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Thursday, April 06, 2006

Greenham grannies

From the Indie: two grandmothers arrested for trying to break into a military base. Predictable outcry from the civil libertarians.

Who seem to me to be overlooking a fairly elementary distinction between protest, which is a basic democratic right, and sabotage, which isn’t. Either we need these bases for our defence or we don’t. If we don’t, let’s close them down and spend the money on schools and hospitals. If we do, they need to be secure, and it is perfectly reasonable for their security to have legal backup. There are, after all, threats which didn’t exist in their present form when Mrs John and Mrs Boyes were camping at Greenham 25 years ago. Of course these women are not ‘the new face of terrorism’, but the law is the law. Or would the Indie rather have laws specifically targetting young men with brown faces?

And who is to decide whether we need the bases? Mrs John makes it quite clear that she wants to physically close them down, given half a chance. I’d prefer it to be our elected representatives who do the deciding rather than a bunch of activists, however many grandchildren they have. When she becomes Prime Minister Mrs John can scrap the lot. But not before.

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