The importance of grammar, part 4,673: At today’s press conference (amid much guff), Tony Blair commented on the 7th July bombings:
“He said he knew of ‘nothing that would indicate [the security services] should have known or been able to prevent the attacks”‘”
Which, of course, strictly speaking means he knew of nothing that would indicate the security services should have been able to prevent the attacks. So if the security services don’t need the ability to protect us from terrorists, why the need for all this new, intrusive legislation, eh?
(And here the pedantry ends, for the time being – although I might ask why, if Jack Straw’s Foreign Office policies won’t change under Margaret Beckett, there was any need to remove him? Couldn’t she, as “a safe pair of hands” – despite the lack of evidence of this from her time at DEFRA – equally tackle Lords Reform, Straw’s supposed new task as Leader of the Commons?)