Above, David Cameron at the Lord Mayor of London’s banquet last night. After the condolences, we who are unaffected by the Paris outrage should be turning our attention to answering the question, “What next?”
In his address to the assembled to the City of London’s “Great and the Good” David Cameron spoke about the government he leads response. He did not spell out the details but made a fair outline.
Meanwhile the leader of Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition Jeremy Corbyn responded to questions about police tactics on the ground in such situations as a terrorist attack.
This organ has a fair degree of sympathy for Comrade Corbyn. Comrade Corbyn is a rarity these days: a politician prepared to stick with his principals and beliefs when when it is clear that they jar with the popular opinion of masses.
Comrade Corbyn uttered a howler when he expressed concerns about his unease about a “shoot to kill” policy in response to a question about the Paris attacks.
It might be the case that when he answered the interviewer’s question Comrade Corbyn was recalling the events of 4th August 2011 when the criminal Mr Mark Duggan was shot dead by police. British Gazette readers will recall what followed: Riots by disaffected young people (mainly but not exclusively black) in a number of cities across the country.
Earlier, Comrade Corbyn had issued another howler when he stated that he would have preferred to have seen the late and unlamented Mr Mohammed Emwazi, aka “Jihadi John” arrested and brought to trial.
It probably is the case that when he expresses these views, Comrade Corbyn is aware of the following FACTS:
1. Terrorists generally have two aims. The first and most obvious is to create terror. The second aim however is to provoke a severe response on the part of those whom they attack.
In this, the Paris terrorists have succeeded brilliantly. As can be seen by the French response:
2. Terrorists desire martyrdom. Indeed they bring their end about themselves by the method of their attack: Suicide bombing.
You see, Comrade Corbyn asks this rather simple question: “How effective is capital punishment as a deterrent against an offender determined to commit suicide?”
3. The terrorist organisation that is Islamic State is a nihilistic death cult. They are beside themselves in excited anticipation at the prospect of soldiers from NATO countries and also Russia “on the ground” in Syria as they believe that this is the forthcoming Armageddon.
Now we have looked at what Comrade Corbyn thinks, let us turn our attention to the man running the government of this country, Mr David Cameron:
As always with Mr Cameron two things must govern any analysis of the words that come from his mouth: the undisclosed details of what he says and what he did not say.
The speech was very much a statement of common sense. That additional resources should and would be allocated to the intelligence services and “special forces.” Unfortunately, what was lacking was a commitment to reverse the cuts to police budgets across the country.
Let us face it: In times lie these to CUT police numbers and resources is lunacy!
Mr Cameron should have used the opportunity of the Paris outrage to perform a U Turn in this area. He could have done this without political cost. In fact it would have been very popular!
Another area that Mr Cameron referred to was in the area of intelligence gathering. One of the things intelligence services have relied upon has been informers. Informers are generally those closely connected with or people more distantly associated with persons of interest to the intelligence service in question. Sir Francis Walsingham, Queen Elizabeth I’s Chief of Intelligence was particularly keen on this method of intelligence gathering.
We can be fairly confident then that the government is going to increase it’s contacts with what are called “Muslim community leaders” – their message will be this:
“Please help us. Tell us of any persons you may have concerns about.”
The government is NOT going to have the door slammed in their face. The Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) will want to help. The government will receive a positive response. However what will transpire is a process of negotiation.
It is likely that the MCB will state something along the lines of:
“What we need is for you [the government] to help us so we can help you. If we are to go to our young people we need to present them with evidence that the government values us, the Muslim community. If we are to counter the radicalisation of Muslim youth we need to show them that all extremists are going to be dealt with – across the communities. This means that the far right Islamapobes must be dealt with.”
Now the government will state (correctly) that far right extremists are already being dealt with. The MCB will likely argue that the government is not going far enough.
They will address The Crime and Disorder Act 1998 (c.37) Section 31(1)(c) creates the distinct offence of racially or religiously aggravated harassment, alarm or distress.
The Crime and Disorder Act 1998 (c.37) Section 31(1)(c) creates the distinct offence of racially or religiously aggravated harassment, alarm or distress. A person is guilty of this offence if he commits an offence under section 5 of the Public Order Act 1986 (see harassment, alarm or distress) which is racially or religiously aggravated within the meaning of section 28. A person guilty of this offence is liable on summary conviction to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months, or to a fine not exceeding level 4 on the standard scale (s.29(3)).
It is unlikely that there will be any change to the Act itself. What there will very likely be is “the bar” at which the Police will take action against someone suspected of committing this offence.
You see is a person causes another person to feel distressed by what they are saying then that person can complain to the Police and the Police will consider whether action should be taken against the suspect.
A fine example of the New Model Police Service’s authoritarianism is to be found in the case of a Mr Overd, a street preacher in Taunton, Somerset.
Mr Overd – a former Paratrooper – is a Christian who wished to spread the Good News about Jesus Christ. Unfortunately for Mr Overd, Taunton Police deem this unlawful.
What we are likely to see following the Paris attack and the government’s talks with the Muslim Council of Britain is a general “lowering of the bar” insofar as the offence of racially or religiously aggravated harassment, alarm or distress is concerned.
Much of the “radicalisation” takes place on the internet and therefore the government are going to want to “clamp down” on those who radicalise Muslim youth through this means. Thus the price of co-operation is likely to be action taken against such as Mr Condell. See: http://www.patcondell.net/