Re­newed vig­i­lance to save en­light­ened so­ci­ety

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - OPINION - BY GARTH E. STA­PLES Garth E. Sta­ples of Char­lot­te­town is a for­mer P.E.I. se­nior civil ser­vant, tourism op­er­a­tor, busi­ness­man and in­struc­tor

Wil­liam Pitt the younger was one of Great Bri­tain’s most com­pe­tent Prime Min­is­ters.

He ac­cepted his ap­point­ment at the young age of twenty-four years from King Ge­orge III. Three of his great­est chal­lenges were dur­ing the pe­riod of the French Revo­lu­tion (1790s), the Napoleonic Wars and his left­wing an­tag­o­nist Charles Fox.

The French Revo­lu­tion brought sub­ver­sive el­e­ments (spies, ag­i­ta­tors and ter­ror­ists) in a new way to the English shores.

The ag­i­ta­tors tried to in­duce English so­ci­ety to use force to cre­ate change as fol­lowed by the French. Napoleon’s armies shortly there­after ram­paged across Europe.

Bri­tain was un­der siege from all fronts.

Bri­tain’s forces were weak be­cause of the lack of at­ten­tion from pre­vi­ous ad­min­is­tra­tions.

Pitt was un­der ex­treme pres­sure to pro­vide the se­cu­rity needed to pro­tect his peo­ple. For­tu­nately he rec­og­nized the peril and took ac­tion only to be op­posed on ev­ery move by Charles Fox.

The fol­low­ing is taken from one of his speeches in the House of Com­mons: “Mr Fox de­fies me to state, in one sen­tence, what is the ob­ject of war. I know not whether I can do it in one sen­tence, but in one word I can tell him that it is “se­cu­rity”, se­cu­rity against dan­ger, the great­est that ever threat­ened the world. It is se­cu­rity against a dan­ger which never ex­isted in any past pe­riod of so­ci­ety”.

Pitt man­aged se­cu­rity forces to the high­est lev­els and his work set the scene, six years af­ter his death, for Napoleon’s de­feat.

A sim­i­lar dan­ger ex­ists to­day for our coun­try and all other free­dom lov­ing coun­tries.

Ter­ror­ism as in Pitt’s time presents a dan­ger like no other. For­tu­nately for our coun­try and other Euro­pean coun­tries we have lead­er­ship which has, like Pitt, rec­og­nized the dan­ger and has set in mo­tion pro­grammes to erad­i­cate the threat of so­cial col­lapse.

PM Harper has asked all think­ing and con­cerned Cana­di­ans to join in a re­newed vig­i­lance to save our en­light­ened so­ci­ety from at­tempts to take us back to the dark ages.

It is in the na­tional in­ter­est and a very nec­es­sary ven­ture for all of Cana­di­ans.

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