More on the genuine bullshit which seems to pass for mainstream politics, the proposal that university staff should spy on their students seems to be going down in flames:
Professor Drummond Bone, president of Universities UK, said today:
"While this is clearly a draft document, there are dangers in targeting one particular group within our diverse communities of students and staff. Not only is this unreasonable but, crucially, it could be counterproductive. The key to this is balance and discussion - and we have made this point repeatedly to ministers.
The University and College Union, representing academic staff, fears members "may be sucked into an anti-Muslim McCarthyism which has serious consequences for civil liberties by blurring the boundaries of what is illegal and what is possibly undesirable."
Paul Mackney, joint general secretary, said: "There is a danger of demonising Muslims, for example by the statements of five ministers in the last couple of weeks, when actually Muslims have made enormous strides in getting more of their young people to universities and colleges."
And quite right too. We're forgetting one thing though. Like with the 'Ban Muslim Ghettos' incident, the idea that lecturers are going to be dobbing on their students is nonsense. Universities are competing hand over fist to get students. They are highly liberalised, highly profitable places of business. More generally, no campus is going to thrive in a McCarthyite atmosphere.
The important thing is there is a dutch auction going on, between Labour and the Tories and between each of the potential candidates, vying for position (for king and kingmaker) in leadership elections. Added to that is the increased security threat in the aftermath of 9/11 and the Iraq war, the unity of purpose between all the major parties when it comes to the 'long war', and the total bankruptcy of the pro-war argument in the public's eyes.
Blair and his cohorts have have been struggling for over a year to explain why 7/7 had nothing to do with the war. This is the best they can come up with. They will ride this bandwagon 'til the wheels come off.