Ontelly

Moral Maze - 03/11/2010


The Al-Qaeda bombs on cargo planes heading for America may have failed to detonate, but for psychological impact their timing couldn't have been better. The prospect of airline chiefs getting their much sought after reform of the stringent checks on passengers must now look remote. Of course the terrorists want us to be constantly reminded of their threat; to disrupt our lives; to make us live in fear, even though the chances of any of us being a victim of the terrorism are miniscule. But are we playing in to their hands with the blanket news coverage and seemingly constant stream of security experts ready to warn us of the sinister threats to our safety? Perhaps it's not only our psychological well being that's being eroded - there's our civil liberties as well. The police are allowed to hold suspects for 28 days without trial; the government is reviewing the use of detention orders, but it's going to take a brave politician in the current climate to stand up and say we need less security. Perhaps that's a case of moral cowardice, but then the ongoing inquest in to the 7/7 bombing is a sobering reminder of the horrors of terrorism. The terrorists only have to be lucky once, our security services have to be lucky every day. Shouldn't they have all the tools they need to combat those who want to do us harm and that may mean temporarily sacrificing some of our freedoms. So, terrorism, the politics of fear and the price we're willing to pay to defend our civil liberties. Combative, provocative and engaging debate chaired by Michael Buerk with Michael Portillo, Kenan Malik, Claire Fox and Melanie Philips.

Broadcasts

  • 2010-11-03 20:00:00 - 2010-11-03 20:45:00 on Radio 4 FM, Radio 4 LW,
  • 2010-11-06 22:15:00 - 2010-11-06 23:00:00 on Radio 4 FM, Radio 4 LW,