One of the great delusions of our time is that once Blair, in the UK case, and Bush, in the American one, stepped down from office the terrorist threat would disappear. The news that a car bomb attack
was foiled in London last night illustrates just how wrong this belief was. Although, the fact that the vast bulk of planning for the 9/11 attacks was done during the Clinton presidency should have shown people how wrong-headed this idea was in the first place.
One of challenges facing the new Home Secretary Jacqui Smith is developing the authority to reassure the nation in these kinds of situations. At the moment, she has no public profile to speak of and lacks the commanding presence that John Reid had during the airline plot.