The British are a strange people at times. The notion of humor – often mistakenly referred to (by them) as “sarcasm” – is well-known and hardly understood outside Britain. However, if my notion of sarcasm is not completely flawed, the British secretary for home affairs, John Reid said the following and meant it serious:
Sometimes we may have to modify some of our freedoms in the short term in order to prevent their use and abuse by those who oppose our fundamental values and would destroy all of our freedoms in the long term. (John Reid, about consequences of the revealed “plot”)
Otherwise this was a really good – and very British – joke, of course … or maybe not?
Thankfully the German conservatives (CDU/CSU) and even some of the social democrats (SPD) jumped in to ask for better protection of German citizens, more of Orwell’s vision of 1984 … are we back where we were in the 20s and 30s of the last century? Terror, fear, … enabling act? Well, well, what a bright future lies ahead of us …
With my natural German misunderstanding (“Don’t mention the war”) of the British humor, I can only quote someone who is well known to both, the British and the US-Americans who both serve terrorism by cutting the citizen’s – our – freedoms:
They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety. (Benjamin Franklin)
Nothing more to add to this quote, methinks …