security. We questioned whether it was appropriate for Quick to head up this enquiry – into himself. Needless to add, the ‘investigation’ continues. More worryingly, Thus reported that had compromised the security of his own family and his own force by running a wedding car hire business under his wife’s name from his home, boasting in local newspaper advertisements: “Cars . . with former police officers at the wheel.”
Had PC Quick done the honourable thing at that time, the alleged security services raids on UK ‘terrorist cells’ in Manchester and elsewhere which the spin doctors are now predictably calling ‘a real and present Al Qaeda threat to Britain’ would not have been allegedly compromised. He was gifted at the time with the full support of Home Secretary ‘Taser’ Jacqui Smith (Thus passim) herself deeply implicated in the politically-motivated raid on the Tories. Subsequently Ms. Smith herself was revealed to have ‘misinterpreted’ the rules on MPs’ expenses, having used her ’second home’ allowance to pay the mortgage on her (first home) family residence while staying at her sister’s London house. It was also revealed that Ms Smith’s husband (employed at taxpayer expense as her constituency secretary) had bought subscriptions to porn movies which the Home Secretary had submitted as expense claims.
Cloying statements of regret and gratitude from Ms. Smith for Bob Quick’s sterling work in saving the country from (unspecified) perils float on a reeking sea of cant. Video footage which shows that 47 year old father of nine, Ian Tomlinson, who died of a heart attack at the recent G20 protests, was not only an innocent bystander posing no threat and taking no part in the protests, but was savagely assaulted by a masked riot police officer surrounded by colleagues, who were not ’showered by bottles and stones’ and who did not identify themselves after the incident, indicates the dangerous levels of unaccountability into which ‘Fortress Britain’ has descended. The ‘investigation’ into what looks very much like criminal assault resulting in death will be held by another division of the Metropolitan Police. We all know the conclusions, so why bother?
Jacqui Smith should resign, not least for her abuse of the public purse, but also for promoting, sponsoring and endorsing Quick’s former worrying behaviour in running a second business, albeit in his wife’s name, using police credentials as its calling card. Predictably, the Establishment has attempted to spin away from this latest descent into Third World farce by listing the tireless work in which the police and security services are engaged to keep the Al Qaeda threat at bay. But whilst we marvel in admiration at their efforts, let’s not forget the last time we heard about a major terror threat emanating from Manchester. On 19 April, 2004, 400 police raided several homes and held 8 Asian men, a woman and a 16 year old boy on suspicion of engineering a plot toblow up Old Trafford stadium and cause mass carnage. The evidence was a block purchase of tickets by a ‘group of Asians.’ The headlines in the (Murdoch-owned) Sun, at that time a partisan supporter of Tony Blair, read: “EXCLUSIVE: MAN UTD SUICIDE BLASTS FOILED.” There was absolutely no substance to the plot. Their only crime was supporting Manchester United (not yet indictable). They received no apology. Neither did those accused of the equally fantastic, unfounded ‘Ricin plot.’ Today’s Daily Telegraph cites ‘M15 sources’ in stating that thousands of shoppers were targeted over Easter. Despite the release without charge of one of the ten Pakistani students arrested and no discovery of a bomb factory or explosives of any description so far, Phil Woolas, the gaffe-prone northern Immigration Minister whose particular fetish is identity cards, declared brashly on Channel Four news: ‘We got them.’ Manchester police have now declared the ‘target zones’ safe for Easter shopping after all, so Woolas must be right. There appears to be some confusion amongst these high level sources, however. Some reports claim the Pakistani students were Taliban, others Al Qaeda. Britain, and the US, are certainly ‘at war’ with both, but Taliban activity so far afield would be very rare, if not unique. Lashkar-e-Taiba, the Kashmiri group allegedly behind the Mumbai attacks would seem the more likely candidates if any, especially since a couple of the nitwits behind the failed 21/7 London suicide bombings were allegedly members. Two of the suspects travelled to Pakistan last year, but then again, they are Pakistani. Two come from Peshawar, a hotbed of terrorism, but then again Liverpool John Moores University, where they study, actually has a student recruitment agency in Peshawar. But I’m merely speculating, unlike our brilliant police and security services, who have saved the day yet again.
It would be cynical to see this latest ‘Al Qaeda terror threat’ outbreak as an attempt to spin the beleaguered UK government and its incompetent Home Secretary out of the more prosaic clear and present danger resulting from an objective enquiry into her personal affairs, abuse of police power for political gain and the unlawful killing of an innocent man (two, if you count Juan Charles de Menezes). It would probably be unfair to equate the uptick of fearmongering with the tactics of Tony Blair in 2005, who announced, on BBC Radio Woman’s Hour of all places:“What they [the security services] say is that you have got to give us powers in between mere surveillance of these people – there are several hundred of them in this country who we believe are engaged in plotting or trying to commit terrorist acts – you have got to give us power in between just surveying them and being sure enough to prosecute them beyond reasonable doubt. There are people out there who are determined to destroy our way of life and there is no point in us being naïve about it.” In the year following the introduction of the 2005 Prevention of Terrorism Act, despite the ’several hundred identified terrorist operatives,’ only 17 people were convicted, but the government diverted attention away from a far more destructive force – Gordon Brown’s bulimic public spending surge, designed to disguise the Tsunami of the swelling bubble economy.
Al Qaeda, whoever or whatever they may be, needs to do nothing at all. The UK government’s off-the-leash attack dogs are acting as the provisional wing of the public relations department of Terrorism Inc. They need new handlers.