Alex Massie

In Praise of Stella Rimington

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A statement of the obvious perhaps, but a welcome one nonetheless given that it's hard to see how Stella Rimington, as a former head of MI5, can sensibly be caricatured as a weak-kneed, soft-on-terrorism simpleton:

“Since I have retired I feel more at liberty to be against certain decisions of the Government, especially the attempt to pass laws which interfere with people’s privacy,” Dame Stella said in an interview with a Spanish newspaper.

“It would be better that the Government recognised that there are risks, rather than frightening people in order to be able to pass laws which restrict civil liberties, precisely one of the objects of terrorism: that we live in fear and under a police state,” she said.

Quite so.

Written byAlex Massie

Alex Massie is Scotland Editor of The Spectator. He also writes a column for The Times and is a regular contributor to the Scottish Daily Mail, The Scotsman and other publications.

Topics in this articleInternationalterrorism