Metrics of Domestic Security

  Evening Standard (27 July 2015) reports, ‘… a total of 1,069 Londoners have been referred to the government’s “Channel” counter-extremism programme since the start of 2012.  That means that the capital accounts for about a quarter of the 4,000 referrals to the programme nationwide since then…  Since September last year, 400 Channel referrals were made…

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Archives’ sorry tales

An unhappy catalogue of lost (or concealed) archives…. Britain The Royal Household’s closed files: A still frame that captures the princess in a gesture that strikes us now as abhorrent still resonates, even if in 1933 it was commonplace in the often anti-Jewish upper classes to make light of Hitler’s antisemitism. No wonder the royal archivists at…

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Torture – a shared value?

                  Libya rendition update: ‘According to the documents discovered after the fall of Gaddafi, five men were subjected to control orders on the basis of intelligence assessments that are now alleged to have been based in part on information extracted during Libyan interrogation of the two opposition…

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Syria/Iraq – a time for cool heads

  The Government’s mixed signals on Syria revealed in the Bherlin Gildo case, as reported in The Guardian, ‘ The prosecution of a Swedish national accused of terrorist activities in Syria has collapsed at the Old Bailey after it became clear Britain’s security and intelligence agencies would have been deeply embarrassed had a trial gone ahead… His…

WoT & the deeper malaise

Paul Krugman in the NYT, 18th May 2015: ‘…America invaded Iraq because the Bush administration wanted a war. The public justifications for the invasion were nothing but pretexts, and falsified pretexts at that. We were, in a fundamental sense, lied into war. The fraudulence of the case for war was actually obvious even at the…

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Watching the BBC

Frances Stonor Saunders, writing about the left-wing academic Eric Hobsbawm, also provides new insights on the vetting of BBC staff in the 1980s: ‘Vetting of sensitive posts was presented as a perfectly sensible policy, a national security matter, and insofar as the practice was discussed at all, it was not controversial. Yet it provided legitimacy…

Afghanistan

Afghanistan – Pride & Prejudice – Part X

                      Then and now – what the experts said at the outset of this disastrous venture that has led to such loss of blood and treasure: – that Afghanistan met the ‘just war’ criteria! General Guthrie – ‘Orientals’ preferred treachery and deceit as the best ways to…

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Terrorism Laws – crows come home to roost?

The misuse of Britain’s hastily conceived anti-terrorism/counter-terrorism laws and security regimes is now affecting society as a whole…  Joshua Rozenberg in the Guardian, 5th February 2015: Police will be forced to seek the permission of a judge if they want to retrieve the phone and email records of journalists. The ruling comes after the prime…

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A call for a global conversation

A blog posting  by Rumman Ahmed. Recently, the noted British Muslim community leader and faith-based activist, Dr M. A. Bari,  has written an insightful article ‘Healing the ills of the Muslim ummah’s public life‘  where he outlined three priority areas for Muslims across the ummah to address. All three are of utmost importance, and I…

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Islamophobia – the facts – 2014

Updated 19 December – Daily Mail’s convert headline THE CLUMSY ACTIONS & STATEMENTS – Three part dossier:  FIRST THE CLUMSY ACTIONS & STATEMENTS,  THEN THE MOCKING, ALARMIST TALK  AND FINALLY THE ABUSE, PHYSICAL DAMAGE, VIOLENCE   Islamophobic talk inevitably leads to anti-Muslim hate crimes – it is time an irresponsible media and populist politicians recognise how…