Wednesday 11 November 1998
Clearly, as Assistant Commissioner Anthony Speed points out, plans are needed at a national level to deal with "demonstrators who climb into trees". Such violent and dangerous activities as protesting against roads, disrupting the activities of hunters, and opposition to animal experiments represent a real threat to our national security. Certainly it merits the establishment of this new group with special powers, and links to MI5 and Special Branch.
I myself have often read of the increasingly violent methods used by these eco warriors, such as waving placards, singing protest songs (tunelessly), hiding in tunnels, and, on more than one occasion, getting in the way.
I likewise applaud the decision to set up a costly national database to keep track of these terrorists, given that Mr Speed has cleverly deduced that quite often "the same people are involved ". May I suggest that he monitor in particular the activities of retired members of the population, schoolchildren, certain Members of Parliament, large swaths of the law- abiding middle and working classes, and any other malcontent who does not ride to hounds.
On a point of caution though, I see Commander Barry Moss, head of Special Branch, may lead the new unit. I would urge him on appointment to move quickly to quash any subversive suggestions that in the wake of the peace accord in Northern Ireland, Special Branch and other intelligence groups are simply casting around for a new home-grown terrorist threat to justify retaining current levels of staffing and spending. Clearly a preposterous notion.
Lecturer in Security Management
Grace Dent on TV The Secret Life of the Pub is sexist, ageist and a breath of fresh air
Art Megumi Igarashi criticises Japan's 'backwards' attitude to women's sexual expression
Ray Davies' Sunny Afternoon scoops the most awardsTheatre
Grace DentChannel 4 show proves there's no app for happiness
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Alan Rickman admits editing 'terrible' script with friends in Pizza Hut behind backs of writers on Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves
- 2 18th century sex toy found in 'toilet of sword fighting school' in Poland
- 3 US? China? India? The 10 biggest economies in 2030 will be...
- 4 'I wish my teacher knew...': Young students share their 'heartbreaking' worries in notes
- 5 Rebecca Francis accuses Ricky Gervais of using 'influence' to target female hunters after receiving barrage of death threats
Better Call Saul creator Peter Gould on the creative concerns of a prequel, season 2 and the mind-numbing realities of the small courts
Britain's Got Talent 2015: RSPCA investigating Marc Metral's miming dog after cruelty complaints
Doctor Who film will definitely happen, leaked Sony emails reveal
Glastonbury 2015 tickets: How to make sure you’re successful in Sunday's re-sale
The Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice trailer has leaked – watch
The only black face in the Ukip manifesto is on the page about overseas aid
If I’m being racially abused I don’t need a stranger with a saviour complex to rescue me
Ukip is the only main political party to not address LGBT rights in its manifesto
Food banks: One million Britons will soon be using them, according to Trussell Trust
BBC election debate: The one photo that summed up the whole 90-minute leaders debate
Religion isn't growing, it is becoming vigorous in its demise, says philosopher AC Grayling