It has reached a point where elements of the government, in their efforts to salvage whatever they can, are resorting obvious spin tactics. From seemingly planted stories (Sara Khan’s incredibly artificial efforts to sell PREVENT, her Home Office-approved book, along with vague success stories – which cannot be corroborated – to an incredibly welcoming media comes to mind), to sham select committee “reviews” of PREVENT, which far from questioning PREVENT’s basis, strengthened it, the methods demonstrate signs of desperate.
Despite these manoeuvres, there have been several key reports over the past few weeks which have indicated to the final throes of Britain’s PREVENT counter-extremism strategy.
The following question has maintained a concious presence generally for years but particularly so in the last few days: are we, the British people allowing ourselves to be governed in a totalitarian fashion?
A set of reports and leaks from the Guardian (here and here) and CAGE (“We are Completely Independent”) revealed that this totalitarianism had now become all too pervasive: a substantial body of information exposes an intertwining propaganda network which implicates private PR companies, the state and knowing or inadvertent civil society groups.
The details though loosely known, were still shocking to read in black white. I have speculated that the Home Office propaganda unit, RICU (Research Information and Communications Unit), may have been involved in last year’s documentary on “extremism” pumped out by neocon propagandist John Ware. I also brought to attention the connection between Sara Khan and her sister Sabin Khan who was alleged to be working in RICU. This connection since was highlighted in the home affairs select committee as being a source of potential conflict of interest, with Sabin being confirmed as deputy chief of RICU.
As we approach the end of the first year of the Tory regime ruling Britain, the damage wrought in terms of laws and policies passed and proposed has been extensive. Through deflections of “Islamism” and smokescreens of exaggerated terror threats, the casualties in this effort to form a “closed society” have been the civil liberties of all.
Briefly, neoconservatives prefer fascism-based despotism as a form of rule. Moreover, it emphasises duties as opposed to rights, the latter of which hinder the exercise of the power accumulated amongst the elite neocon statesmen. Understanding neoconservativism is imperative to make sense of the disparate events which have been taking place for years and which continue to do so under the cloak of fear.
Rushing through Legislation
The way in which the latest iteration of the unjust counter-terror legislation – the Counter Terrorism and Security Act 2015 (CTS) – was rushed on to the statute books was telling. It received royal assent without legislative scrutiny or public consultation.
Crosspost: Nafeez Ahmed
Behind the facade of concern about terrorism is a network of extremist neoconservative ideologues, hell-bent on promoting discrimination and violence against Muslims and political activists who criticise Israeli and Western government policies
As the “Islamic State” (IS) has racked up the body count in its brutal atrocities against Western hostages and local civilians, “terror experts” have been in high demand.
One of them, Douglas Murray, calls himself an “expert on Islamist extremism and UK foreign policy”.
An associate director of the Henry Jackson Society, a right-wing think tank in London, Murray recently dismissed the idea that British security services could have had any role in the radicalisation of IS front man Mohammad Emwazi, aka “Jihadi John”.
To be sure, the presumption that Emwazi was only radicalised due to the harassment of British security services is absurd. The role of perceived grievances, identity crises, and of course extremist Islamist networks in Britain must also be recognised. But as former shadow Home Secretary David Davis noted, the security services’ failure to stop Emwazi despite surveillance is part of a wider pattern of “ineffective” tactics where the intelligence agencies leave “known terrorists both to carry out evil deeds and to recruit more conspirators”.