Monday, 5 June 2017
Solutions in Search of Problems
In February, half of some 850 British passport holders whom MI6 had given the green light to go and fight in Libya or Syria had returned. Half. Is there a D-Notice on this story? Or can the official media just not accept that it is true?
"We have given the Police more powers, but Jeremy Corbyn voted against them," declares a Prime Minister who is hopelessly out of her depth, although who wouldn't be?
Corbyn was not the only one, though, was he, David Davis? Davis also has a good, if not a Corbyn-style excellent, record of opposition to the wars that cause the trouble. Imagine if he were Prime Minister this time next year.
Anyway, these powers clearly haven't worked, so Davis was clearly right a lot of the time, and Corbyn was clearly right all the time. Those, and the yet further measures that are predictably being trotted out, have been solutions in search of problems for as long as I can remember.
Back in the Major years, Michael Howard wanted to deploy them against rat boys, who are forgotten now, but who were considered a terrible scourge in those days. His then Shadow, Tony Blair, perfected the art of triangulation by seeing, and then raising, each of Howard's bids.
One of New Labour's greatest achievements, a trick that it managed to pull twice, was to convince the public that Michael Howard was a nastier politician than Tony Blair. On the second occasion, Blair's nastiness had already become fully apparent on a global scale.
Theresa May's erstwhile Shadow, Yvette Copper, is itching to repeat the tactic, but her husband's cavorting has finished her off as a credible figure. He is tellingly not trying to recapture the seat that he lost a mere two years ago.
Such things as identity cards, and Police powers to detain people for prolonged periods without trial, have not prevented terrorist attacks in Continental Europe, or, to be mildly euphemistic, farther afield. But then, the people who want them here do not want them for that.