On Barcelona

Simon Jenkins in the Guardian, ‘Europe has endured seven acts of vehicle terrorism in the past year, and the Barcelona killer was apparently able just to walk away. What on earth can be done? Events yesterday in Calatonia suggest that, as with the London Bridge attacks of last spring, police are getting better at responding to these acts of carnage. The swift erection of barriers and the summary shooting of the Cambrils suspects will revive calls for more road blocks and more armed police. In the short term this will be hard to resist, as are calls for ever deeper intrusion into electronic communication. Yet the balance must be maintained, between personal liberty and what is, in reality, a highly uncommon threat . . . As we have seen this week in Charlottesville, violence is never far below the surface of group hatred and fear, the ugly face of “identity politics”. It is a platitude that communities must be more vigilant, must report oddballs, must be on guard. The only real crime prevention is at source, which is why the government’s much ridiculed Prevent strategy has to be right in principle.

. . . The uncomfortable fact is that almost every act of terror has a political component. The politics of conflict cannot be entirely swept under the carpet of crime. We are still militarily engaged in Muslim states – which many are bound to see as a war on Islam – and seem unable to stop ourselves. Tragically, all wars have casualties.’ click here.