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It's time for evidence, not rhetoric

PUBLISHED: 10:59 21 January 2003 | UPDATED: 16:12 24 February 2010

IMAGINE Britain in 2030, taken over by a far-left Government. American bases have been closed, we've left NATO, and are alleged to be secretly manufacturing weapons of mass destruction to unleash on Berlin, Madrid, and Miami.

IMAGINE Britain in 2030, taken over by a far-left Government. American bases have been closed, we've left NATO, and are alleged to be secretly manufacturing weapons of mass destruction to unleash on Berlin, Madrid, and Miami.

The American government successfully urges the UN Security Council – Britain's veto having been abolished – to send inspectors to track them down even though Downing Street denies we are up to no such mischief.

The inspectors arrive at Stansted's newly opened Terminal Four and head for East Anglia to start their inspection. A month at Cambridge's university and science park reveals nothing, nor at BT Research at Martlesham, the RAF bases at Honnington, Lakenheath and Mildenhall, the nuclear installations at Sizewell and the decommissioned Bradwell on the Blackwater in Essex.

Then news reaches the inspectors that in the remote Fens of Cambridgeshire, people with two heads have been seen – the convoy moves on to Wisbech to search out the manufacturing base only to find remote farmland stuffed full with illegal narcotics from South America.

Six months later and only a tiny corner of the UK has been searched. The US President's patience snaps, the UN refuses to sanction military action, and the 7th armed brigade storms ashore in Cardigan Bay to begin to take on the Government, with the loss of thousands of young lives from Arkansas, Minnesota, and Louisiana..

Fanciful, of course, but it demonstrates the difficulty of finding evidence of malpractice in a large country.

For personal reasons, I have every reason to fear the appalling consequences of an attack on London by terrorists using chemical, biological or nuclear weapons. My son and his girlfriend work on the South Bank near Tower Bridge and use the tube every day. Each week, I catch the underground to Westminster. Unleashing weapons of mass destruction would kill thousands on the overcrowded trains.

An attack need not be in London. Awful weapons exploded from a parked car near Portman Road in Ipswich on a Saturday afternoon just after the final whistle would cause mayhem and death on a massive scale.

The annual V music festival at Hylands Park in Chelmsford, the Harwich to Hook of Holland ferry, a crowded commuter train from London to East Anglia, and Sizewell nuclear power station – whose security was so publicly breached last week – are prime targets in our region.

Tony Blair used his monthly Downing Street press conference last week to unleash a stinging attack on critics of British involvement in possible military action, describing them as "naive and misguided."

Saddam is certainly cruel to his own people, but so are many other dictators throughout the world.

He may well be planning to arm terror gangs with weapons manufactured in Iraq, but Tony Blair must now furnish irrefutable proof. Without the evidence, not even the most evil criminal can be convicted.

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