This page is no longer being updated. For the latest articles check the Blog page sidebar.
Most Druids are crazy, so why don't they attack us?
If Stonehenge was bombed, you'd soon see one behaving strangely outside a nightclub
Among the many complex questions involving the minds of terrorists is why they would rely on a mobile phone to work properly as the detonator. All that effort, ending with a furious Jihadist snarling, "Bollocks, I can't get a signal."
Or maybe the terrorists have modernised their facilities, so instead of an instant explosion he heard a voice saying, "Welcome to the Al Qa'ida automated answering service. If you'd like to hear about our special summer range of fertiliser, nails, 3-for-the-price-of-2 gas cylinders and an exciting variety of combustible materials, press one..." So by the time it said, "Or if you'd like to detonate a Silver Mercedes press seven," he'd lost interest and hung up.
You'd think there must have been a question mark within Al Qa'ida over the standard of their operatives ever since it was revealed a few months ago they were plotting to bomb the Ministry of Sound. Keep up, boys, the dance scene is SO 1990s. Imagine the embarrassment if they'd blown the place to bits, then discovered it was empty while 3,000 people were up the road watching Arcade Fire.
It might go against their instincts, but they'd probably be better off employing a cultural officer. He could report every month on who's likely to be hot, and plan the explosions accordingly. Then the minutes of their Jihad Council would read: "Meanwhile, one unlikely tip for the top is the hi-energy folk-rock combination the Gogol-Bordellos, whose blend of infidel strings-based melodies and catchy rhythms that spew forth from the heathen cries of Satan look set to storm the UK charts, attracting crowds well worth immolating with holy vengeance."
So nothing went off, and ever since, the politicians and newsreaders have congratulated us on our British resolve. We've shown the terrorists they can't win, by displaying our heroic determination to carry on as normal, and bravely continued weeding the garden or going up the shop for biscuits, even though only 30 miles away a car was towed away. And they're all keen to point out this is British resolve, not the spineless European resolve, where people hear a bang and then all kill themselves.
Over here people say things like "I'm SO determined to carry on as normal, since the weekend I've not only kept on having a full English breakfast every morning, I've had TWO. So tell Bin Laden to stick that up his hand-held rocket launcher."
And we can be grateful that, at least in Glasgow, this time it's fairly certain the police have captured the right person - although even there you half expected them to miss him, and then make an appeal at a press conference, saying "We are looking for a man who is around 5ft 11in, whose distinguishing features include flames shooting out from the top of his head."
With all the excitement, though, everyone appears to have missed yet another explosion. It took place at the end of last week, when the Washington Post reported a "NATO and US-led assault" on the Afghan village of Hyderabad. Wali Khan, the member of the US-backed parliament for the area, was quoted as saying, "More than 100 people have been killed. But they weren't Taliban. The Taliban were far away from here. The people are already unhappy with the government. But these kinds of killings of civilians will cause people to revolt against the government."
Out there, if they had a day like our weekend, the news reporter would say, "What a day - only two unexploded bombs and a nutcase setting himself alight at an airport - so let's go straight to sport."
Instead, everyone in the area must scream "It's no use trying to understand them, they're just crazy," and "Who let these savages into the country?"
A US army spokesman said the civilian deaths proved "insurgents are continuing their tactic of using women and children as human shields." So there's another lesson for Al Qa'ida. They could claim the Tiger Tiger nightclub was actually a military airfield, with a runway in the cloakroom, and civilian deaths would only have shown the British were using people who dance as human shields.
The reasons why someone erratically drives a car bomb to a nightclub or into an airport must be complex, but there's no doubt it's far more likely if you come from a region that's been mercilessly bombed by the government of the country you decide to bomb in return. That was certainly the view of the intelligence report seen by Blair before the occupation of Iraq. Maybe a combination of rage and helplessness leads some people to feel that at least blowing something up is acting rather than doing nothing, and they then seek justification for their decision by appealing to the far reaches of their religion.
Because there are obsessive people in all religions, but without an earthly motive, they don't usually resort to blowing up civilians to please their God. Most Druids are crazy, but they don't normally bother anyone. However, if Stonehenge was bombed on the Summer Solstice, and teepees set ablaze with an excuse that they were threatening us with fertility symbols of mass destruction, you'd soon see the odd one behaving strangely outside a nightclub or airport.
Luckily with this last effort, the terrorists' level of incompetence was too great. If it turns out that there was a cell of medical professionals behind it all, maybe that's what saved us. Junior doctors are so knackered after a 22-hour shift that they are almost bound to make a hash of anything.