• 'I feel your pain': terrorism, the media and the politics of response

      Silverman, Jon; Thomas, Lisa; University of Bedfordshire (Sage Publications Inc., 2012-12-10)
      This paper focuses on the interaction between a rapidly changing media and the policy responses of UK governments, faced with terrorist violence which has evolved in form and intent. New Labour's final term in office was dominated by the tension between the competing claims of liberty and security, expressed in Tony Blair's declaration after the 7/7 attacks, 'Let no-one be in any doubt, the rules of the game are changing'. We argue that, insofar as crime,justice and civil rights are governed by a normative set of rules, they were subverted by New Labour in the mid-1990s for party political reasons. Thus, after 9/11, they needed little re-shaping to meet the challenges of 21st century terrorism.Our thesis is based partly on primary interviews and partly on analyses of media coverage, parliamentary debates and government responses in the form of press releases and speeches. The purpose of the interviews - with 'insider' figures from the world of politics, the police and civil society - was to triangulate the known policy responses to 9/11 with the views and perceptions of these figures to assess whether some of the assumptions about the impact of that event on the UK need to be rethought.