Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Extremism to be hit by spending cuts.

Or something.

The government is to publish an updated strategy for tackling extremism and terrorism, on Tuesday afternoon.

Good-oh, does it involve us keep our noses out of other people's business? I'm guessing not because God knows their nose spends enough time in my business.

So how do we tackle extremism?

recommendations expected include monitoring people convicted of terrorism offences on their release

Oh, do you think? We've got all this wonderful legislation to stop all of us in the streets and spy on us, just in case we wake up one morning and discover we've developed an interest in peroxide, rusty nails and trains, and yet, you haven't even had the nouse to keep an eye on the people who demonstrably do have such an interest? Isn't this all a bit arse about face? Is it not common sense to keep tabs on those who are active rather than wasting time suspecting all of us?

a renewed focus on the use of the internet, as the government considers a "national blocking list" of violent and unlawful websites.

Hmmm, that rings a warning bell, there's huge scope for mission drift there, it all sounds so reasonable, doesn't it? I'm betting all the sites declared unlawful will be nodded through with the minimum of oversight. EDF? BNP? Any others?

A final draft of the new document, to be published in Parliament on Tuesday, was reportedly seen by the Times.

It says it was "possible" Prevent funding had gone to extremist groups promoting hardline beliefs.

Hang on a moment, you mean to say that some of the money earmarked to combat extremism has been handed to the extremists? Oh, oh, that's brilliant. I look forward to submitting that as evidence the next time some grey little drone solemnly informs me that only the State can do X, Y or Z.

On Monday, Mrs May accused universities of complacency in tackling Islamist extremism - a charge denied by the vice chancellors' body, Universities UK.

She told the Daily Telegraph: "I don't think they have been sufficiently willing to recognise what can be happening on their campuses and the radicalisation that can take place. I think there is more that universities can do."

Absolutely the universities should be held to account, it is all their fault. Do you remember when the paramilitary arm of the University of Central Lancashire went into Algeria, blowing things up left, right and centre?

I'm not one to bang the anti-cuts drum, but you scale back university funding and make the students pay thousands of pounds to attend. Fair enough, but that changes the landscape, that puts the universities into direct market place competition. Are you going to spend the better part of £10k to a university only for the university to start monitoring who you are talking to, where and what about? That's business suicide.

But the new document is expected to say the government will ensure that no more cash will be given "to organisations that hold extremist views or support terrorist-related activity of any kind".

But this is revolutionary! One of the best ways to hamstring extremist groups is to starve them of funds, I'm so glad that it is as easy as stopping giving them the money from my taxes.

Previously, Mrs May has said that, as a result of the strategy's review of government support, about 20 of the organisations that received funding over the past three years would have their cash withdrawn.

According to the Times, one reason for the failings of the current policy was a lack of scrutiny of the programme to test whether money was going to legitimate groups and bringing benefits.

Because this is what happens when you hand out cash to ridiculous special interest groups, be they the Muslim Council of Britain (I've never seen an election for them, they're not self appointed, by any chance, are they?), the NSPCC or the Dunfermline Dramatic Society for Amputee Transgender Somalis. Realistically, the benefits for society are far outweighed by the cold, hard cash poured into them, and the voice of the rest of society is drowned out by the high pitched whine given by the addicts when the flow of the fiscal narcotic is stemmed.

Speaking of special interest groups:

But Azad Ali, chairman of the Muslim Safety Forum. . .

Who? The Muslim Safety Forum? What? Is this to do with making sure that hard hats are halal?

. . . and an advisor to the previous government on extremism, said the government should not attack ideologies.

You're kidding yourself mate, that's all governments do. Attacking ideologies is what governments do best, and I'm wondering how long it is until anyone who holds an opinion on any subject that is contrary to that of government is labelled as an extremist.

You've been used, buddy. Stings, doesn't it?

You can spend as much money as you like combating terrorism and extremists, but until such time as we really want to tackle the cause nothing will change. The cause is not swivel eyed preachers and websites with shouty music and footage of half arsed training camps. The cause is what makes these people susceptible to the rantings of these nutters in the first place, I'm afraid we have to look at our actions abroad, both militarily - did we really need to go into Iraq? Was there no history before 9/11? Who funded the nutters that took over Afghanistan? We did, because of our fears over the USSR. Who occupied Iran and propped up the hated and authoritarian Mohammad Reza Pahlavi? - and diplomatically - look at our support or silence over a number of regimes across the world, keeping people under the thumb, voiceless and destitute.

Is it any wonder there's a parade of angry, desperate and hopeless people? You'll always get religious nutters, the West has their fair share, but it might be an idea to stop pushing people towards them. 

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