Alice Miles

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They have been convicted by everybody except a jury. The men on trial for their involvement in an airline bomb plot, four of whom the jury felt unable to convict of murder conspiracy this week, had been condemned as soon as they were arrested two summers ago.

Then, the Metropolitan Police deputy commissioner Paul Stephenson told us publicly that there had been a plot to bomb airliners that “was intended to be mass murder on an unimaginable scale”. A “security source” told the Daily Mirror: “Make no mistake - if this plot had succeeded it would have been bigger than 9/11 in terms of body count.…  Seguir leyendo »

Of all the detail about the bomb plots over the weekend, the fact that the perpetrators seem to be linked by their medical training has caused the most consternation. How can a doctor want to kill, and an NHS doctor at that? How can anyone working in the National Health Service, that quintessentially British institution, not only not feel British, but actually hate Britain?

Even to ask the questions is to misunderstand to a degree what the National Health Service is: not, in fact, the essence of Britishness but to a large extent foreign. Nearly four in ten doctors registered to work in the UK (they are not necessarily all working here) qualified overseas, in 150 countries from as far afield as Ecuador and Ethiopia, Somalia and Singapore.…  Seguir leyendo »