On the first day of July, 1940, The liner Arandora Star left for Canada carrying German and Italian internees, residents of the United Kingdom who had been deemed to be a national threat and who had been imprisoned pending deportation to the Colonies. The ship was torpedoed and sunk with the loss of 714 lives.
During World War Two, thousands of German and Austrian Jews, who had fled the Nazis for a safe haven in the UK, were interned, imprisoned, for simply being German or Austrian or later, many of the Italians who had settled here before the war. Now, it does not take much to figure out that a Jewish German is going to be here as a covert Nazi Spy. The idea is unthinkable, but I suppose barely possible given the vicissitudes of human nature.
We are constantly being told there is a "War on Terror". I think we can use shorthand here and define that as a defense against those who seek to bomb or otherwise destroy civilians and the general peace, for political or religious purposes. OK? This is the enemy. Who is the enemy? Whoever we say the "enemy" is. At least that is a definition if you are an American.
And yet, those who are far more dangerous live among us with the full protection of the law. Those who pose a threat to the security of the USA and the UK today have little in common with the internees of WW2. Despite having refugee status, many are economic migrants and itinerant trouble makers who have been thrown out of one country after another and who have taken full advantage of our liberal laws on free speech and punishment.
We have a large population of Muslims in this country who refuse, totally, resolutely, to become British. They refuse to adopt our religion, our dress, our political system, our social codes, our diet, our language, our education and the rule of law. Lurking in each of these families is the potential for one of its members to become radicalised to the point where they are ready to turn on British Society.
These are not dissolute youths wishing to focus adolescent anger on a handy target, these are doctors and academics and servicemen, educated people who are able to move about in society with the blessing of every liberal who never thinks about the consequences.
Those who tried to blow up Glasgow airport were senior medics, working in the NHS. Last Thursday, at Fort Hood, you might have found it difficult to believe that a Major in the US Army, and a doctor, was capable of turning on 13 of his comrades, allegedly in the name of Islam.
I find myself asking, if there is such a thing as a war on terror, and it is pretty obvious who the enemy is, why are they free to move among us?