Law Reform,  Terrorism

Our duty of care

Ned Temko highlights a shameful injustice over at Comment Is Free:

Shameful”. So often has the word been unsheathed in recent days to denounce serial screw-ups by the political class, from Damian McBridegate to the dizzying excesses of MPs’ expense claims, that there’s a risk that other at least equally serious outrages may slip by largely unnoticed.

One, in particular, which ought not to be allowed to fall off the political radar was revealed in Sunday’s Observer. It is the government’s wilful failure to provide any meaningful financial help for the dozens of British citizens who have been injured, and in some cases disabled for life, in terror attacks abroad. “A shameful state of affairs,” it was rightly called – not by a pundit or a headline-writer, but by one of Labour’s own leading members of the House of Lords, the prominent barrister Lord Brennan.

Lord Brennan’s disgust stems from what he rightly calls the grand “injustice” of it all. Britons such as 29-year-old Will Pike, the wheelchair-bound Londoner whose case was highlighted in the Observer, have been denied government help due to a loophole in the compensation package put in place after the 7/7 bombings in London. If he, or others similarly injured or killed in terror attacks, had had the decency to have been attacked on British soil, they or their families would have been helped. Otherwise – as the Labour MP and former minister Ian McCartney has put it trenchantly – the message to this country’s citizens appears to be: “Once you put a toe over the White Cliffs of Dover, you’re on your own, mate!”

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