The Metropolitan Police this week launched the ‘It’s probably nothing, but…’ campaign. Comprising adverts in ‘local and ethnic minority press’, it reminds people that it’s your civic duty to assume that a beardy man doing his bins at an unusual hour is planning to blow up Parliament. Your civic duty, not a sign of advanced paranoia. Because, as Deputy Assistant Commissioner Stuart Osborne said:
Terrorists live among us. We want you to tell us about anyone or anything you see which is out of place in your normal day to day lives.
Terrorists live among us. They mix up the cutlery in our drawers. They twist cables around each other in the night. That jumper you lost on the walk home from Tesco’s? Terrorists. There’s one hiding under your bed, next to the skeleton of a commie that McCarthy failed to purge.
The number of people killed in terrorist atrocities in the UK in the last 6 years, 7 months, and 7 days is zero. This leaves a couple of possibilities:
The fact that Britain’s Top Anti-Terror Cops have resorted to a parodically weak-sloganed campaign like this surely torpedoes hypothesis #1. And the conspicuous absence of atrocities, combined with the ease of killing people if you really want to means that, if #2 is slightly wrong, those few terrorists who do exist must be pretty dim, unimaginative losers more deserving of inclusion on You’ve Been Framed than the 10 O’Clock News. Long may it stay that way.
Not wishing to chase shadows like some kind of over-imaginative police ‘informant’, we concede that it’s unlikely these cack-handed ads are part of a populous-subjugating, power-grab cop-conspiracy. It’s probably nothing but another scaremongering police campaign.