Friday, 26 December 2008


I finally got around to watching Caché by Michael Haneke, without a doubt the best film I've seen in years. Moreover, it made me aware of the Paris massacre of 1961, an event I admit to my great shame I'd never even heard of until last week.

Might there be parallels between France in 1961 and Britain today? In both cases, an abject war abroad triggers domestic turmoil, including terrorism committed by a small minority. In both cases, the powers that be decide that under these circumstances, human rights are to be suspended, if not in law then in practice. In both cases, the police are unaccountable; no one has ever been convicted of the Paris massacre, as no one has been convicted of the killing of De Menezes and no police officer has received even the slightest reprimand for any of the many thousands of baseless arrests, search warrants and other forms of harassment of what turn out to be innocent people, under 'anti-terrorism' laws that lack any moral or other justification. As in France in the 1960s, the press is all too eager to do its 'duty' demonising those breaking the law, while glorifying the law enforcement agencies that protect us, our children and our way of life.

If none of this makes any sense and the analogies are false, then forget all this, except that the film is highly recommended.

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