Wednesday, January 31, 2007

The Case for a Homeland Security Minister Becomes Stronger

Congratulations to the West Midlands Police on foiling a terror plot. It's truly horrifying to think that British citizens were apparently preparing to kidnap a soldier and film his beheading.

It is becomiong increasingly clear that the number of these plot is increasing. It is impossible to imagine that the authorities will be able to prevent all of them. But I do think the case for having a single Cabinet minister heading up a Department of Homeland Security (although I don't like the phrase - anyone think of anything better?) is getting stronger all the time. We need to be assured that all the different agencies are cooperating and getting the resources they need.

50 comments:

Wailer Ned said...

Without wishing to detract from your argument, surely there should be a few more 'allegedly's in there, given criminal proceedings are now under way?

I always thought "national security" referred to the security of the nation, but that definition seems to have slipped over the decades...

Voyager said...

We don't have a Homeland and with porous borders and unidentified walking objects carousing around our streets I doubt we need any more Potemkin Villages to pretend we are a) a nation or b) in any sense secure because some Gilbert & Sullivan figure can sing a few songs


It is simply absurd to continue to add to Superstructure when the country has no Substructure

Anonymous said...

We'll go the same way as Europe and have an 'Interior' home ministry and a justice ministry.

"Homeland Security" is a ghastly Americanism.

Anonymous said...

Why are you surprised Iain? Where the hell have you been? The true nature of these people has long been evident - take a trip to www.ogrish.com if you have a strong stomach and see for yourself. Have we forgotten that many jiahdis in Iraq are/were British citizens?

Read Crispin Black's 7/7 for an intelligent assessment of what organisational structure needs to be put in place.

Anonymous said...

Yes is is shocking and yet it is becoming less so.

Voyagers words tell me that I am not alone in feeling despair at what I see around me at times...

Sabretache said...

'Homeland Security'??? - how trendily American - and what tripe!

What is needed is quite simply good old-fashioned policing to detact and interdict criminal conspirices. The only reason these alleged 'terrorist' plots are billed as anything other than the home-grown (even if externally inspired) bumblings of the criminally insane is that it suits the purposes of TPTB to keep its population in a state of fear. No problem at all with increasing the momentum of the surveillance/database micro-chipped society then is there?

And even an otherwise perceptive commentator like Mr Dale is willingly sucked into the project.

You stand about 10,000 times more chance of being killed/injured in a RTA than becoming the victim of one of these lunatics - so why all this constant frantic harping on 'the war on terror'?.

Anonymous said...

If you divide the Home Office then you are left with two medium grade departments and not one of the great departments of state.Its "clout" will wane without any guarantee of improvement otherwise.It simply needs a very competent chief who is allowed to stay in post for long enough to get results.

Anonymous said...

There's no doubt we are under threat from home grown Islamic extremists and others but do you believe anything this Government tells you anymore and do you trust them to protect ordinary British citizens?

The Laughing Cavalier said...

"Ministry of the Interior" has a suitably Kafkaesque ring to it and brings to mind the sinister bureaucracies of the Central European countries when they were Soviet colonies. Perfect for NuLabour.

Anonymous said...

Homeland security is part of the 'justify Iraq - demonise muslims' campaign. We wont have any terrorist problems if we follow sensible policies and decouple us from idiotic american foreign policy, social policy and get some ideas of our own that promote british interests the better.

Rush-is-Right said...

We wont have any terrorist problems if we follow sensible policies and decouple us from idiotic american foreign policy,....

Tell that to that Dutch journalist who had his throat cut by an islamofacist, or that Dutch woman MP who has had to go into hiding. We must confront and exterminate these scum rather than try not to piss them off.

Anonymous said...

Can't find a source for this beheading story ? any pointers

Iain Dale said...

Guthrum, News 24 and Sky all morning

anon and on and on said...

Well, "Interior Ministry" conjures up images of two rather limp Scots blowing £500 plus a bunch of MDF on the prison estate make-over and declaring it "F'ntaaastic".

Actually, come to think of it...

Andrew said...

On what basis do you accept the authorities' version of reality, I wonder? It amazes me how willingly people accept authorities versions of events, especially when such stories serve very obvious ends. Such as the creation of Homeland Security type measures increasing these authorities own powers.
Also, I wonder how many actual murders have been committed in the last week in Britain, and comparitively how much media attention they have got compared to this alleged incident that didn't take place.

Andrew said...

Also I suggest gdoing a bit of googling of Haroon Aswat and 77.

Strelnikov said...

I like the sound of Ministry of State Security: It conveys the appropriate air of bureaucratic menace. I see it initially absorbing Borders and Immigration, Police, Prisons and the Security Services. Then it can move on to controlling Telecommunications and Broadcasting, before establishing its own courts and combat units. Of course, it would be cheaper to simply place everyone under house arrest now, but where's the fun in that?

Anonymous said...

Thanks for that-

Anonymous said...

Say what you like about John Reid, his suggestion that the areas of security and the Immigration & Nationality Directorate be linked together, and distinct from the more 'bog standard' criminals makes sense.

Brooks said...

Q1 If Insp Knacker is able, so helpfully and without comment, to tell us what he thinks these people he has arrested have been plotting; why are No 10 getting so steamed up over AC Yates and his chums keeping us up to date with what he thinks may have been happening at No 10?

Q2 Why did the BBC chap on raido 4 today say words to the effect that the Government would see that AC Yates and the Met would have hell to pay if they do not make any charges stick - It seemes like a direct threat to the police from No 10 passed on by the BBC, is that the BBC's job now?

Anonymous said...

As long as it is not "Homeland security". Its an awful horrible american term.

verity said...

Well said, Voyager!

Oriental Orator - are you really that ignorant? Given your nomme de guerre, I doubt it. I'll give you the benefit of the doubt and assume you have an agenda. Before I launch a rebuttal of your truly bizarre statement, I would just note that American foreign policy is not idiotic. It was American foreign policy that defeated the Soviet Union. Duh.

Now, pay attention: islamic terrorism has absolutely nothing to do with American or British foreign policy, idiotic or brilliant. It is about conquest. I have a strong feeling that you are aware of this and are trying to deflect attention from the issue: islamic terrorism is not politically motivated. It is part of a religious war.

The current round of jihad began in 1979 when radical Iranian muslims seized the American embassy and personnel in Teheran and held it for over a year. (Until the day Ronald Reagan took office and said, "Boo!", and the hostages were released before the end of the Inauguration ceremony.)

Next up, the cowardly bombing at night of the US Marine base in Lebanon. If memory serves, they murdered over a hundred sleeping Marines.

Next up the hijacking of the Achille Lauro by a group of terrorists with their shopping list of "demands".

More terrorist incidents followed, including the bombing of the Israeli embassy in Buenos Aires and the first attempt on the WTC.

Next up, the "successful" attempt on the WTC. The bombing of the nighclub in Bali while people were dancing and having a good time. All of these - and other - incidents predated the war in Iraq, Oriental Orator.

Then came the bombing and murder in the train station in Madrid.

The bombing, murder and mass maiming on London transport and the plans to blow up 10 aircraft over American cities are part of an ongoing jihad that began in 1979.

Rush-Is-Right - The "journalist" was filmmaker Theo Van Gogh and he was shot and stabbed on a public street in Amsterdam. Guthrum, as Van Gogh lay dying, the murderer slit his throat with such vigour that his head was almost separated from his body. The Moroccan jihadi then pinned a note to his chest with a dagger.

The Dutch MP was Ayaan Hirsi Ali, now working for an American think tank. There is another Dutch MP under 24-hour police protection, Geert Wilders. The Dutch aren't involved in the war in Iraq.

Let's get our facts straight, Oriental Orator.

(Apologies for the length of the post, Iain, but dangerous lies have to be rebutted with facts.

I share the distaste shown here for the American title of Homeland Security, which sound nursery-esque. 'Internal Security' might be OK.

verity said...

Ooops! Is there another Dutch writer who has been murdered in Amsterdam? I thought the reference was to Van Gogh!

Anonymous said...

Isn't this Bob Piper's neck of the woods? I wonder what he was doing at the relevant times?

Ok, now its sorted that we need a Minister for Homeland Security or a Minister for the Interior, and that John Reid is not fit for purpose, but will probably get the job.

This leaves the Minister of Justice to be appointed and to sort out the prison crisis. Perhaps, Hilary Benn? Given that 18DS recently voted him for the Deputy Prime Minister, this will give New Labour a problem. If the Tories like him how can they possibly promote him?

Anonymous said...

'It was American foreign policy that defeated the Soviet Union. Duh.'

Verity, it makes me smile as I hear these sort of naff 'americanisms', as I am reminded of those shallow, vapid, vacuous 'Clueless' type bimbo girls jabbering on their mobile phones and saying things like, 'Totally', or 'So Awesome', or 'Like, Whatever' as substitute for any intelligent conversation. You are smarter than that [I think] so don't drag yourself down to that level.

Anonymous said...

Jailhouse lawyer... I can think of a fair few people who I would gladly see beheaded... but I'm not really the beheading type.

Andrew, the reason people accept this story and are so sceptical about other public utterances is because it fits their world view.... if it didn't it would be dismissed as the police 'spinning' the story.

verity said...

anonymous - Thanks, but I don't take lessons in deportment from patronising strangers.

As I grew up partly in the US and lived there for several years as an adult, I am entitled to use as many Americanisms as I judge appropriate. Capice?

Anonymous said...

The solution here is not to implement any further increases in security; such measures will only antagonise and marginalise our deeply devout Muslim brothers, and will only serve to radicalise them and force them to engage in further desperate acts in their struggle against Western victimisation and oppression.
No, what we need to do is to examine our foreign policies, to find out what we have done wrong and why we are to blame. We must call off the phoney "war on terror" and declare war on the real problem: Islamophobia!!

Old Dominion Tory said...

The Canadians use the term "Public Security."

Swordsman said...

Home Office?

In a sane world (as opposed to the one we've got) that is what it's there for, after all...

Anonymous said...

We need a properly functioning Home Office. A Homeland ministry would just be moving the chairs around. Worse, it would play on threats for its own ends.

PS: An elderly True Blue type lady at the Post Office this lunchtime was going on about just convenient the timing of all this is. I hope she's not right.

verity said...

Islamophobia!!

I hope you were being ironic, Tom Tyler. BTW, a phobia is an "irrational fear". I don't think there's anything irrational about being wary of muslims.

Anonymous 4:21. That is a chilling thought.

verity said...

These people have become emboldened by Tony Blair's policy of unalloyed appeasement.

Voyager said...

We have a Ministry of Truth and a Ministry of Peace.........Iain is simply proposing we have a Ministry of Love and invite our recalcitrant Muslim friends to Room 101

Andy said...

Enoch was right.

rallies said...

The Ministry of Inland Security, more british and reasonable.

PJ said...

It is always reassuring to think that the solution to problems in the country is to tinker with the machinery of government, splitting departments, merging them and rebranding them.

Reassuring and almost always wrong. Such mergers (or splitting or whatever) are used by politicians to give the illusion of activity without coming to grips with the problems themselves. They are welcomed by the press, and in particular the BBC, which only wants 30-second soundbites in which complex issues simply cannot be addressed. I've worked in government, and my department went through a merger with another. It was utterly counter-productive because it distracted from the challenges we faced while everybody intrigued about promotions and lines of reporting and so on, and we lost a good proportion of experienced staff. But whenever anybody asked us a difficult question, we could answer that it would be addressed by the merged organisation. What I've heard (at tenth hand) from the DHS in the US indicates that this is broadly what has happened there.

Anonymous said...

When all the sheep were bleating about 'smallpox' and 'sarin' at the time of the Forest Gate incidents, my advice to self was not to comment until charges had been brought. And only then to comment on generalities without risk of breaching the Contempt of Court Act. Strangely, I've been completely unable to follow my own advice on the Number Ten investigation, but heck. We're all human.

No, I don't think the case for a homeland security minister is a scruple, jot or tittle stronger than it was yesterday.

All the police / security agencies are co-operating and working well. Intelligence is being shared. Manpower is being deployed. A new headline-grabbing ministerial brief would not bring a single extra hour of investigatory time, a single extra minute of 'national security' or a single second's less concern over the threat from fundamental Islamic terrorism.

And just imagine what an irresponsible single Interior/Justice Ministry could have gained by allowing the alleged plot to saw-off some poor chap's head with a breadknife proceed? No, I'll stick with multiple reporting lines, local police committees, lay magistrates and an independent judiciary, thanks very much.

verity said...

Raedwald - You're right. The suggestion is just more Blairesque smoke and mirrors.

Anonymous said...

Prof Bernard Lewis et al on the money again about the ROP:

Muslims 'about to take over Europe'

UK baroness: Islamic extremism greatest threat to West

Now why wasn't this on the Beeb? Um......

Crispin said...

Surely "Civil Defence" is the correct "british english" term.

Mustafa Arif said...

Playing devil's advocatoe one could argue that the foiling of an increasing number of [alleged] terror plots actually shows that the security services *are* working...

Personally I second "Civil Defence" for the name of any new department. "Homeland security" is definitely Americana, whilst anything with "Interior"/"internal" sounds somewhat Soviet to me.

Anonymous said...

So which kind of terror plot is this? Is it the Forest Gate type, the Ricin plot type, etc...?

Anonymous said...

Verity, "Ironic", moi? Perish the very heretical thought!
What is ironic and totally unacceptable is the shocking media coverage of this bungled amd ill-conceived police raid. I mean, pray tell me, how am I supposed to sleep tonight until I hear confirmation that the human rights of these totally innocent Muslim victims are being upheld? What if they have been placed in cells with no clear indication of the direction of Mecca? Now that would truly be state terrorism in my book.
I'm afraid that as I've said all along, this is the price we pay for Tony Blair's lies and his poodling-up to the biggest terrorist of them all, GWB, with his illegal, immoral and utterly unprovoked wars against peaceful, harmless nations. I mean, if the UN fails to stamp its omnipotent moral authority on a military intervention, what right do mere nation states have to disobey?
When will we learn the simple lesson from mother nature? We find a large wasps nest in our loft, and instead of leaving it alone and moving away to a different dwelling, oh no, we have to poke and prod at it, which only makes the wasps more aggressive! After all, they had a perfect right to be there. Can you blame them when they swarm out of the nest and sting you?

verity said...

mustafa arif - civil defence is firefighters, rescue at sea and so on.

A name, and capability, of considerably more muscle and independence of action is required to get terrorists either dead or out of Britain.

permanentexpat said...

Apropos your immigrants & their murderous children:
You had been warned times without number but chose not to listen. At last the Security Services appear to be getting their acts together but what is left of The Septic Isle's indigenes are still making multiculti excuses for their would-be executioners.
Where is the anger at the betrayal of your now benighted country?
Where is the rage against those who plot to kill you?
How many wake-up calls do you need?

verity said...

Nine muslims, that we know of - I suspect there were many more back-up - were going to commit a hideous crime in Britain, but no one in Britain seems to be too angry about it.

Agree with Permex. Sauve qui peu!

william norton said...

Re "Homeland Security".

We've alreay had one. When it existed during WWII it was called the Ministry of Home Security - and run by the Home Secretary.

("Civil Defence" conjures up memories of "Protect and Survive".)

Anonymous said...

permanentexpat

Well said.

Before 9/11 there was reason (mainly the MSM lying) for people not to understand the war being directed against the West. Now it's only the quislings pretending not to know. That entire bunch should be rounded up and given to al-qaeda as a present.

Mustafa Arif said...

In light of verity and william's comments, I'd like to retract my support for "civil defence".

How about calling it the "Home Office" (and moving the other bits into a Department for Justice)?