…So we don’t have to be bothered coming up with a coherent policy to tackle extremism and stop the attacks ourselves.

Boing Boing – London cops reach new heights of anti-terror poster stupidity (with pictures!)

The London police have bested their own impressive record for insane and stupid anti-terrorism posters with a new range of signs advising Londoners to go through each others’ trash-bins looking for “suspicious” chemical bottles, and to report on one another for “studying CCTV cameras.”

It’s hard to imagine a worse, more socially corrosive campaign. Telling people to rummage in one another’s trash and report on anything they don’t understand is a recipe for flooding the police with bad reports from ignorant people who end up bringing down anti-terror cops on their neighbors who keep tropical fish, paint in oils, are amateur chemists, or who just do something outside of the narrow experience of the least adventurous person on their street. Essentially, this redefines “suspicious” as anything outside of the direct experience of the most frightened, ignorant and foolish people in any neighborhood.

Read the whole thing (it’s not long, and like I said, there’s pictures). Then, spinning off (I’ve skipped to the end):

The Times – Fear: the last refuge of desperate politicians<br/> Brown has resurrected the al-Qaeda bogeyman. But at present the bigger threat is from elsewhere, by Alice Miles

I once spent an evening in a tent in something like a yoga camp in India, listening to dirges from a wailing songstress from Brighton, surrounded by about 100 escapees from Britain, saying they “loved” India because it’s so natural, so calm, such ancient values; the sort of people, in fact, who join protests such as G20 Meltdown. One particularly dismal song began with a request that any of us present who had worked in an office raise our hands. My friend and I did; no one else.

The wailing lady then launched into a tale of misery about the woes of office life, rising to an agonising refrain against ca-pi-ta-liiii-sm, and everybody nodded along in unison. The thing was, we had all just been charged a ridiculously high entry fee by some enterprising Indians who had set up a punch stall and insisted you buy a cup before being allowed in. No one had noticed that they were capitalists, too.

The anti-capitalist movement is riven with such contradictions. I know whose side the punch-seller would be on this week. He would be with the G20 leaders. I know whose side the Mumbai terrorists would be on, too; the violent anti-capitalists. There are plenty of forces ranged against ordinary people this week. If I were the Prime Minister, I would be standing up for those workers against identifiable threats – not ratcheting up the rhetoric and stress levels over exaggerated terrors.