The right of British people to protection comes below that of a foreign national to not be deported to their country of origin. Abu Qatada preaches hate against the west and this our country. However, the very freedoms he preaches against now protect him from deportation.
Not considered is whether the British people want him here. Whether we would rather spend the £500,000 it costs to keep him on a leash on other things. We could put this money towards providing appropriate equipment for the Britons charged with fighting Qatada’s ideological soul mates in Afghanistan and Iraq. We could provide appropriate compensation to some of those injured defending our nation. Alternatively we could deploy the policemen charged with monitoring him to catch criminals. However we chose to spend this money on monitoring a person who preaches anti western hate who refuses to move from the west.
The bail conditions are stringent but not satisfactory. He cannot use phones, must stay in his house for 22 hours a day and cannot associate with Osama Bin Laden. This is an odd condition because Osama Bin Laden is unlikely to pop in to visit Qatada. Osama is the world’s most hunted man. He probably has more important things to do – uploading his latest video on You Tube no doubt.
If Bin Laden did pop by for a cup of tea/glass of lemonade – whatever his chosen tipple is - presumably we would be obliged to arrest Bin Laden. However, having arrested him we would not then be able to deport Bin Laden to either America or Saudi Arabia. Both of them would sentence him to death. The ECHR prevents us deporting people to countries that practice the death penalty or would torture or ill treat the deportee. Hence we would have to put Osama under some form of house arrest while charges were brought – paid for by you the taxpayer.
How Qatada is meant to associate with Bin Laden anyway given he has no access to the internet or a phone is a mystery. Presumably Qatada will begin breeding carrier pigeons. This is bad news for public monuments across our fair cities. They will now bear the full brunt of our Governments new tough policies on terror.
One wonders what Qatada will do in his 2 spare hours. Is he allowed to store them up? Is it a case of use them or lose them? Qatada has a lot of time to consider how to spend his free 2 hours. He is currently in receipt of state benefits. These are needed to sustain him. Unable to leave the house for 22 hours a day it is difficult for him to actively seek work. Presumably the Government will one day announce a New Deal for Jihadists but until that day happens he is unemployed and unemployable.
This begs the question how many people like Qatada are subject to such monitoring and are living in council houses at the taxpayer’s expense. If we re-housed them all in the same property presumably we could save a great deal of money. If you televised it I am sure Channel 4 would buy it. A sort of Jihadist Big Brother could be produced. Qatada is in the diary room - he is very upset at having his mobile phone taken away.
But seriously if we were interested in enforcing the law we could have averted this. Qatada arrived in Britain under a forged passport in September 1993 and claimed asylum. Why was he allowed to subvert the correct procedures? Why when we realised he had forged his passport was he not immediately deported. Instead we allowed him to stay. We granted him asylum. In February 2001 anti terror police found he had £170,000 in cash and £805 in an envelope marked "For the Mujahedin in Chechnya". No charges were brought. Such incidences beg the question of what the point is in having border controls if they are not enforced. Britons rightly expected the law to be enforced and this man to be put on a plane and deported but he was not deported.
However, it is not all doom and gloom. The good news for Britain is that Abu Qatada has been released just in time to be the Labour candidate in Haltemprice and Howden. I think the campaign could prove a winner - People like me should not be on the streets, back 42 days.