Wednesday, 27 August 2014
Just When You Think You're Out of Date...
I wrote couple of follow up pieces, variations on a theme, if you will, which I had performed with it a few years ago - I called this The Fantasy Terrorist Variations. I then thought, enough, and put it to bed.
And then Boris Johnson piped up and started the ball rolling again. http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2014/aug/25/boris-johnson-britons-visiting-iraq-syria-presumed-terrorists
In response to the crisis in Iraq and Syria, to the numbers of British citizens travelling abroad to support terrorism, he wrote that: "The law needs a swift and minor change so that there is a 'rebuttable presumption' that all those visiting war areas without notifying the authorities have done so for a terrorist purpose." Basically, shift the burden of proof - if you return from a terrorist state then you are automatically presumed to be a terrorist and you must prove you aren't. Which is exactly what my plays have been about - a shift towards a presumption of guilt. Once again, they are no longer a bit out of date.
The governments response was swift and dismissive (thank goodness) but I wonder whether this was just because they saw it as a genuinely stupid idea, rather than a knee-jerk response to anything Boris says - i.e. that the response was more about domestic politics than good governance. I hope it was both.
So, what is my response? Well, we shall see. I have a project in hand this year. In fact I have written a new Fantasy Terrorist Variation to add to my collection. It is called A Swift and Minor Change. And I'm about to record it now.
Additional - I've just posted my response online. You can listen to it below.