Thoughts from an active pensioner who is now somewhat past his Biblical "Use-by date"

"Why just be difficult, when with a little more effort you can be bloody impossible?"

Monday, 25 August 2014

The Middle East

I've already made it clear that I do not feel our government is being sufficiently pro-active in trying to produce a plan to safeguard this country from the events in the Middle East. Indeed, from reports in the media it is difficult not to reach the conclusion that our government hasn't got the slightest idea what to do about the Middle East and is merely acting in response to events  rather than trying to anticipate them.
I would have hoped that the government, by now, would have got together all the various experts from the Civil Service, the Military, the security services, etc, and tried to come up with a detailed analysis of the situation and the possible scenarios that might result. That should include, not only what action, if any, to take in the Middle East, but also, in my view more importantly, an analysis of the threat to this country from extremists resident here and any returning from abroad.

Our record on dealing with terrorists hardly gives much confidence; as Theresa May writes in the Telegraph, "69 people have been arrested for offences relating to terrorism in Syria; so far, 12 have been charged and four have been successfully prosecuted". Hardly an inspiring record!
So far, a mere 23 people have had their passports withdrawn because it was suspected they might be heading for Syria; as Breitbart points out, this hardly compares favourably with the 1400 football supporters/hooligans  who had their passports withdrawn to stop them travelling to Brazil.  Clearly our police know more about football than terrorism!

As I said previously, I favour an isolationist policy and take the view that we should do absolutely nothing in the Middle East unless it can be shown that our inaction would have a direct effect on our security in this country. Our interventions in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya can hardly be called a roaring success.

We should be concentrating all our effort in dealing with the situation at home, identifying and weeding out potential terrorists. Those responsible for radicalisation need to be identified and prosecuted. If we don't have the laws to deal with the situation, Parliament should set about enacting some suitable legislation, ideally as a cross-party endeavour.
So far all we seem to have is lots of knee-jerk proposals from various politicians, followed by others telling us we couldn't possibly do that because it would infringe someone's rights. Theresa May, Boris Johnson and Nigel Farage have all come up with ideas in the last week or so, only for some one else to argue that we couldn't possibly do that because it would infringe some law. The most laughable suggestion, apparently from the Home Office, is that there should be some form of ASBO for potential terrorists: "You are banned from being a suicide bomber, if you infringe this ban you will be jailed"!

Last week, Nigel Farage proposed that the Government strip militants with joint nationality of their UK citizenships, and withdraw passports from British citizens who want to travel to the jihad. He also wanted to see those who do not hold UK citizenship but have been granted the right to live here, have that right revoked immediately. I can't see anything wrong with this idea, but apparently it would be contrary to international agreement to make people stateless.
Boris Johnson has suggested that there should be a basic assumption that anyone returning from the war-torn areas has been participating in the conflict unless the individual can prove otherwise. This is, of course, contrary to the basic British law presumption that one is innocent until proved guilty. However, there is a way around this; America has laws by which it can ban people from going to specified countries unless they get prior permission by showing good cause, such as being a news reporter. This doesn't stop anyone from breaking the law and going to these countries, but does enable them to be prosecuted on return.

Then, what's happened to our treason laws? Don't the laws about aiding and abetting or consorting with an enemy still apply to British citizens? Can't British citizens returning from the war zone be charged with treason?

Come on, its time that Parliament and our Government earned their living and came up with a plan to deal with the threat to this country instead of engaging in the usual "Ya-bo" politics which seems to be all that they can manage these days.

No comments:

Post a Comment