The Independent View: Liberals need solutions to the migrant crisis – and conflict prevention will be key

 

So this was the tragedy of a Britain with open hearts and closed borders. The growing humanitarian crisis in Syria coupled with instability in North Africa is creating one greatest migrations waves seen since the end of World War II. Jordan alone has taken over 1.1 million displaced Syrians and is now suffering water shortages that could lead into larger migrations into other Middle Eastern nations.

The reaction to this has been largely isolationist policies, with commentators in the UK describing these migrants anywhere between ‘cockroaches’ and ‘a swarm’; the narrative media focused on dehumanising those fleeing conflict.

In a political climate that creates a Prime Minister who is not afraid to compare refugees to insects or a Labour party that produces anti-immigration kitchenware, Liberals must offer distinctive solutions and steer away from divisive rhetoric – this a crisis, not a political opportunity to blame ISIS.

  1. Increased funding for conflict prevention initiatives

Under the Coalition, conflict prevention spending reaches its highest-ever levels – £1 Billion is now invested into the Conflict Security and Stability Fund which enables UK defence, diplomacy and development  to work together on peacemaking and nation building in fragile states.

Unfortunately the government spending priorities are incredibly lopsided – for every £1 spent on preventing conflict the UK government spends £35 fighting them.

If we are to stop the necessity of refugees fleeing conflict we need to refocus our foreign policy to a more preventive model – to acknowledge that dealing with the proliferation of small arms, investing in state police and courts and ending sexual violence in conflict is far more likely to prevent terror threats than a £6 billion aircraft carrier with no planes.

  1. Increased diplomatic pressure on Gulf nations to take their fair share

Many of the wealthiest Gulf nations have actively turned away migrants fleeing the conflict in Syria. Qatar, United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia all have the capacity the take on more and migrants may often settle quicker in countries with a common language, and in some cases, a common culture.

Qatar finds itself in perhaps the most ethically compromised position of all –  previously funding opposition groups in Libya and Syria whilst doing little to mitigate the impact of doing so. London is surrounded by the massive the symbols of Qatari excess: the Shard, Canary Wharf, Harrods – they are choosing not to aid their fellow Muslims – and the international community needs to be asking why.

  1. Not turning to nationalism, when only internationalism can solve the crisis

All across Europe nationalism is being offered as the antidote for an uncertain world. Any nation who turns away refugees means larger numbers of migrants in a smaller number of countries creating greater pressure on fewer resources.

Whilst nationalism may be comforting from Scotland to Sorbonne it can only compound the crisis. Nationalism creates a magnification effect – the more countries that adopt nationalists policies or rhetoric, create the environment for nationalism to thrive in other countries. What makes this even worse is that many nationalist policy platforms, particularly that of UKIP here in the UK, are likely to increase global instability and push global migration even higher.

Labour, SNP and the Conservatives are either unable or unwilling to speak out about the need for a positive plan – they would rather appeal for UKIP votes.

The only thing worse than inaction is activity that will magnify the crisis – nationalism cannot be allowed to become the altar on which Britain sacrifices its humanitarian principles.

* Shaughan Dolan is Campaigns and Communications Officer for Conscience: Taxes for Peace not War

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60 Comments

  • Eddie Sammon 7th Sep '15 - 3:27pm

    The latter two points seem to deal with the migration/refugee crisis, rather than conflict prevention. So the main point we have for conflict prevention is to throw more money at it. But what are the principles that this initiative will abide by?

    We shouldn’t seek peace with ISIS because it will send the message that if you take somewhere with total brutality then you might be able to keep a bit, as a little reward. They are also extremely oppressive.

    So what I am saying is we need to decide when to choose co-operation and when to choose conflict and sometimes we have to choose conflict ourselves.

  • “this a crisis, not a political opportunity to blame ISIS”

    Hu?

    “Many of the wealthiest Gulf nations have actively turned away migrants fleeing the conflict”

    Yes, but I would ask, would you escape to these places? Who has been funding a particular interpretation that has been behind the crazy ideology that is currently running wild.

    “London is surrounded by the massive the symbols of Qatari excess: the Shard, Canary Wharf, Harrods”

    ?

    “they would rather appeal for UKIP votes”

    There are plenty of reasonable UKIP voters who could be persuaded of the need to take an internationist stance but are turned off by metropolitan sounding hyperbole. Perhaps rather than brand them closed minded bigots you could work out how to get them on side.

  • Psi 7th Sep ’15 – 3:42pm……….“this a crisis, not a political opportunity to blame ISIS”….Hu?…

    Huh, indeed. ISIS and it’s fellow travellers are the problem. Ignoring, or postponing, that is like mopping the kitchen floor and ignoring the broken tap.

  • Umm – I’ve just been and had a look at the 2015 UKIP manifesto, the part on Asylum says:

    “• Asylum visas We will comply fully with the 1951 UN Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees; speed up the asylum process; and seek to do so while tackling logjams in the system for those declined asylum status. We will continue to honour our obligations to bona fide asylum seekers”

    That doesn’t really sound either nationalistic or like a party that wants to close borders. In fact, shouldn’t Lib Dems be making this point to get across the fact that being a UKIP supporter means that you also want to provide refuge?

  • David Cameron has just made his ‘big’ statement on the crisis. His ‘answer’ is to accept less than a dozen refugees a day over the next 5 years…
    Well worth waiting for, eh?

  • Was this article written a few days ago ? It seems either out of date or a tad out of touch. Quote : “Whilst nationalism may be comforting from Scotland to Sorbonne it can only compound the crisis”.

    To be fair, Nicola Sturgeon spoke up good and strong at Holyrood when Cameron was still havering.

    “Labour, SNP and the Conservatives are either unable or unwilling to speak out about the need for a positive plan – they would rather appeal for UKIP votes.”

    Not true about the SNP, or Cooper and of course Jeremy Corbyn. As to the Tories, a typical flip flop by Cameron over a period of 24 hours when the Tory tabloids hotted it up after the publication of that tragic photo.

    My big beef with Cameron is that the assistance is not new money – its filched from the existing Overseas Aid Budget which Mike Moore fought so hard for. No doubt the cash starved local authorities will be left up in the air again.

  • Eddie Sammon
    Did you hear of a place called Abu Ghraib? I am sure you did.
    Parts of northern Iraq and eastern Syria are Sunni.The Iraqi government is Shia.
    Governments are not noted for their tolerence in that part of the world.
    What happened to Saddam’s large army? Largely Sunni.
    They didn’t “take” this area.They were already there.

  • Eddie Sammon 7th Sep '15 - 5:55pm

    Mandating, where they given Kobani too? No, they tried to take it. They chopped Alan Henning head off and throw gay people off buildings. They enslave women and girls and force them to undergo FGM. We shouldn’t have anyone defend ISIL unless it comes with reminders of their atrocities.

  • Eddie Sammon 7th Sep '15 - 5:57pm

    Manfarang, sorry, predictive text.

  • Saudi Arabia gives only work visas and has given them to about 500,000 Syrians.
    No one is given refugee status because the Saudi government has not signed any international accords about refugees.

  • Eddie
    Wars are brutal affairs. In the Middle East no notions of chivalry ever existed. In the Lebanese civil war the bodies of civilians were often left unburied.That war was left to drag on for 15 years.
    The Mandate
    Yes you are right that was the period before WW2 when the RAF prefected its bombing techniques on Kurdish villages.

  • perfected

  • Eddie Sammon 7th Sep '15 - 7:06pm

    Manfarang, I’m not debating with such offensive nonsense that ISIL’s actions can be justified because “wars are brutal affairs”.

  • @Jayne Mansfield
    “Was this not the case?”
    Tbh I didn’t know so had to go a googling. As far as I can tell (and I haven’t checked every single result), these seemed to be something from before the election. As far as I can tell he was saying that we should take Christians as they are currently being persecuted throughout that area and had no where else to go (within the region).
    In the Independent (online version from today) he seems to say” the UK should ultimately accept some asylum seekers from Syria” without any caveats.
    Probably not a very helpful answer – soz.

  • “Parts of northern Iraq and eastern Syria are Sunni.The Iraqi government is Shia.
    Governments are not noted for their tolerence in that part of the world.”

    Yes this ‘tribalism’ is a major problem, I suspect that one of the solution strands could be a letting go of current nation boundaries. I’ve already stated on LDV that I think a re-establishment of Kurdistan should be considered (including those parts occupied by Turkey); perhaps we might do well to consider whether we need to go further.

    The lack of tolerance and brutal nature of both governments/dictatorships and warring fractions is going to take time and effort to quell; where time is probably best measured in generations.

  • So what about killing British citizens in Syria using drones?

    I must say I find it very hard to imagine that is going to increase our security…

    what happened to trials, evidence, innocent until proved guilty, no death penalty, all that sort of thing? Do we not believe in that any more?

  • Eddie Sammon 7th Sep '15 - 8:58pm

    Andrew Mc, if Lib Dems refuse to commit to destroying ISIS I’ll be voting Conservative next opportunity. I feel threatened by them and those closer to them feel it more so. Every MP who voted for action against them is also a target and we need to stop finding an angle to moan about and get rid of them.

  • Eddie,

    I just think this sort of killing without trial will strengthen ISIS, not weaken it… Drone killings by the USA are a big recruiting tool for Islamic terrorists already… There is just something very underhand and sneaky about it….

    Fundamentally, we cannot defeat terrorism by acting like terrorists…

  • Eddie Sammon 7th Sep '15 - 9:08pm

    Hi Andrew, we should discuss this properly on another thread, I feel bad for going off topic (kind of).

    Back to Shaughan’s article about the migrant/refugee crisis and conflict prevention…

  • Eddie,

    well, if there was a specific thread I would use it… Meanwhile this one is about conflict prevention in Syria, which seems close enough…

  • I;m sort of with Eddie Sammon here, but do worry that that as Cameron wanted to aid Syrian rebels, many of whom are ISIS, that there will be another attempt at removing a leader we don’t like with the same disastrous results as in Libya.

  • AndrewsMcC

    “I just think this sort of killing without trial will strengthen ISIS, not weaken it”

    If you think ISIS care about the rules of war you are beyond naive. If combatants are blown up by tanks shot by small arms fire no one asks why they weren’t detained and tried. It is not possible to detain combatants.

    There is a sensible discussion to be had about appropriate types of action to be taken particularly the over confidence of politicians in air power, but not some silly suggestion of being able to deploy non-lethal force against a military enemy.

  • @Jayne Mansfield
    Thanks for the link, but that is before the election and again talks about taking Christians as they have no where else to go, At that time his line seemed to be along the line off – no we shouldn’t let people in as they can escape to a neighbouring country , however we may have to make exceptions for Christians as they may not have that option (i.e. they may still be in danger from persecution if they move).

  • AndrewMcC

    ‘So what about killing British citizens in Syria using drones?’

    This is war not Mary Poppins,just be happy there are two less terrorist scumbags.

  • Eddie Sammon 7th Sep '15 - 10:26pm

    PS, I should re-iterate than any military solutions need to look out for innocents. I don’t believe complaining about innocents is “moaning”, but people who don’t care about the law in some areas are suddenly obsessed by it when it comes to military action. The UN security council is hardly the most democratic body in the world.

  • Psi,

    I am talking about increasing the support base for ISIS in Britain, and hence causing the very terrorist attacks we are just supposed to have avoided. To be honest it rather surprises me that the mastermind of imminent terrorist attacks in Britain is driving around Syria in a jeep… But as we all know intelligence reports are infallible, so I suppose it must be true.

    Certainly they were guilty of making videos encouraging British Muslims to join the fight… And I have no doubt those videos are currently being viewed with renewed enthusiasm by supporters of these new martyrs.

    As a Russian friend of mine said this evening “Why on earth did Cameron tell them he had done it”

  • “In a political climate that creates a Prime Minister who is not afraid to compare refugees to insects or a Labour party that produces anti-immigration kitchenware, Liberals must offer distinctive solutions and steer away from divisive rhetoric”

    The main thing I wish Liberals would start steering away from is sanctimoniousness. A quick reminder of the not-very-distinctive approach to immigration Lib Dems took when in government just a short while ago :-

    https://www.libdemvoice.org/nick-cleggs-illiberal-hattrick-now-immigration-joins-secret-courts-and-media-regulation-on-the-pyre-33815.html

  • @AndrewMcC
    Surely you’re worrying over nothing. Those who are appalled by the killing of these two men by a drone will be vastly more appalled by the deaths of thousands of innocent Muslims (and others) by IS and turn against them… won’t they? Or is it more likely the case that these latest killings won’t make a jot of difference either way?

  • Richard Underhill 8th Sep '15 - 12:02am

    It remains the case that there is no numerical limit in the 1951 convention, so people will still try to reach UK jurisdiction.

  • A Social Liberal 8th Sep '15 - 1:16am

    On killing British terrorists in Syria.

    Whilst I was in HM forces I regularly got into arguments with colleagues who were of the opinion that, given that we knew who the players were, we should pull them out of their houses and put them against the nearest wall to be shot. Needless to say I preferred to collect evidence and, unless they were caught in flagrante they should be arrested and given their day in court.

    Camerons argument is that the terrorist was planning an attack on the UK, but seemed to be following the US argument of ‘Clear and Present Danger’ in that the planner did not need to be aboout to execute a terrorist act for extra judicial killing to take place.

    Just as, thirty years ago I argued against killing terrorists when they were hors de combat, I now argue against the extra judicial killing of this man for these reasons.

    *Parliament had vetoed any bombing on Syrian soil.
    *He was not in a combat situation when the drones struck, nor was he immediately going to execute an atrocity on British soil.
    *There was no reason why he could not have been arrested when he got back to the UK.

    What we should have done is what we did throughout the troubles in Northern Ireland. Collated evidence and wait until we had enough to get a conviction, then wait until he came back to the UK and arrest him.

  • Eddie Sammon 8th Sep '15 - 1:55am

    A Social Liberal, no one is suggesting we start shooting prisoners of war, the guy was killed because an arrest wasn’t possible.

  • All the people who are sitting in their armchairs pontificating the end of the 2 terrorists should consider the people who have been brutally murdered by the group that these 2 terrorists belong to and ask the family and loved ones of those murdered what they think, and also ask the family’s of people who have been recruited by them and have been enticed and brainwashed by their properganda to leaving a happy life in the UK what the think. Consider that if they were not dealt with then it could have been a member of your family or loved ones that could have been caught up in one of their planned atrocities just take your time and think about that before you take the moral high ground.

  • The United States bombardment of Fallujah began in April 2003, one month following the beginning of the invasion of Iraq. In April 2003 United States forces fired on a group of demonstrators who were protesting against the US presence. US forces alleged they were fired at first, but Human Rights Watch who visited the site of the protests concluded that physical evidence did not corroborate their allegations and confirmed the residents’ accusations that the US forces fired indiscriminately at the crowd with no provocation. 17 people were killed and 70 were wounded. In a later incident, US soldiers fired on protesters again; Fallujah’s mayor, Taha Bedaiwi al-Alwani, said that two people were killed and 14 wounded. Iraqi insurgents were able to claim the city a year later, before they were ousted by a siege and two assaults by US forces. These events caused widespread destruction and a humanitarian crisis in the city and surrounding areas. As of 2004, the city was largely ruined, with 60% of buildings damaged or destroyed, and the population at 30%–50% of pre-war levels.

    Is the above forgotten in Iraq? Who was doing the butchery?

  • Social Liberal
    You are right. Cameron would be the first to condemn extra-judicial killing if it was done by other countries and harp on about the rule of law.

  • The drones got the ‘right ‘targets this time….What about next time when we get the info wrong and it’s an innocent family in the vehicle/house…..We couldn’t get the info on Jean Charles de Menezes correct and Israel (who’s ME info is far superior to ours) often ‘gets it wrong’….

    Cameron’s claim of ‘self-defence’ smacks, at least to me, of Saddam’s 45 minut WMDs

  • A social liberal

    Are you suggesting that you don’t see a difference between killing people you have detained and those who are beyond your control and your only access is via air strike?

    If you are suggesting someone should ask the local Bobby to walk to his house and ask him to come for questioning at the local police station, I would point out he was in Syria.

  • Expats

    “The drones got the ‘right ‘targets this time….What about next time”

    Errr? So I shouldn’t drive at 70 mph on the motorway because in the future I may do so on a residential street?

    The debacle in Stockwell was a massive cockup but not very comparable.

    It is always worth noting the inherent higher level of risk with air strikes, as politicians and journalists have a very poor understanding of what ‘targetted’ or ‘precision’ means in this context. Also the under appreciation of the limitations of intelligence.

    However , your comparison (based on current evidence) makes no sense.

  • Jayne Mansfield

    “So what arrests have been made of people who were intending to carry out his plans in this country?”

    As I’m not a police officer investigating this case I wouldn’t know. I would suspect none at this point, as a complex case takes ages and ages to build up. The point isn’t to look at one action and cry foul if there is not everything is immediately presented in a linked up fashion for you. It will need to be scrutinised carefully and over time as if the event are as stated then lots of detail will come out down the line (if there are current investigations not much will be released until it closes or after a trial).

    We need to be sceptical of statements government make and we need a better method of holding them to account than the current PM appointed committee, but disappearing down conspiracy theory rabbit holes helps no one.

    For those questioning the legality Joshua Rozenburg at the Guardian has it summed up:
    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/sep/07/lawful-uk-forces-british-isis-fighters-syria

    Feeding conspiracy theories adds to the beliefs of those who are susceptible. Failing to carefully ensure governments to account for actions, and that justifications are borne out by the evidence allows us to slip to a dangerous place. There is a balance and if we are off to one side or the other then we will do harm.

  • ” Conflict prevention” requires western governments to tackle vested interests in the war zones. There are states who are very invested in keeping ISIS going. It’s a very complex situation with different, shifting factions. We show our ignorance if we think we can resolve this in “conflict-resolution-by-numbers” methods.

    Liberal Democrats claim to be the party to stand up to vested interests but so far, Tim Farron has said nothing on this aspect.

  • Jayne

    I understand, though unfortunately in these circumstances when it happens everyone is asking questions immediately when it is legitimate for the answers to not be available, but when the time comes that the answers should be sought most people have forgotten to start chasing for proper accountability.

    Both of these situations feed in to those (not you) who use conspiracy theories to build their (and others) sense of grievance. The immediate lack of information is initially cited but then years later when none has given sufficient air time to the answers (or lack of) they are rolled out like a laundry list of historic conspiracies.

    By not acknowledging the expected nature of the initial vacuum we had feed this, but by also failing to follow up down the line we make it much worse (though to be fair there are some who try).

  • I saw a great explanatory cartoon this morning that shows that climate change, causing crop failures and influx of rural Syrians to the cities, may have been the tipping-point event that caused the uprising against Assad.

  • I think the fact that such lengthy justifications of the legality of this action are needed just shows that we are on dangerous ground here.. Our opponents will never believe in this “legality”.

    If we had arrested this man in Britain he would have been tried. If there was proof that he had murdered people or conspired to murder people that would have have have led to conviction… It is very unclear to me that he is accused of actual murder however. More like “planning things that have not happened”. At any rate he would not have been sentenced to death, as far as I know we do not have the death penalty in this country, even for terrorists. No doubt Will wishes otherwise, but Parliament repeatedly has decided this.

    Well, there is no doubt in my mind that as described and justified by Cameron this is an extra-judicial killing. The Prime Minister has assured us that this man thousands of miles away constituted a direct and immediate threat to people in Britain, and therefore killing him was legal. (and a couple of people in the car with him, who we don’t talk about). I think this was a stupid approach to the problem, opening us to endless criticism and arguments that we will not win with potential extremists in this country.

    The reality is that we are at war with ISIS – we are bombing them in Iraq. In war you kill enemy soldiers whenever you get the chance, and legality does not come into it. This could have been portrayed as just one of many such operations, no different to the rest. Killing them using drones is arguably more precise than using larger planes, and certainly less dangerous for your own soldiers. Certainly it is not frowned upon as indiscriminate like attacking civilian areas with Grad missiles (for example). The other people in the vehicle were enemy soldiers too, so killing them is not such an issue (well, killing people is always an issue in my mind, but sometimes necessary)

    The big problem for Cameron was that Parliament had expressly forbidden him to conduct warfare in Syria… so he had to dress this up as something else, a response to an immediate threat, a security operation, something that needs to be justified by our legal system. In doing this he has helped the terrorists in Britain, not hindered them, in my view.

  • AndrewMcC

    “I think the fact that such lengthy justifications of the legality of this action are needed just shows that we are on dangerous ground here”

    You think the guardian article is lengthy? I take it you haven’t seen many legal opinions in your life?

    If you are concerned that a legal justification is needed, I would hope that this would never need explaining but we live under the rule of law and I for one am happy that the government can’t just say “it’s legal because we say so” like so many states.

  • Psi 8th Sep ’15 – 9:33am …………..Expats……..“The drones got the ‘right ‘targets this time….What about next time”….Errr? So I shouldn’t drive at 70 mph on the motorway because in the future I may do so on a residential street?……

    So innocents being killed is an acceptable risk?

    ……………..The debacle in Stockwell was a massive cockup but not very comparable…….

    Really? The surveillance/identification in our own country failed but you seem to have great faith in similar surveillance/identification in a confused war zone…

    ………………………It is always worth noting the inherent higher level of risk with air strikes, as politicians and journalists have a very poor understanding of what ‘targetted’ or ‘precision’ means in this context. Also the under appreciation of the limitations of intelligence………….

    I agree!

    ………………However , your comparison (based on current evidence) makes no sense……………..

    Again, really? Saddam’s WMDs were exaggerated as a future threat to the UK. I doubt if two low level terrorists (who were known to the security forces) could have organised bombing a UK public toilet let alone attacking the Queen…

  • AndrewMcC – re: drone killing

    What has surprised me about this is that the government has been so open about what was obviously the outcome of a covert operation. The question therefore has to be what caused the government to make this announcement.

  • Roland 8th Sep ’15 – 12:10pm …………What has surprised me about this is that the government has been so open about what was obviously the outcome of a covert operation. The question therefore has to be what caused the government to make this announcement…

    Desperation for anything with a positive spin after weeks of indecisive ‘flip-flopping’…

  • expats

    “So innocents being killed is an acceptable risk?”

    So the pacifist argument, I’m not sure there is much point going down this line of discussion, suffice to say I’m not a pacifist and accept there is risk and we have to manage the risk of innocents being killed by us and by terrorists. There are times that the assessment will require peoepl not to act and time it will require action.

    “The surveillance/identification in our own country failed but you seem to have great faith in similar surveillance/identification in a confused war zone”

    If you think it was only surveillance/identification that failed at Stockwell you underestimate the scale of the cock up. The key difference is the time pressure. After the London bombs the response were not aware of who they were looking for (anyone who had ever come across anyone desk was suddenly making the potential immediate threat pool huge). The priority was to stop any threat getting to a position to do something. In Syria/Iraq the time pressure is different, there is time to work out who someone is and what they are up to but short windows when action would be possible to take out a target when away from civilian targets. What exists in Syria but did not in Stockwell was the time to identify.

    “I doubt if two low level terrorists (who were known to the security forces) could have organised bombing a UK public toilet let alone attacking the Queen…”

    So blowing up civilians in a toilet is unimportant? How does that square with earlier indignation about innocents? Incidentally, planning an attack on a VJ deay celebtration does not mean targeting the Queen, that would be difficult but targeting crowds gathering for the event would be easy. As to whether “two low level terrorists” would be capable of blowing up a public toilet, I think the majority of the public would not be willing to take the risk that you are happy with.

  • PSI.
    Personally, I suspect the Stockwell murder of an innocent man was caused by glory seeking and the desire to generate good publicity. If Jean Charles Menezes had turned out to be from the Middle East instead of South American I seriously doubt anyone would have heard any more about it. There is abundant evidence of disinformation from a compliant press and from officials involved in the case. The West Midland Police managed a terrorist threat without killing anyone not long afterwards.
    I think the problem with war and military operations is that they can bring out jingoist hyperbole and a sense of the need to be seen to do something whether it’s the right thing or not. In the case of this drone strike it got a known insurgent, but the reality is that in general air offensives without ground support are pretty useless and have added to the current crisis. It’s not like we can point to Libya as a great success. I would argue that doing something often proves to be worse than doing nothing if it is merely driven by rhetoric and wishful thinking. The evidence so far suggest ISIS can withstand airstrikes fairly easily and are frankly not going to be defeated or even greatly curtailed this way.

  • Psi,

    As far as I can see our government HAS said little more than “it is legal because we say so”. It is the press who are making justifications, and for the Guardian that article is certainly lengthy

    Generally I would hope that the legality of our actions as a country should be crystal clear – backed by a UN mandate, for example, or using the normal legal processes of a democracy…

    Anyway, this discussion now has a thread all of its own, where I have posted my comment above

  • Glenn

    “There is abundant evidence of disinformation from a compliant press and from officials involved in the case.”

    I have often heard this claim but it does not fit with what I remember from watching the BBC as it happened.

    The BBC (in CNN style) as the event took place started taking calls from the public as to what had happened, which was where the origional claim of ‘he jumped the barrier’ (later wrongly attributed to the police). Several other ‘eye witness’ reports started comming in with inaccurate info.

    Hours later the police, behaved even more incompetently by commenting on the incident using stories in the media rather than establishing the facts and basing any public statements on that.

    The met made vast numbers of cockups and they rightly should be criticised for that. But as usual it is cockup not conspiracy.

  • @Jayne Mansfield
    “I believe that we need to dig deeper than explaining their behaviour away on the grounds they were ‘groomed’.”

    There will be many theories as to why people chose to go to these places and become terrorists so what happens to them is their fault they have brought it upon themselves. I am glad that people in UK were saved from their terrorist acts and the use of Drones is safer than using ground troops to keep people in the UK safe.

  • PSI.
    did I say it was a conspiracy? But after the event there were doctored photos to make De Mennezes look more like the suspect, continued use of false reports of how he was dressed, continued false reports of his behaviour, false reports of polices behaviour. etc And actually I saw the reports and witness interviews more or less as it happened, and I can honestly say I rang my Dad up and older brother up to say I think they screwed up”, Obviously, that isn’t saying that the event was a conspiracy but quite frankly the disinformation that followed was IMO.

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