One reason why the new Terrorism Act goes so much further than the old ones is that Islamist terrorists are more keen to kill large numbers of people than the IRA ever were. I don't dispute that.
But there is another reason. In the Good Old Days, if the police believed that particular individuals in Britain were terrorists, but didn't have the evidence to prove it, they didn't just whine to the Prime Minister for more powers. No by Jimminy they didn't.
No, like any self-respecting police throughout history, they got up off their arses and faked up some evidence. That's the traditional way.
Modern forensic techniques and legal requirements make that more difficult these days.
So today, instead of having explosive residue planted on him, or being invited to sign a blank piece of paper on which will be written a contemporaneous account of his confession, our known terrorist will get a totally legal Control Order from Charles Clarke.
There's one thing we know now about at least some of the people fitted up in the Good Old Days by the boys in blue.
They were completely innocent.
Just one little point to bear in mind.
Labels: crime and freedom, terrorism