While there is a natural and instinctive sense of revulsion at Abu Qatada being released from detention yet again (your report, 14 November), perhaps we should consider the less obvious, but equally disquieting, aspects of the situation. One cannot blame Qatada alone.
What about the lawyers who represent him and the legal system that permits it to happen in the first place?
Added to this is the equally unpalatable fact that each and every appeal has been funded by the taxpayer.
Another worrying aspect is the abject failure of the Home Secretary to make any headway against the legal rulings, plus of course the ongoing costs of fighting these decisions in the courts, which again are paid for by the taxpayer.
It is the system itself that needs to change to reflect who or what can qualify for Legal Aid and that can only occur when parliament has both the desire and courage to make the changes.
However, this in itself is fraught with issues because it endangers the whole concept of Legal Aid and those who really do need it.
It appears that the obvious answer, ie to put him and his heavily subsidised family on a plane, send him to Jordan and damn the consequences, will not happen because our government is terrified of any possible repercussions. None of this creates the impression in the general public that we live in a safe, and, more importantly, just, society.
It seems the Prime Minister is increasingly “fed up” that a suspected terrorist still can’t legally be deported.
Apparently, when the US President faced a frustration similar to the Prime Minister’s he got Congress to legislate permission.
Hopefully the UK Government won’t succumb to political pressure and seek legislation.
Even though a majority of MPs (and public opinion) may welcome such a law, democracy would be tarnished.
As Allan Massie argued cogently a few months ago, the “rule of law is not a bendy tool for political use”. Of course it is annoying (and more) but we shouldn’t condone any illiberal measures to uphold “the rule of law”.
Old Chapel Walk
I can understand David Cameron being “fed up” that terror suspect Abu Qatada has still not been deported from Britain and has been released from custody.
However, I am also “fed up” with weak politicians who make promises and don’t keep them. The Prime Minister pledged a reform of the Human Rights Act which could have allowed him to deport foreigners who pose a threat to Britain but he has tossed this commitment into the long grass.
His other option would be to put Qatada on the first plane out but he has apparently bottled out as he could be accused of “breaking the law”!
The Qatada remedy could lie within his own hands if only he had the courage to grasp the opportunity.