Posts Tagged ‘civil liberties’

Muscular centrism is needed after Manchester

24/05/2017, 09:40:42 PM

By Atul Hatwal

Manchester isn’t the first and is unlikely to be the last. As the shock slowly subsides, action is needed, but not of the kind yapped out in the hot takes of some on the left and right.

On the left, there are too many whose efforts to explain, blur into a case to excuse.

Talk of the iniquities of the Prevent strategy, marginalisation of Muslim communities and British foreign policy, is irrelevant.

Just as it is irrelevant to talk about poverty or cultural anxiety when explaining the radicalisation of Thomas Mair, the man who killed Jo Cox last year.

There is no explanatory leap that connects life in Britain today to ideologies such as Islamism or Nazism.

Inflicting terror on innocents is always an unacceptable means to an end, but sometimes it is used in the service of a cause which can be understood, if not agreed with.

The IRA, PLO, ETA and Irgun would all fall into this broad category. The presence of justice in the cause is an essential prerequisite for a route to eventual peace  – it is the underpinning for a rational discourse between opponents.

But Islamism, like Nazism, advocates slaughter of the impure as an intrinsic part of the cause.

There can be no understanding or engagement with this.

No wittering about context is required. We don’t need a sociology debate. This is a matter of winning or losing.


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The loony libertarians in the government are not confined to the Lib Dems

01/11/2010, 11:33:35 AM

By Michael Dugher

Today David Cameron will chair a meeting of the government’s emergency planning committee, Cobra, as calls grow for a full review of airport security, after a bomb was found this weekend on a US-bound cargo plane at East Midlands airport.  All of a sudden, what Harold Macmillan called “events, dear boy, events”, have rather inconveniently intruded upon the government’s review of counter-terrorism laws, and the ultra-libertarian muddle that lay behind it.

The cargo bomb story has understandably dominated the news since last Friday, but its impact is likely to be more enduring.  Norman Smith, the BBC Radio 4’s respected chief political correspondent, concludes that two things are now clear. First, that there will be no relaxation in existing passenger security measures – despite last week’s call from the chairman of British Airways, Martin Broughton, to scrap some “completely redundant” security checks and the attack on so-called ‘securocrats’ this morning from the CEO of Ryan Air, Michael Leary.  Second, the possibility of any easing in the government’s anti-terror legislation looks increasingly remote, “regardless of the pressure from Liberal Democrats”. (more…)

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