Prime Minister Gordon Brown claimed on Sunday that British foreign policy had nothing to do with the latest attempted terror attacks. In an echo of his predecessor Tony Blair, Mr Brown claimed that this weekend’s shambolic bomb plots were the work of phantom menace terror group al-Qaida.
He claimed that the would-be bombers were not motivated by the carnage in Iraq and Afghanistan but had “a grievance against society, particularly against the values that we represent and the values decent people of all religions represent”.
“Irrespective of Iraq, irrespective of Afghanistan, irrespective of what is happening in different parts of the world, we have an international organisation trying to inflict the maximum damage on civilian life in pursuit of a terrorist cause that is totally unacceptable to most people,” he declared.
Identifying the bomb plot with Islam and British Muslims, Mr Brown said: “We have got to fight a battle for hearts and minds. We have got to separate those moderate members of our community from a few extremists who wish to practise violence and inflict maximum loss of life in the interests of a perversion of their religion.”
But Stop the War Coalition convener Lindsey German said: “The government is in denial on this question. Even a government inquiry last year found that the growth of terrorism in Britain was due to the war in Iraq. There is one simple fact – before the Iraq war, Britain was not under threat from terrorism and now it is. What Britain needs is not more terror laws but a change in foreign policy.”
Morning Star, 2 July 2007