Coffee House

David Cameron may be about to call time on the coalition’s civil libertarian stance

29 August 2014

29 August 2014

It was not so much the announcements that David Cameron made in his press conference about the terror threat to the UK that were significant, but what he looks like he’s going to have to announce on Monday. The Prime Minister confirmed that the threat level to the UK has been raised from ‘substantial’ to ‘severe’. But he also said that on Monday he will be unveiling new measures to address ‘gaps’ in the UK’s ‘armoury’:

‘I said very clearly last week that there would be no knee-jerk reactions. We will respond calmly and with purpose. And we’ll do so driven by the evidence and the importance of maintaining the liberty that is the hallmark of the society that we defend. But we have to listen carefully to the security and the intelligence officers who do so much every day to keep us safe.

‘I chaired a meeting a week ago with our intelligence and security services and we agreed that the answer to this threat was not to dream up some sweeping new power that would be ineffective in practice. But it is becoming clear that there are some gaps in our armoury and we need to strengthen them.

‘We need to do more to stop people travelling, to stop those who do go from returning and to deal decisively with those who are already here. I’ll be making a statement in the House of Commons on Monday. This will include further steps to stop people travelling, with new legislation that will make it easier to take people’s passports away.’

Those gaps won’t just cover passports, though. Labour is calling on the government to look again at its decision to scrap control orders. And so the Conservatives could be finally calling time on their civil libertarian stance: where once they said they would be sceptical of what the intelligence services demanded, now they are asking the intelligence services to set out what they want. And if what they want is what the Conservatives would previously have denied them, or have scrapped, then presumably the ‘generational struggle’ against Isis will require that the Tories say yes.

But it’s not just the Tories who get to say yes, is it? And that was presumably the point of this press conference: to soften up the Liberal Democrats ahead of what looks like a very busy weekend of coalition talks.


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Show comments
  • Innit Bruv

    Some Londoners have very short memories as do,it would seem, some of Spectator’s writers.
    David Copeland, April 1999.
    Islamists aren’t the only threat.

  • GraveDave

    That’s the Muslim vote gone for a Burton.

  • chouenlai

    It is clear that economy aside, we may just as well have a Labour government. If the threat is so strong, send the special forces out to kill these people. Shall we take away their passports ? Take away their balls more like.

    • GraveDave

      I think in times like these there is a good argument for collective punishment.
      In such cases where a family harbors a serious terrorist sympathizer or there is a very real risk, take all their passports away.

  • RAnjeh

    Cameron has been to weak on this issue. He should bring back control orders, introduce the Communications Data Bill, strip citizenship from fighters in Syria and Iraq and bar them from entering the country, negotiate for reform of (rather than withdrawal from) the ECHR and militarily intervene in Iraq. If the spineless Lib Dems say ‘no’, then he should end the Coalition. If the government cannot protect its people, then what is the government for?

  • Agrippina

    The economic migrants will be increasing shortly. BBC 29.08.14-In Malta, an American couple the Catrambones in their 30s, have funded a highly-sophisticated ship, the Phoenix. It has dinghies and two state-of-the art drones which they are using to find and help migrants trying to enter Europe by boat, mostly from Africa. The custom-made flight deck, home to two Schiebel S-100 camcopters, or drones, which MOAS has leased.

    He explains how their HD-quality, night vision and thermal imaging cameras are powerful enough to read a piece of paper in a passenger’s hand from the air.

    They will use the dinghies to approach the boats, pass over food, water and lifejackets and offer medical assistance – the Phoenix has a paramedic on board and also has a well-equipped medical bay.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-28953237

    • The Masked Marvel

      With the open-borders, anti-national sovereignty BBC eagerly giving them publicity.

  • beenzrgud

    Noticed this morning that chief apologist for muslims, George Galloway, has been thumped. Some might call it wrong, I’d call it a bloody good start.
    It’s also disgusting that already the issue of muslims gang raping children has virtually disappeared from the media. Did the powers that be sense trouble in the air and issue an edict???

    • Ordinaryman

      Only “thumped”??

      • beenzrgud

        I would have preferred he be bent over and savagely penetrated for years on end, as such an experience may have brought him back into the real world, but unfortunately a good thump appears to be all that happened.

    • the viceroy’s gin

      Yes, the ongoing child s e x slavery matter is being flushed.

      Nice work, you Speccie kids .

  • Tony_E

    Blow by blow they chip away at our basic freedoms, the right to go unmolested by the state, to be free men in our own country.

    We face external threats, but as far as I can tell none are as present as the threat that was caused in the 70’s and 80’s by the IRA. We did not resort to removing the civil liberties of the majority in England.

    But now technology gives the state massive power, to move unseen amongst us and to record what we say and do and use it against us later if it so chooses. Every transaction, every phone call, every email every text. All are logged, available to the state by request.

    The more power we give the state, the more the state will become addicted to using it. Eventually, those in charge, be they politicians or civil servants, will realise that they can crush free speech and the right to dissent over certain issues almost completely.

    If you have nothing to hide you have nothing to fear?

    1984 was supposed to be a warning, not a blueprint. We are all Winston Smith.

  • Frank

    Dave absurdly now tells us that we are facing the “biggest terrorist threat Britain has ever faced”. All of which was subsequently deflated by the Home Office admitting that they have no knowledge of a specific plot. Is this distraction politics, of the politics of desperation (due to Carswell)?
    I would suspect, given Rotherham, that one of the biggest counter-terrorism weaknesses in Britain is the ineptitude of our massive police forces.
    It is good that Dave deplores Rotherham, but just what is he going to do to sort out this cess-pit? And what is he going to do to sort out all the other towns where this kind of abuse goes on?
    If he took proper steps to get a grip of this abuse, he might find that he was also sorting out the same people who feel like a spot of psycho fun in Syria.

    • GraveDave

      Dave absurdly now tells us that we are facing the “biggest terrorist threat Britain has ever faced”.

      Yeah, deja vu, anyone.

  • Bonkim

    British Judges are too lax on wrong doers and potential wrong-doers – need to take precaution before a terrorist is able to act.

  • david trant

    Mr [David] Davis
    said the Conservatives would oppose any moves to extend the pre-trial
    detention of terror suspects from the current 28 days to 90 days.
    “For one thing those on the front line in counter-terrorism warn that
    it risks cutting off vital local intelligence and serving as a
    recruiting sergeant for terrorists,” he said

    Hmmm bet we won’t be hearing much from Mr. Davis over the next few weeks.

  • david trant

    Will the Tories now support 40 day detention as well as control orders. will David Davis link up with Shami and then call a Byelection to fight against them? watch this space!!

  • Christian

    This is a war that will last for decades Cameron says. It’s arrival has been long predicted but after many false dawns I think we can say 1984 is finally upon us. Perpetual war gentlemen. Double plus good.

  • evad666

    Just remember the 1400 young underage girls abused in Rotherham when you go to Vote.

    • Ordinaryman

      Interesting scenario? If a state of emergency is declared, who knows, maybe because of terrorism, rioting, Russian aggression, ebola break-out etc. will we be allowed to vote? Just asking!

  • JohnIIISobieski

    So more surveillance against all of us because the state is incapable of deporting Muslim terrorists.

    • GraveDave

      Let’s face it, for the ruling triumvirate, t’s a wetdream.

  • Conway

    The Prime Minister confirmed that the threat level to the UK has been raised from ‘substantial’ to ‘severe’.” So the response will have increased from ‘slightly annoyed’ to ‘peeved’, then?

  • Mick Flack

    Ladies and Gentlement , I give you Lynton Crosby and his amazing dancing bear…..

  • The Masked Marvel

    Isabel has given a definition of a ‘civil libertarian stance’ of which one was previously unaware.

  • evad666

    Terror threat level increased to offset the smudge on his lip?

  • Colonel Mustard

    What civil libertarian stance? Cameron has either reneged, reversed or not followed through on every single coalition pledge on civil liberties. He is Big Nanny personified, the spoonfaced twit.

  • MajorFrustration

    Good day to bury bad news – like rise in net immigration figures. The PM and the Tory party are going from worse to worser, What a shower and what a waste of four years when so much was possible.

  • MajorFrustration

    Good day to bury bad news – like rise in net immigration figures. The PM and the Tory party are going from worse to worser, What a shower and what a waste of four years when so much was possible.

    • Alexsandr

      no one questions the net immigration figures. surely we need to know how many left and their ethnicity, and similar numbers for those coming.

      • ManOfKent

        No one questions the record naturalisation figures either. Much of the sheer magnitude of the immigration issue is being disguised by handing out citizenship as if the government were dolling out sweeties

      • Holly

        I ‘questioned’ it the other day, when the figures came out.
        The way I look at these figures is,…
        As it stands, if TEN people leave, and ELEVEN people come in, we are told that equals (net) ONE.
        But in my reality, ELEVEN people have actually come in, which is TEN more than we are being told.
        So these latest figures give the impression to the masses that around 243,000 people came into the UK, when in reality the figure was around 532,000, which in my reckoning is an awful lot of people to find homes for, and schools if they have children in tow, and health care, and housing benefit etc.
        I doubt that the incomers will simply ‘slot into’ the space made by those out-goers.

        • Colonel Mustard

          According to ONS:-

          “Emigration has been steadily declining since its peak of 427,000 in 2008 and reached 320,000 in the year ending June 2013. Emigration is now at its lowest levels since 2001. The decrease in emigration from the year ending June 2012 is spread across the citizenship groups with 12,000 and 17,000 accounted for by British and non-British citizens respectively. Fewer people are emigrating for work-related reasons, which have fallen since the year ending June 2012 by 11,000 to 188,000 in the year ending June 2013. There has also been an equivalent 11,000 decrease in people emigrating for reasons other than the main categories of work, study or accompanying friends or family to 35,000 in the year ending June 2013.”

    • Agrippina

      I believe those numbers will increase. BBC 29.08.14-In Malta, an American couple the Catrambones in their 30s, have funded a highly-sophisticated ship, the Phoenix. It has dinghies and two state-of-the art drones which they are using to find and help migrants trying to enter Europe by boat, mostly from Africa. The custom-made flight deck, home to two Schiebel S-100 camcopters, or drones, which MOAS has leased.

      He explains how their HD-quality, night vision and thermal imaging cameras are powerful enough to read a piece of paper in a passenger’s hand from the air.

      They will use the dinghies to approach the boats, pass over food, water and lifejackets and offer medical assistance – the Phoenix has a paramedic on board and also has a well-equipped medical bay.
      http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-28953237

  • http://www.CaerphillyPreserves.co.uk/ No Good Boyo

    Is ISIS especially a greater threat than the IRA was in the 1970’s and 80’s? 7/7 not withstanding, Islamists have yet to pull off a coup such as the IRA did routinely. I’d name examples, except I don’t want to remind myself of diverse outrages. Those of us who remember the 1970’s and 80’s need no reminding anyway.

    Successive governments of both left and right never felt the need to circumscribe civil liberties about the IRA, and the IRA was far more active and competent than the Islamists have demonstrated themselves to date.

    • ManOfKent

      Those of us who remember the 1970’s and 80’s need no reminding anyway.

      And the 1990’s. The last wave of bombings was less than 20 years ago.

    • Colonel Mustard

      It’s a convenient justification for a rather different breed of government. Things changed from circa 1989.

    • GraveDave

      It’s globalism and cyber technology. We’re living in a different world.And I’m not going say The past is a foreign country,either.
      But the present definitely is.

  • Blindsideflanker

    So the increased threat happens to coincide with Cameron coming back from holiday. Not when it was reported that 250 Jihadists had come back into the country, not when a British Jihadist decapitated an American reporter, but when Cameron had come back from his body surfing holiday in Cornwall.

    If there is a reason we are under a greater threat from these Jihadists, it is because of Cameron’s Government’s incompetence at managing our borders.

    • Agrippina

      To be fair, he did come back for a few hours when Mr Foley was murdered by the mossie from here.

      If you saw him going into No:10, you would have noted his gray roots were showing and the bald patch on display. After the hairdresser had given him a blowdry, he then held a press conference and not before. He has his priorities just right for a PR boy from Carlton TV.

      • Alexandrovich

        After the hairdresser had given him a what?
        Oh sorry, my mistake.

    • ManOfKent

      Oh was that Cameron? I thought it was a Bull Elephant seal got lost…..

  • Hexhamgeezer

    ‘and to deal decisively with those who are already here.’?

    So he will be announcing a doubling of the prison population then?

    • http://www.CaerphillyPreserves.co.uk/ No Good Boyo

      Absolutely not! But they’ll issue some really severe ASBO’s.

      Of course, the neighbours will have to produce evidence to their local council before any action can be taken. Phone your local Environmental Health Office to complain that your neighbours have just beheaded somebody, they’ll ask you to keep a careful eye on them, and record the dates and times of such occurrences. If you can show them a consistent pattern of beheadings, they will consider taking action on Health & Safety grounds:

      1) they will demand that a full risk assessment be conducted (with all necessary training provided) to ensure that appropriate steps have been taken to minimise the risk of injury as a result of decapitation.

      2) they will ensure that all persons involved in beheading are fully trained in the hygiene laws, ensure that they wash their hands properly before work, that all swords, axes and other beheading equipment are properly sanitised before use, and the yard properly cleaned after use.

  • ManOfKent

    However when you analyse it Cameron’s just posturing. Is he seriously going to stop people travelling to Germany or Turkey or any of the other places that are being used as stop off points Basically all someone has to do is catch the ferry to France and Cameron can do absolutely nothing to stop these people travelling on to places he wouldn’t want them going That’s the wonder that this monster called the EU has done for our national security.

    • George Smiley

      Agree with your first point but the Jihadists entrance to Syria is via Turkey which isn’t in the EU or part of Schengen (UK citizens need a visa to visit) so I’m not sure why you brought that up.

      • ManOfKent

        Indeed perhaps I should have been a little more detailed so here goes Turkey is a major holiday destination. How are they going to prove that someone isn’t just going on holiday until of course its too late and they’ve arrived in Syria?

        PS How hard would it be get to Cyprus cross into the Turkish part and then travel on from there?

        • berosos_bubos

          Drones over Iraq and Syria will be sufficiently powerful to make facial ids.

          • ManOfKent

            Well If they’ve made it to Syria and Iraq then Cameron’s measures to stop them getting there will have failed.

            Its not unknown in that part of the world for people to wear headgear that obscures the face sufficiently to make photo-identification impossible I suspect given they will be aware of the possibility of Identification then they will take precautions.

        • George Smiley

          You’ve reiterated the points I agreed with. And to add to them I’ll just add that what Boris was suggesting was that anyone who went on holiday to Turkey with a funny surname would probably have found it hard to have disembarked once back in Gatwick.

          • Agrippina

            That would work really well, if there were records of people entering and leaving the country, otherwise they can simply say I am just returning from my summer hol!

          • ManOfKent

            Clearly we are talking at cross purposes. As for Johnson he was the one who started this nonsense. More fool Cameron for perpetuating it.

        • global city

          You look in their suitcase. If it is full of severed heads as mementos you know what sort of holiday they’ve had.

  • Lady Magdalene

    Chapter 6 of the Prime Minister’s Handbook.
    “How to deflect attention from a high profile defector.”
    1. Announce a crisis – something really big. Assemble the media to ensure it gets maximum coverage. Look Statesmanlike and announce new laws to tackle the threat. Insist that you will do “whatever it takes” to protect the British people.
    Get your buddies in the Media to write lots of articles on the “crisis” and the very important action which you are taking to address it.
    2. If that doesn’t work, arrange a Summit and fly in some VIPs for the Press to fawn over.

    • itdoesntaddup

      It’s taken Cameron long enough to wake up to the Islamic extremists.

      • Alexsandr

        has he? really

      • telemachus

        My fear is that he has not
        *
        Sorry to say it but Blair would have had it taped
        Oh for a return to power

        • Alexsandr

          its all his and his cr@p labour governments fault in the first place you muppet

          • telemachus

            So
            Then they are best placed to sort it out
            *
            Indeed their moral duty

            • The Masked Marvel

              No, it’s their moral duty to go away and stop causing damage. They would be best placed to sort it out only if they’d learned the lessons of their ghastly errors. Which they clearly have not, and tell fibs and make disingenuous half-apologies when pressed.

              • telemachus

                Look Son
                When Blair was in charge, Britain counted for something in the world
                International leaders beat a path to his door
                He jointly led the successful Afghan campaign which amongst other things emancipated the women of the Nation
                He then largely led the campaign which toppled the Iraq dictator who was gassing his people
                The current Mid East situation is in fact an imperial legacy and probably mostly due to the stupidity of the Tory Balfour(remember his other great crime reverberating down the ages) compounded by the criminality of the Tory Curzon

                • Colonel Mustard

                  But you repudiated Blair on this very site, more than once.

                  And trying to excuse the evil of ISIS as an imperial legacy is ultra-tripe even for you, the very Tripemeister of Tripe. There is nothing to prevent people living in peace or pursuing politics to redress their grievances.

                  Homicidal rage and violence is just that. Don’t try to make excuses for it. The jihadi brand has been seen before during the days of Empire in the Sudan and on the NW Frontier of India but we knew how best to deal with it then. There were backbones in Westminster and we had the wherewithal to hurt the nutjobs more than they could hurt us. The world was a safer place with Pax Britannica but reds like you deconstructed that and created a world in which the likes of ISIS can flourish and threaten us. And you secretly relished and supported the insurgency and strife as you did with the IRA, even back in 1917.

                • Wessex Man

                  don’t you feel the slightest be of unease when you spout such lies which caused such suffering, are you so thick that you don’t realise how you portray yourself and George Bush’s main teaboy makes everyone else shudder?

                • The Masked Marvel

                  All by following George Bush’s lead. The only thing Blair largely led was the convincing of Parliament to go along with it. Meanwhile, he was providing safe haven to Abu Hamza and the father of the British Islamo-nutter who beheaded a journalist. And he had a Chancellor who was underfunding the military who were risking their lives to liberate those Afghani women and helped (you engage in fantasy when you say he “largely led the campaign”) remove Sadaam. How many of the barbarians fighting with ISIS today are part of Blair’s immigration legacy, the one you supported and still support wholeheartedly? How many members of the various Muslim grooming gangs are beneficiaries of Blair’s vision?

                  Having said that, one isn’t at all surprised that you blame the creation of Israel for the current Islamic barbarism. Very revealing.

                • global city

                  Chauncy Gardner, Billy Liar, Walter Mitty…. Blair is a strange blend of them all.

            • the viceroy’s gin

              Their moral duty would be to turn themselves in to the authorities, write up a full confession for all their crimes, plead guilty to all charges and beg for mercy.

      • Airey Belvoir

        “Islam is nothing to do with Islam” seems to be the limit of Dave’s understanding.

    • ButcombeMan

      Spot on.

    • AnotherOldBoy

      I would like us to leave the EU but the vicious weirdos who post in support of UKIP make me wonder. You are such a nasty, unpleasant lot of conspiracy theorists.

      • Wessex Man

        weirdos? please point me to anyone who supports making vicious comments other than to tele which is required on this site!

      • Lady Magdalene

        Vicious weirdo? Pot and kettle, AnotherOldBoy.
        Mr Cameron is a PR professional, who copies the tactics of Blair.
        And that’s what he’s doing here.

      • global city

        Why are you conflating to separate things?

    • lakelander

      The VIPs were coming anyway. The crisis announcement is media management for another purpose (i.e. supposedly draconian action on IS returnees).

      It’s not all about UKIP you know.

      • the viceroy’s gin

        …well, perhaps not for most everybody else, but for poor Dave it does appear to be all about UKIP.

  • ManOfKent

    Putting aside Clegg will never agree with it, I suppose its one way to flush out the rest of the UKIP sympathisers and defectors within his party but it also pretty much a certainty to put him on collision course with the libertarian wing of his party.

    Nice one Dave just as Carswell demonstrates the cracks in Tory unity, Cameron contemplates turning them into full blown fissures but hey that is the strategic political genious that is David Cameron. One does have to wonder whether Cameron is Labour’s secret weapon because he is destroying his party.

    Broken divided untrustworthy dysfunctional Tories

  • edlancey

    No doubt all the chavs and Shirley Valentine’s going to drunk or laid in some Turkish dump will be getting stopped at the airports while the metal detector mob wave through their bearded co-deathcultists.

    • ManOfKent

      Don’t be silly. Cameron’s not so serious about this national security lark as to secure and control this country’s borders!

    • Alexandrovich

      Which of course reminds me of that airport scene in Airplane!
      The one where security are roughing up the old dear while, in the background, the mob with the Kalashnikovs are being waved through.

      • telemachus

        Each and every Muslin returnee from Turkey must be swabbed for explosives
        And interned if positive
        *
        I would favour a camp x-ray facility on Ascension Island

        • Wessex Man

          I hate it when you try to be ironic and fall flat on your face without a put down from anyone, time to retire you dear old tele.

        • Airey Belvoir

          As long as you are sent there to run it.

          • telemachus

            I would relish the opportunity
            Provided I control admission and access

            • the viceroy’s gin

              …yes, you fascists will always gravitate to the role of camp guard, as we know historically.

        • the viceroy’s gin

          …that would clean out scads of your buddies though, wouldn’t it?

  • lakelander

    Wouldn’t it be great if, on Monday, Cameron announced the beginning of selective repatriation?

  • itdoesntaddup

    The intelligence services probably most want a halt to ballooning immigration of potential extremist recruits and their cheerleaders: they simply can’t monitor the ones we have already, – hence the rise in threat level.

    Computer, CCTV and ANPR etc.monitoring are useless if there aren’t humans as well – especially as the more dangerous ones sidestep these measures using traditional tradecraft.

    Will they get that?

  • Agrippina

    So know actual threat then, but suddenly after the news agenda was focusing on UKIP, cammy decided to make an announcement, about an announcment he will be making in the House on Monday.

    All the things he said today, regarding poisonous ideology has been written about on here since Drummer Rigby’s murder, he must have been reading the comments.

    Vote for anyone but the trio of troughers and take back our country and borders from all the aliens who have poured in for the past 50yrs.

    • Holly

      Being ‘talked at’ by Cameron and using the same tactics Labour used, when in a hole, has about as much chance of ‘winning me over’ as me ever eating my tea without being INTERRUPTED!!!
      Sorry about that.
      Today I not only got interrupted, but the flicking dog ate my tea while I was answering the door.
      I agree that Cameron’s little helpers might have had a word in his shell-like on what the people have been saying in their comments.

      I am now c a l m again (ish).
      Thanks for listening.

      • Agrippina

        When the spooks want funding they say the threat level is high, they get the money. But we subsequently found out that they were not actually monitoring the schools and mosques, where all the poison is being dripped into the youngsters minds.

        Stop all the fanatical imams from coming over from faraway land with their poisonous sermons. There are enough mossies here for someone to take up the position.

        If you want to appear in charge and look as if you are doing something, just say the terror threat is high. They haven’t a clue, but it makes the little people think they are doing something.

        • Hexhamgeezer

          They were too busy with the EDL – and less translators needed….

          • Hexhamgeezer

            ………and with banning Spencer and Geller who are no threat to the British people but are deadly to frauds like Cameron, Clegg, Milliband, Tony Hall, Hogan-Howe etc etc etc etc….

            • telemachus

              They were due to attend a march planned by the far-right EDL to mark Armed Forces Day on 29 June, 2013
              Ie they were supporting an organisation which should itself be banned

              • Colonel Mustard

                Britain would today be less divisive, less segregated, less at war with itself and less beset by debt and chaos if the Labour party had been banned.

                • telemachus

                  “Problem with the High Sheriff is that he feels he rules this blog. He trolls up and down every thread trying to put down anyone with reasonable views”
                  The above for those not wanting to scroll down came from High Sheriff Mustards post lower down
                  *
                  There is almost a complete denial of free speech with every reasonable post being attacked
                  *
                  I beseech Isabel
                  Proscription?

                • Colonel Mustard

                  “My commenting is a direct response to yours. You alienate, disaffect and radicalise me with your threats of Son of Communist soon holding power over us and the way you conflate being “reasonable” with imposing tyranny. So any intransigence or failure to conform on my part is down to you. I am not responsible for my comments – you are. You should therefore practice what you preach and embrace me instead.”

    • telemachus

      For goodness sake
      We need to rush thru the data communications bill
      We need banning orders
      We need draconian detention powers
      *
      Does Cameron have the stomach for it?

      • Colonel Mustard

        Perhaps you misunderstood. These increased powers will not be used to persecute UKIP members or right wing people who do not share your extremist Labour views but for your mates in ISIS. You know, the ones led by that black-clad bearded guy you told us to give a fair hearing to.

        • telemachus
          • Colonel Mustard

            A most unfortunate link. I’m afraid that it only confirms our worst suspicions about where your sympathies lie.

            • telemachus

              Britons who travel to Syria and Iraq without informing the authorities should be presumed to be potential terrorists until proven innocent, Boris Johnson has said.
              In an article for The Telegraph, Mr Johnson warns that police are finding it “very difficult” to press charges against suspected jihadis because they lack direct evidence of their “ghastly” activities.
              He suggests that there should be a “swift and minor change in the law” to introduce a new “rebuttable presumption” that those who travel to warzones without notifying the authorities have done so for “terrorist purposes”.
              The Mayor of London also joins calls for jihadists to be stripped of their citizenship, despite opposition from Theresa May, the Home Secretary, who has warned at the weekend that such a move would be “illegal”.
              He calls for control orders, which kept terrorism suspects in their homes, to be brought back amid concerns that hundreds of jihadists could return to Britain and pose a threat to national security if Isil loses ground in Iraq and Syria.

              • Colonel Mustard

                What has that got to do with your ISIS sympathies? Feeling nervous?

                We dealt with Boris’ inanity in your glorious absence from this place. Thin. Edge. Wedge. I can guarantee that if introduced Boris’ presumptions would be used against every poor sap who ever patted someone’s knee inappropriately forty years ago but not a single would-be jihadi or inciter of violence from the religion of peace.

        • KMS

          been reading your replies to your friendly left troll -telemachus
          & this is your best put down yet !!

          • telemachus

            Problem with the High Sheriff is that he feels he rules this blog
            He trolls up and down every thread trying to put down anyone with reasonable views
            He however has no belief of his own
            He appears to be that worst kind of Tory who sits in his Home Countied idyll curling his moustache with one hand while cradling his shotgun with the other and dictating his bile to the Speccie stenographer when not shouting at his retriever
            And yet he fails to nail his colours to the Tory mast
            *
            Vapid, yet sinister

            • Colonel Mustard

              “Problem with the High Sheriff is that he feels he rules this blog. He trolls up and down every thread trying to put down anyone with reasonable views”

              Which diatribe accurately describes you more than I. In the last few days since your unwelcome return we have seen you doing that in almost every thread. If not so then explain your compunction to always tag the top comment with Labour propaganda and/or hubris.

              My commenting is a direct response to yours. You alienate, disaffect and radicalise me with your threats of Son of Communist soon holding power over us and the way you conflate being “reasonable” with imposing tyranny. So any intransigence or failure to conform on my part is down to you. I am not responsible for my comments – you are. You should therefore practice what you preach and embrace me instead.

              PS I do not have a shotgun or a retriever – so yet another of your lies misses by a mile.

            • saffrin

              “Reasonable views”

              That’s a laugh coming from someone that demands we tolerate
              and cow-tow to those that will tolerate nothing, our culture, our views, our humor.

      • the viceroy’s gin

        Yes, you fascists are always in a hurry for more fascism, no doubt.

      • Wessex Man

        I’ll only go along with that if you are one of the first detained!

        • telemachus

          Were I to be I would relish the martyrdom in a just cause
          *
          You Wessex should hang your head in shame and apologise for the increasing racialist stance of your party

          • Colonel Mustard

            You would relish becoming a martyr for ISIS and you think their cause just?

            We suspected as much from your previous comments in support of that terror group.

      • Holly

        For goodness sake telemachus, go away you foolish bod.

    • AnotherOldBoy

      A shameful comment. There is clearly an increased risk from ISIS. I have long been against knee-jerk reactions to alleged terrorist threats, but to suggest that Mr Cameron is motivated by a desire to change the news agenda is despicable.

      • the viceroy’s gin

        No, it’s spot on. It is naive to think otherwise. Nobody else is taking Dave’s lead.

        This is pure politics, from a guy whose time is running out.

      • Holly

        Cameron could have made a statement on what actions the government would be taking during the ‘interruption’ of his holiday, and boy, are we all meant to be so grateful and appreciative for his doing so….Bless him eh.
        The threat from ISIS didn’t just appeared yesterday, and raising the terror alert does absolutely nothing to stop them.

        Cameron, by all accounts, is now in talks with the Lib Dems on how far they will let him ‘clamp down’ on people who have all the intentions of doing as many of us as possible great harm.
        WOW that fills me with confidence.
        Did you feel that?
        That was my heart sinking.

        …If Crosby, or any of his little helpers are reading this…
        Cameron must now ignore the Lib Dems and do his job as Prime Minister and get his finger out.

        • the viceroy’s gin

          Yes, the clueless muppet Dave is trying to breathe life into the lifeless Lib Dumbs, who are a pure irrelevancy. Ridiculous .

      • david trant

        Are you being ironic? Of course this has nothing to do with Clacton Carswell who would think otherwise, only about 99% of the population.

      • ButcombeMan

        Sorry. That is the way he is regarded now. Just not trusted

        He could have left it until Monday but chose not to, that was deliberate.

        If one was to give him the benefit of the doubt it would be he might have done it to soften up the useless LibDems, ie to help Clegg get things past his barmy members..

        There is a wider issue, it ought to be plain to anyone that there have been intelligence holes around ISIS, it is also plain that to understand the future risks GCHQ are going to need to be more busy, not less .

        The Guardian/Snowden spying affair, is beginning to look very stupid indeed..

    • Bonkim

      You vaccinate before the germs takeover. Stop new bacteria from seeping in and get rid of the criminal elements within. That is the idea whether you like it or not.

      • Holly

        Nicely put.

  • swatnan

    All he has to do is to declare a State of Emergency and put the Army on standby, and we could then crackdown on these violent islamofacists and neutralise them.

    • Holly

      He could always do the same as Carswell, force a by election, and run as a Lib Dem.

  • George Smiley

    “where once they said they would be sceptical of what the intelligence services demanded, now they are asking the intelligence services to set out what they want.”

    Strange isn’t it? One could strongly argue that the rise of ISIS and their sudden seizure of Iraqi territory plus the back and forth of UK Jihadists to Syria represents a serious failure from both MI6 and MI5. After all it is their job to both warn of and prevent such things from happening.

    Yet strangely after every intelligence failure the Government rather than looking at reform of what appear to be centres of rather expensive incompetence, always seems to turn round to the spooks and ask “What exactly do you want us to do?”.

  • Rhoda Klapp8

    What threat would that be, exactly? Will there be profiling on the basis of, say, religion or race? Age? My guess is that any measure will be annoying, illiberal and ineffective. But that’s just cynical old me. I think the suspects should be encouraged to travel wherever they like. When they return we might consider what they did abroad. Did we arrest the International Brigade? Orwell?

    • Fergus Pickering

      But they weren’t MUSLIMS so it’s quite irrelevant.

      • monty61

        Indeed. Those from either side who fought in Spain didn’t make films of cutting people’s heads off, or join groups committed to blowing up innocent British fellow countrymen on buses and tube trains.

  • vircantium

    So the Conservatives will take away the (alleged) terrorists’ passports. Who wants to bet that in a few years time they, or Labour, will be taking away suspected ‘tax dodgers’ passports?

    • monty61

      First they came for the terrorists. Then … er ….

      • Fergus Pickering

        What you do with terrorists is shoot them dead. If you can’t do that then certainly take away their passports.

        • berosos_bubos

          When they’re home or abroad ?

          • Fergus Pickering

            Shoot them wherever they are.

  • monty61

    The Lib Dems are on a hiding to nothing on this one. Thankfully. What exactly have they got in their armory to ‘negotiate’ with? An early election? (Turkeys, Christmas etc). Bring it on.

    • John Dalton

      I know – let’s scare them with Asbos!

      But let’s definitely NOT make any references to race or religion or ideology because that would be nasty, r*cist and b*goted and would be terribly unfair on the vast majority – whom we all know are very moderate and very well-meaning.

      Wow, I feel tougher and safer already!

      • colchar

        When I heard the announcement that they would be handing out Asbos over this I damned near wet myself from laughing so hard. I mean seriously, what is wrong with these idiots?

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