Tag Archives: observer

LibLink: Paddy Ashdown: Britain’s best defence to the terror threat is international action

In today’s Observer, Paddy Ashdown cautions against knee-jerk reactions to the prospect of radicalised Jihadists returning to Britain and wreaking havoc on our streets:

He says, basically, that we’ve dealt with this before, in more difficult circumstances and we know how to do it:

On Friday, the government announced that the imminent danger of jihadi attack meant Britain’s threat level should be raised to “severe”. Then, from the prime minister downwards, Tory ministers took to every available airwave to tell us how frightened we should be and why this required a range of new powers for them to exercise. For the record, the threat level in Northern Ireland has been “severe” for the past four years – as it was in all Britain for many years in the 1980s and 1990s, when the IRA threat was at its greatest.

I say this not to deny the threat from returning jihadis – though as the former head of counter-terrorism for MI6, Richard Barrett said on Saturday, this should not be overestimated. But rather to make the point that this is not a new threat. It is one we have faced before and one we know how to deal with – effectively, without panic and without a whole new range of executive powers that could endanger our liberties. Indeed, when it comes to facing threats, it was surely far more difficult to cope with IRA terrorists slipping across the Irish Sea than it is to stop jihadis returning from Iraq?

Posted in LibLink | Also tagged , and | 16 Comments

The lessons we must learn for Nick Clegg’s next holiday

Nick Clegg’s two spells of holiday this Summer have been characterised by the Home Office in particular getting above itself in his absence. Both the party and Nick’s Special Advisers should have learned from the furore over the “Go home” poster vans. The Home Office pulled a fast one by implementing this pilot without telling the Liberal Democrats. The response from the Party was the right one – that they were “disproportionate, distasteful and ineffective” and Vince Cable saying a few days later that they were stupid and offensive. The problem was that the response came out by …

Posted in News | Also tagged , , , and | 31 Comments

Vince vs Danny and Osborne?

From the Observer:

Vince Cable is refusing to accept deep cuts to his departmental budget without a guarantee of billions in funding for job-creating capital projects, as arguments over this week’s spending review reached a new pitch.

With just three days before George Osborne is due to announce £11.5bn of cuts for 2015-16, the business secretary was said to be in no mood to back down in a dispute he regards as crucial to the government’s economic credibility.

Cable is arguing, in talks with Treasury ministers and officials, that the coalition must have “a strong story to

Posted in News | Also tagged , and | 3 Comments

Lynne Featherstone calls for Julie Burchill to be sacked for post attacking transgender people

As Equalities Minister, Liberal Democrat Lynne Featherstone put into place the Government’s Transgender Action Plan. She will be acutely aware of the issues facing transgender people, particularly in relation to violence and discrimination. Hate crime towards that community has been rising as the Independent reported.

Yesterday, the Observer published a piece by controversial writer Julie Burchill which was peppered with hate filled language. Had the target of Burchill’s invective been a particular ethnic group, and she had used similar language, then her piece would have found its way onto the editor’s spike and she would most likely have been …

Posted in News | Also tagged , , and | 34 Comments
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  • User AvatarJohnTilley 2nd Mar - 2:23pm
    Dr Michael Taylor, Julian Heather and others -- let us give credit where it is due. This is an verbatim extract from the report published...
  • User AvatarMatthew Huntbach 2nd Mar - 2:15pm
    stuart moran I think it could be very much simpler than it is and if any money needs to be borrowed it is done so...
  • User AvatarMatthew Huntbach 2nd Mar - 2:07pm
    Jenny Barnes Matthew. “I have my job to protect” That’s my point. If what you are is a deliverer of market services, then fine. Let...
  • User AvatarJohn Grout 2nd Mar - 1:57pm
    I am currently coming to the end of a PhD in Syrian and Iraqi archaeology; for the past 4 years I have watched the very...
  • User AvatarLiberal Neil 2nd Mar - 1:54pm
    The SNP are at, what, 2-3% in the polls, and seem quite chipper? It's not your UK-wide percentage that counts, it's where the votes are.
  • User AvatarJohnTilley 2nd Mar - 1:52pm
    Julian Heather You seem to beieve that fuel poverty is declining. The Government's own Fuel Poverty Advisory Group says otherwise. https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/48299/4664-exec-summary-fuel-pov-final-rpt.pdf