Party Lines

Eavesdropping on the great debate about torture

Daisy Waugh

Think about it. Actually THINK about what it actually, really means. 

Crikey. No thanks.

It’s all very well, George Dublya saying, you know—I’m a peanut farmer, folks.

Is that what he’s doing now?

He is also the leader of the free world…

Well he was, Laura. They’ve got Obama now.

It’s supposed to be the most civilised country in the world. Upholder of British values and all that—and there he is, talking about dunking peoples’ heads underwater.

No way. 

I was devastated. Because it doesn’t matter if they’re terrorists. They are still humans.

And somewhere in the background there’s going to be a mum.

Crying her eyes out.

You got to ask yourself—what kind of a mum? And you’ve to confront the big “A” question.


Physical or mental Abuse. We’ll probably never know. But something’s happened in that kid’s childhood. To make him turn out that way.

That’s exactly my point. We are all human beings, Ems. And that’s what George Dublya doesn’t seem to latch on to…

So…Not being silly…But what’s the answer, then? If you can’t dunk them under water? Just sort of ask nicely and hope … ?

You’re being facetious.

No! I’m serious. Seriously…

Well, there are ways…

Ha, ha. Vays unt means…

Not funny, Laura. This is about our culture. This is about everything we believe in. Would you smack your own child?

Excuse me. My child isn’t a terrorist.

But violence is always wrong.

Damn right it’s wrong. And I don’t want to get blown sky high by a bloody terrorist any more than the next person. Thankyouverymuch.

Neither do I.

Well then. What if it was your kid, getting blown sky high? Would you prefer that?

Now you’re being silly…

What if it was one of our kids getting blown into smithereens by a suicide bomber? What if it was YOUR KID, EMS?

Obviously …

Everyone bangs on about discrimination this, discrimination that.


We didn’t force them to come here.

Guess not.

And honestly if you insist on running around looking like a terrorist, looking like you want to blow up our kids—what do you expect?

It is provocative…

You’re gonna get your head dunked…

But what does a terrorist look like, Laura? Do we actually know? But they do look similar.

Oh COME ON. Muhammad this. Abdul that. If you ask me, they should all be strip-searched. Soon as they walk out their front door.

State-subsidised front door.

£3,000-a-week on housing benefit front door…

Don’t even start me on that. And the so-called “legal aid”. They’ll be wishing it was only a light head-dunking by the time I’ve finished with them.

Underrated: Abroad

The ravenous longing for the infinite possibilities of “otherwhere”

The king of cakes

"Yuletide revels were designed to see you through the dark days — and how dark they seem today"