Friday, 28 September 2007

Suburban Terrorist has a Point

Miles Cooper, the 27 year old school caretaker found guilty yesterday at Oxford Crown court of sending a series of letter-bombs to government offices and companies working on government contracts, is clearly a twisted fantasist. Entirely innocent office workers were badly injured by the envelopes, which contained fragments of glass and nails, sent as part of a one-man protest against state surveillance and attacks on free speech. When police caught up with him, they found that he'd turned his bedroom into a bomb-making factory.

When he speaks, however, it's hard to disagree with anything he says.

We are one of the most watched societies on the planet. If you give a small group of people too much power, they will eventually end up abusing it. Based on what I learned at school and from history books, an authoritarian state develops, and free speech is stifled.

Cooper had been affected by such public incidents as the treatment of 82 year-old peace campaigner Walter Wolfgang at the 2005 Labour Party conference, and also his own father's inclusion on the DNA databased after he was accused (and acquitted) of assault.

Shades of the Unabomber. Except that in comparison with the endless pages of rambling, but in parts intellectually astute, philosophy that Ted Kaczynski elaborated over the 18 years it took US authorities to track him down, Cooper's comments sound remarkably like a simple statement of fact.

His actions stemmed from a perverted sense of desperation, of the impotence it's easy to feel when a government with a large majority based on, if we're being generous, 36% of the vote can do more-or-less what it likes. Up to and including an illegal war. Cooper again:

It became more and more obvious that the Government was not going to listen to peaceful protesters and in fact they were starting to use anti-terror legislation against them.

Miles Cooper is a one-off. There isn't a legion of anti-war, anti-ID cards, anti-CCTV terrorists out there. But that won't stop the government using his actions to justify even more curbs on our freedom.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

The British people don't have any freedoms any more. They've all been whittled away by successive governments who seem to view the public as some kind of threat to their power and need to keep them under a totalitarian boot-heel. Some day in the not too distant future, these people are going to get what's coming to them, but a lot of heads are going to get busted in the process.

Trooper Thompson said...

It's a shame this man couldn't find a better way of making a public statement than what he did. Potentially blowing the fingers off a lowly office worker is not going to change things for the better.